US 3659844 A
A machine for exercising the human body muscle system has a platform on which the user rests and which is mounted to swivel about a vertical pivot and at the same time to rock or "see-saw" about a central horizontal pivot. The swiveling friction is controlled to some extent by bearing collars. The rocking action is resisted by springs. The rocking load may be increased by attaching weights to the platform. A handle-bar support is provided in position to be grasped by a user standing on the platform. Parallel handrails on opposite sides of the platform are adjustable to various positions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Cummins  EXERCISES PROPELLED AND BODY SUPPORTING SPRING BIASED PLATFORM Alfred B. Cummins, 401 Miles Road, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022 Aug. 17, 1970 Inventor:
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ll/l922 Smith ,.272/30 10/1963 Rouse ..272/30 8/1908 Mayette ..272/33 R l/l925 Hargreaves ..272/33 R UX Primary E.raminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerWilliam R. Browne Attorney-Baldwin, Egan, Walling & Fetzer I 5 7] ABSTRACT A machine for exercising the human body muscle system has a platform on which the user rests and which is mounted to swivel about a vertical pivot and at the same time to rock or see-saw about a central horizontal pivot. The swiveling friction is controlled to some extent by bearing collars. The rocking action is resisted by springs. The rocking load may be increased by attaching weights to the platform. A handle-bar support is provided in position to be grasped by a user standing on the platform. Parallel handrails on opposite sides of the platform are adjustable to various positions.
14 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Patented May 2, 1972 3,659,844
5 Sheets-Sh. 1
INVENTOR ALFRED B. CUMMINS aifi w, 5
Patented May 2, 1972 3,659,844
3 Sheets-Shoot Z INVENTOR ALFRED B. CUMMINS 6M3 fimn J g EYS EXERCISES PROPELLED AND BODY SUPPORTING SPRING BIASED PLATFORM This invention relates to a leg builder and muscle conditioner which may be used to build up the entire muscle system of a user, or to rebuild or rehabilitate part of the human muscle system after an operation, an injury or the like. It is also useful in learning muscle coordination in connection with dancing, skiing, or other body activities.
An object of the present invention is to provide a maximum range of drills for arms, legs and trunk muscles, wherein the muscles are used as a system, in that, when emphasizing rocking or swiveling on the machine of this invention, the other tendency of this invention, swiveling or rocking of the platform, respectively, requires continuous muscular correction and control for balanced performance.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an exercise machine of the type described which is strong and sturdy, yet simple to build and easy to maintain.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying drawings and description and the essential features of which are set forth in the appended claims.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus of this inventron;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the same taken from the left and toward the rear of FIG. 1 looking toward the handle-bar support;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the machine; while FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing parallel handrail supports,
FIG. 4A is a perspective view showing bar bell attached to parallel handrails.
As shown in the drawings, this novel exercise machine comprises a base adapted to rest upon a floor or other supporting surface. This base includes a central swivel socket 11 which may be a section of pipe or tubing having a vertically extending central cylindrical bore 1 1a and closed at the lower end by a floor plate llb. Means is provided for holding this swivel socket in vertical position and is here shown as four inclined legs 12 rigidly welded to the socket 11 and extending outwardly in a plurality of directions to firmly support the machine on a floor or other supporting surface. Preferably, each of these legs 12 has at its outer end a plastic shoe 12a to prevent slipping of the machine on the floor surface.
Snugly received in the bore 11a of the swivel socket 11 is a swivel post 13 which is adapted to rotate about its vertical axis so as to provide the swiveling action of this machine hereinafter discussed. Rigidly attached to the upper end of the post 13 is a swivel bracket 14 which comprises a central hub 14a which is threaded or welded to the post 13. Extending laterally on opposite sides of the hub are bracket flanges 14b for a purpose later described. Integral with the bracket 14 are a pair of parallel ears 14c which lie between and inside of a pair of cars 15a rigidly secured to the platform 15. A pin 16 passes through the pairs of ears 15a and 14c to provide a horizontal pivot for the platform 15.
Spring means is provided to resist the rocking action of platform 15 about its horizontal pivot 16. Preferably this takes the form of spring means held by the base and engaging the platform radially outwardly on each side of the pivot 16. A preferred form of this spring means comprises two helical springs 17, each of which is held in one of the flanges 14b of the swivel bracket and which has its outer end secured in any suitable manner at 17a to the lower surface of the platform 15. The drawing shows the outer ends of the springs bolted to the platform, but other means might be used.
The post 13 is held in its desired vertical position in the bore 11a by means of an annular collar 18 which is engaged between the bracket hub 14a and the top of the swivel socket 11. In the swiveling action of this machine which involves rotation or oscillation in a horizontal plane of the platform 15 about the vertical post 13, the hub 14a rotates relative to the collar 18. Here a certain amount of control of the swiveling action may be provided either by modifying friction surfaces between 14a and 18 under varying friction conditions including lubrication of such engaging surfaces where the friction would be cut to a minimum.
Means is provided for increasing the load encountered when rocking the platform 15 about its pivot 16. This is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 wherein a weight 19, such as a bar bell weight, is secured by a bolt 20 fastened near the outer end of the platform 15. It will be understood that one or more weights may be attached either at the bolt 20 at the right-hand end of FIG. 2 or the bolt 200 at the left-hand end thereof, such weights normally adding l0, 15, 20 pounds, or more to each end of the platform, if desired. It will also be recognized that the bolts 20 and 20a aid the user in knowing when his foot approaches the outer end of the platform so that he may use that as a stop. It should be understood that collar 18 may be of varying heights or a plurality of collars may be used at this point to regulate the height of the platform 15 above the supporting floor.
In some cases, a supporting stand is necessary to aid the user of this exercise device. Such a support must be mounted near the base 10 and should extend to a level to be grasped by the hand of the user standing on the platform 15. The drawings show such a stand 21 having a generally horizontal arm 21a rigidly secured, as by welding, near the bottom of the swivel socket 11. Where the arm 21a is clear of the outer end of platform 15, it turns upwardly at 21b and becomes a generally vertical bar at 21c which preferably has mounted at its upper end a pair of handle-bars 22 having a central post 22a which is slidable in the hollow upper end of 210 and may be held in adjusted positions by a set screw 23, or in any other suitable manner. It will be understood that the handle-bars 22 will be adjusted to a height easily grasped by a person standing on platform 15. The support stand 21 is braced against sideward sway by two opposed inclined legs 24 rigidly secured to the portion 21 b of the stand and extending down to the floor and preferably provided with plastic shoes 24a where the floor is engaged. The support stand 21 may not be used when one is practicing to maintain his balance during the various rocking and swiveling movement which are possible with this machine which might be the case in training for skiing, gymnastics, dancing and the like. However, the stand 21 is very useful when the user is trying to put heavy strain on his leg, thigh and torso muscles since this machine provides the opportunity to place great strain on all of these muscles while grasping the handle-bar support 22.
Preferably, a non-skid surface is provided on the upper face of platform 15 as indicated at 25. This could be a sheet of rubber, although I prefer a coating of polyurethane plastic floor enamel in which some sand is embedded.
In the use of this machine, a person stands on the upper surface of platform 15 with one leg on each side of the horizontal pivot 16. The user normally limbers up or gets the feel of the machine by testing the rocking action of the platform about the horizontal pivot 16 thereby tilting the platform as shown in the dot-dash line of FIG. 2 whereby the platfon-n is tilted preferably to a 5 or 10 angle from the horizontal inclined in either direction about the pivot 16 in a see-saw action. The rocking action need not be limited to 10 although this is usually sufficient to get the maximum use of the machine. The user also becomes adjusted to the push-pull" twist of the platform as the swiveling action takes place by the rotation of swivel post 13 in the swivel socket 11. One should recognize that all push-pull twists are threatened by rocking and all rocking action is threatened by swiveling in the direction of the arrows shown in FIG. 3. Obviously, the user may subject his body muscles to greater tension by grasping the handlebars and pushing the rocking and swiveling movement of this machine to the maximum point of his muscle resistance.
FIG 4 shows a handrail support for the user of the apparatus of this invention. All of the parts of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 performing the same functions in FIG. 4 have been given the same reference numerals. The change here shown comprises joining the outer ends of the inclined base members 12 by frame members 26, thus enclosing a rectangle. At each of the corners of the rectangle is mounted a vertical hollow post 27 rigid with the base. One or two handrails supports 28 is provided in the post 27. Preferably two of these supports are provided as shown in FIG. 4 on opposite sides of the exercise apparatus. Each of the supports is of generally inverted U-shape comprising parallel vertical portions 28a connected across the tops by a horizontal portion 28. Preferably, the portion 28b is offset laterally from the plane of the vertical portions 28a by bent portions 28c. This lateral offset is preferably between the order of about inches to 13 or 14 inches. The vertical portions 280 are telescoped into the vertical posts 27 and held in adjusted position by set screws 29, or by other suitable means. Thus, it is possible to arrange the two handrails with the offset portions 28b facing towards each other as shown in full lines in FIG. 4, or alternatively, facing away from each other as shown in dot-dash lines in FIG. 4. When the handrails face towards each other, the space between the horizontal portions 28b is sufficient to permit the body of a user to stand between them and preferably between about 18 to 20 inches. The height of the handrail portions 28!; may be adjusted by using the set screws 29 as will be apparent. With the handrail portions 28b as shown in full lines in FIG. 4, one has the well-known parallel bar arrangement useful with the body torso above the base; or the bars may be grasped by a user sitting on platform 15.
FIG. 4 shows a counterweight 19 held in position by bolt 20 as previously described but also shows at the opposite end of the platform another counterweight 19' held in position by the bolt 28a. Some users desire a differential between these two weights and in one use of the apparatus by adult football players, one of the weights is 10 pounds and the other is pounds.
The design of the exercise machine of this invention affords infinite variety of exercise application by combinations of foot, hand and body positions for persons of various sizes, physiques and needs. The attainable positions are amplified by the controlled rotary and rocking movement of the machines platform.
Exercise of different muscle groups is accomplished by the variety of positions the individual is able to assume, under control, with placement ofthe feet, the hands and the body.
The handrails 28b with their varies potential positions provide multiple functions by providing support for balance and have sufficient horizontal length for comfortable and varied hand positions to aid exercises. They also provide support for modified chinning (pull-ups), and dipping (push-ups), as well as support for a prosthetic seat-sling and aid, when needed, for situps and body curls. If the individual desires to use a medium weight bar bell 31 (FIG. 4A), the handrails, when properly fitted with removable bar-holders 32, can hold the bar for such exercises as presses and squats, as well as a convenient holding location for changing and adjusting the bar bells weights.
The broad sturdy platform 15 allows a great variety of positions for the feet and with its pivoting and dipping potential allows varied involvement of leg, trunk and shoulder girdle musculature.
The rails on either side near the base of the unit, rigidly connected to posts 27 about 3 inches above the adjacent frame member 26, provide firm purchase for the feet while the user is seated on the platform performing sit-ups and body curls and also anchorage stations for the prosthetic seat-sling.
Varieties of trunk, leg, shoulder girdle and hip girdle exercises may be practiced on this machine for strength, flexibility and muscle toning, as follows:
Basic position: Standing on platform with feet together, hands opposite on rails near hips. From this position feet may be moved apart or staggered while hands may be moved forward, backward or staggered at different widths to provide desired musculature involvement. The body, too, may vary from upright to forward or backward positions to aid and amplify exercises.
The platform may be rotated and feet pumped at the same time or in separate motions during exercises to attain total muscle involvement. The speed of platform rotation as well as the amount and method of rotation add considerable latitude to the type of exercise desired, ranging from extremely mild to quite vigorous.
Using the platform as a seat with feet under the side rails, controlled extended sit-ups and body curls of a very vigorous or mild nature may be performed.
Seated on the platform the handrails may be grasped for inclined or modified pull-ups, and while standing on the platform the handrails may be grasped for support for performance of modified or inclined clips or push-ups.
Additional apparatus may be attached to platform 15 for aiding the user to stand, sit or recline in various positions while exercising with this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a physical exercise machine, a base adapted to rest upon a floor, a swivel socket fixed to said base, a swivel post received in said socket, said swivel post being freely rotatable in said socket about the vertical axis of said post, a platform having a single horizontal pivot connection between its under side and the upper end of said post and near the center of said platform, said platform having an area sufficient for a person to stand upon and within stepping distance of said floor, and spring means attached to said base and engaging said platform radially outwardly from said pivot in position to be stressed by oscillation of said platform about said pivot and normally holding said platform substantially level.
2. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 1, wherein said spring means is in two parts respectively located on opposite sides of said pivot connection.
3. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 1, including a swivel bracket fixed to the upper end of said post, said horizontal pivot connection of said platform mounted on said bracket, and said spring means being directly connected to said bracket.
4. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 3, wherein said spring means comprises two helical springs connected between said bracket and points on said platform on opposite sides of said pivot connection.
5. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 1, including at least one quickly removable weight mounted on said platform.
6. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim I, including a support mounted near said base and extending to a level where it is in position to be grasped by a hand of a user standing on said platform.
7. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 6, wherein said support is rigid with said base and terminates in handle-bars at its upper end, said handle-bars having a heightadjustable connection with said support.
8. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 1, including at least one handrail support mounted near said base and extending approximately to the level of a users hips standing on said platform.
9. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 8, wherein said handrails comprises two handrail supports mounted on said base and spaced at opposite ends of said platform in parallel relationship.
10. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 9, including removable bar holders mounted on said handrails in position to support a bar hell.
I]. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 9, wherein each of said handrails is of generally inverted U-shape and each handrail includes two vertical portions connected across the tops by a horizontal portion offset laterally from the plane of said vertical portions so that when said offset portions are turned toward each other a user may stand between them.
12. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 11, including a mounting for said vertical portions permitting said offset portions to be selectively positioned toward each other and away from each other.
14. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 1, including at least one foot support comprising a horizontal rail mounted on said base a few inches above a floor in position to 13. A physical exercise machine as defined in claim 12, in- 5 hold beneath it a foot Ofa Person seated on Said Platformeluding means for varying the heights of said horizontal por-