US 3716230 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13,1973 MARK 3,716,230-
EXERCIS ING COT Filed March 8, 1971 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 59 5? Morris Mark,
Feb. 13, 1973 M. MARK 3,716,230
EXERCISING COT Filed March 8, 971
5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Morris Mark, INVENTOR. Flg. 6.
M. MARK EXERCISING COT Feb. 13, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 8, 1971 United States Patent 3,716,230 EXERCISING COT Morris Mark, 4147 Mantova Drive, Los Angeles, Calif. 90008- Filed Mar. 8, 1971, Ser. No. 122,037 Int. Cl. A63b 23/02 US. Cl. 272-58 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An exercising cot convertible to a fixed chair, a slant board, and a flexible body supporting exerciser and having a pair of body supporting fabric covered and pivotally interconnected frame sections, one of such frame sections being supported intermediate its length by a first pivotally connected leg member and the other such frame section being supported intermediate its length by a pivotally connected frame supporting member having its end pivotally interconnectible to the ends of the first leg member, the frame supporting member being in turn supported by a second leg member pivotally connected to the frame supporting member intermediate its length but restricted in its pivotal movement thereabout.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The background of the invention will be set forth in two parts.
Field of the invention The present invention pertains generally to the field of exercisers, and more particularly to a convertible exercising device capable of taking several useful configurations.
Description of the prior art Over the years, many exercising devices have been devised in the form of a cot pivoted at its center and which supports the human body while allowing an individual to move the pivoted portions of the cot up and down to reciprocally form a shallow V-shape and the inverse thereof. This general configuration has proven itself as a means for allowing a person to exercise his muscles throughout his body without leaving a relatively confined area taken up by such a device.
Many of these constructions have been provided with moving mechanisms to actuate the various portions of the cot without any effort being exerted by its user. However, it has been found that certain advantage is obtained when an able-bodied person on the cot uses his own energy to move the cot to its various positions.
Of those prior art exercises cots not utilizing external power, the most popular have a cot support structure, which when viewed from the side, resemble the letter M. These have been found to be bulky and hard to store, and if made to collapse, require considerable time and effort to assemble and disassemble.
Others in this general category are provided with a pair of leg members which are pivotally attached to different sides of a cot at one of their ends and reach the floor at the other ends. In order to prevent collapse of such leg members, a brace is provided between the legs to hold them in an upright position for exercising purposes. The member is usually detachable by wing nuts and the like, so as to allow the leg members to fold to a more compact configuration for storage. In most cases, the folding and unfolding process has been tedious, complicated and did not lead to a suitably compact package. Also, certain tension forces were necessarily applied to the brace members and the connecting mechanism, whereby this msential element anchored to the leg members whenever the 3,716,230 Patented Feb. 13, 1973 cot was flexed. This can lead to a failure of this part and the collapse of the unit.
A still further disadvantage of the prior art exercising cots has been the fact that such devices could not be easily and safely converted from one configuration to another, if indeed it was even possible to change the configuration; that is, from a fixed chair to an exercising cot or possibly to a slant board, and vice versa.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing factors and conditions characteristic of the prior art, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved exercising cot not subject to the disadvantages enumerated above.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an exercising cot having a new support arrangement where only compressional forces are presented to such structure when the exerciser is in use.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide an exercising cot capable of being folded into a very compact package.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a relatively simple yet extremely durable exercising cot which can be easily converted into any of several useful configurations.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an exercising cot incorporating a safety latching mechanism which prevents an unintentional change of cot configuration.
It is also a further object of the present invention to provide an exercising cot which includes convenient straps to hold ts users extremities for certain exercises.
it is yet a further object of the present invention to provide an exercising cot having safety features which prevent the pinching of fingers and clothing of its user and those thereby.
According to the present invention, an exercising cot is provided which includes first and second frame sections pivotally interconnected to form a cot hinged intermediate the ends thereof, and a first leg member pivotally attached to opposite sides of the first frame section at points intermediate the ends of the sides, to support the first frame section. Also, the cot includes a frame supporting member pivotally attached to opposite sides of the second frame section at points intermediate the ends of the sides, the end of the first leg member being pivotally interconnectable to and detachable from the end of the frame supporting member. A second leg member is provided which is pivotally attached to opposite sides of the frame supporting member at points intermediate the ends of these sides, and also including stop means associated with the frame supporting member and the second leg member for restricting the pivotal movement of the second leg member with respect to the frame supporting member to support with the frame supporting member the second frame section.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by making reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like components in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exercising cot constructed in the course of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elcvational view of the device seen in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view in perspective of a portion of the exercising cot of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the latching mechanism, in its open position, used to prevent movement of the body support frame members of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a side elevation of the device shown in FIG. 1 as it is used in its slant-board configuration;
FIG. 6 is a side view, in elevation, illustrating the device of FIG. 1 in its folded configuration;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a portion of the device of FIG. 1, illustrating the interconnection of the two body supporting frame sections and the U-shaped brace member; and
FIG. 7A is another view illustrating the interconnection of the two body supporting frame sections and the U- shaped brace member.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an exercising cot 11 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention wherein a first U-shaped body supporting frame section 13 is pivotally connected at its end 15 to the end 17 of a second U-shaped body supporting frame section 19 by pivot pins 21.
The first frame section 13 is pivotally supported intermediate its sides 23 by a U-shaped first leg member 25. The lower portion 27 of the first leg member is here shown essentially resting on the floor 29, while pivot pins 31 extend transversely adjacent its ends 33 to pivotally carry a right angle bracket 35 attached to the sides 23. It will be noted in FIG. 3 that the ends 33 of the leg member 25 are spaced from the supporting frame side 33 and the bracket 35 by a spacer element 37 formed to conform to and cooperate with the leg 25. The element 37 is preferably fabricated from a material such as nylon, but such materials as self-lubricating bronze or high density polystyrene may be used. Element 37 functions to prevent the possibility of pinching a users fingers 39 between the frame and the legs. Where the leg member 25 is of tubular material, its ends 33 may preferably be closed by a conventional end piece or cap 41 of either a metal or plastic material.
The second body supporting frame section 19 is pivotally connected intermediate its sides 43 by brackets 45, pins 49 and spacer elements 50, (similar to elements 31, 35 and 37) to the ends 51 of a U-shaped frame supporting member 53. Again, where the member 53 is tubular, its ends may be closed by caps 55 similar to caps 41 described previously. In the particular configuration of the cot 11 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pair of bracket members 57 are fixedly attached to a lower portion 59 of the supporting member 53 and include upstanding U- shaped transverse plate 61 adapted to rotatably support but disengagably hold the bottom portion 27 of the first leg member 25.
The supporting member 53 is in turn supported by a second U-shaped leg member 63 having angularly disposed ends 65 pivotally attached by a pivot arrangement 67 intermediate opposite sides 69 of member 53. The rotational freedom of the leg member 63 with respect to the support member 53 is restricted by shallow U- shaped brackets 71 fixedly attached in this embodiment to the sides 69 of the support 53 so that the second leg 63 may not rotate counter-clockwise beyond the position where the bent ends 65 are generally parallel to the sides 69. In this way, the second leg member 63 may be rotated clockwise for folding purposes but is rigidly held in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in order to support the second frame section 19 through the support member 53.
In order to laterally support the pviotally interconnected ends 15 and 17 of the sections 13 and 19 respectively, a retractable generally U-shaped brace 73 is pivot- 4 ally attached to these ends by the pins 21. The brace 73 also acts as a locking mechanism for converting the cot 11 from an exerciser (FIG. 2) to a rigid chair (FIG. 1), or to a slant-board configuration (FIG. 5).
The brace 73 includes clip arms 75 welded or otherwise permanently attached thereto and extending laterally to at least the sides 69 of the support member 53. A retracting bias force is applied to the brace 73 by spring 77 extending between spring anchor tab 79 on a transverse bar portion 81 of the arm 75 and a tab 83 riveted or otherwise attached to the flattened end 15 of the first support section 13. The upper portion of the spring 77 may be enclosed by an inverted U-shaped tube 85 attached to the tab 83 in order to protect clohting and fingers from being inadvertently caught or pinched between the turns of the spring.
This specific spring configuration has the advantage of being less likely to stretch beyond its elastic limit than where the ends of a single spring are stretched between the tabs 79 and 83. However, it should be realized that in another embodiment of the invention, not shown, the spring or springs may be eliminated and the brace 73 retained adjacent the first support section 13 by a conventional clip attached to the latter, for example.
In its exercising position, the brace is retracted by the action of the spring 77 to a position generally parallel to and below the first support section 13 as shown in FIG. 2. It will be noted that this is facilitated by having the ends 15 and 17 of the support sections slightly angularly bent or formed in a downward direction. This provision also lessens the possibility of a persons body coming into contact with the ends of the pivoted body support sections 13 and 19.
The brace 73 may also be moved downwardly against the bias of the spring 77, and with the cot in the position shown in FIG. 1, until the bar 81 contacts the sides 69 of the support member 53 and moved rearwardy into the recess 87 described by the upstanding retaining bracket 89 welded or otherwise attached to the member 53. The bias of the spring 77 tends to cause the brace 73 with its bar 81 to rotate into the recess 87 but additional insurance of brace retention in this condition may be provided by the recess 87 being larger at its inner extremity 91 than at its entrance 93.
However, in the presently preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in detail in FIG. 4, one of the bar retaining brackets 89A is provided with a latching structure or member 95 having a deep longitudinal slot 97 therein, a jaw portion 99, a pivot area 101, and a hand actuated release level portion 103. The latching member 95 is pivotally mounted at its pivot area 101 by pin 105 on the bracket 89A so that the latter is partially within the slot 97 and the jaw portion 99 is adjacent the recess 87. The major portion of the mass of the latch member 95 is on the jaw side of the pivot pin 105 and the member tends always to move to its closed position. That is, the position where the jaw 99 is adjacent the side 69 of the support member 53. In this way, as the bar 81 is moved toward the recess 87 it will contact the inwardly sloping surface of the latching member's jaw portion 99 causing it to raise enough for the bar to enter the recess. The weight of the latch will then cause it to again close and reliably trap the bar within the recess until released by pressure being manually applied downwardly on the release lever portion 103. Of course, the latching member may be biased into its closed position by internal spring if desired.
In operation, the user of the exercising cot 11 may set it up in its rigid chair configuration illustrated in FIG. 1 before sitting on a cover 107 of fabric, plastic or similar material, stretched across the sides 43 of the second body support frame section 19, and retained in this position by conventional means such as screws 108. The user can hen ea h s ack ag inst a simi r cover 102 9 the first support section 13 before manually releasing latching member 95 by pressing on its release lever portion 103'.
This action with one hand, or both hands where two such latches are used, will allow the spring 77 to retract the brace to the position shown in FIG. 2. Here, the user may, with his body, exert more pressure on the extermities 111 and 113 of the support frame structure 13 and 19, respectively, and less at its pivotally interconnected center portion 115 to cause these extremities 111 and 113 to move downward, pivoting about the pins 31 and 49, while causing the center 115 of the cot to move upward. This exercise may be immediately followed by the user lessening the downward pressure produced by his legs and head and shoulders to cause the center of the cot to move downward with the cot extremities moving again upward. This action can then be repeated to provide a very beneficial exercise.
The cot may further be moved to a conventional slantboard position as shown in FIG. by locking the bar 81 in the latching mechanism and lifting the first frame section 13 a suflicient distance to pull the lower portion 27 of the first le-g member 25 out of engagement with the transverse plates 61. The leg member 25 is then rotated outwardly and the outer extremity 111 is allowed to rest on the fioor 29. As still another advantageous feature of the invention, the first leg member 25 may be rotated so that its portion 27 is above the user for pull up exercises and the like, as illustrated in FIG. 5.
FIG. 6 pictorially illustrates the compact configuration cot 11 may take by folding its various elements. Thus, the cot may be placed on its side with the brace 73 in its retracted position. The body supporting frames 13 and 19 may then be pivoted at the center so that the extremities 111 and 113 are adjacent each other and the support member 53 is rotated so that its attached latching member 95 is adjacent the second frame section 19. The first leg member 25 is then rotated to a position approximately parallel to the first frame section 13, and finally, the second leg member 63 is rotated approximately 270 so that it is also adjacent the first frame section 13.
Yet a further feature of the embodiment of the present invention is the provision of straps 121 attached to the second leg member 63, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and in use to hold a users legs, in FIG. 5. Additional pairs of such straps may of course be positioned at desired locations elsewhere on the cot to aid in holding theusers legs and/or arms, for example, for various exercises performed on the cot 11. 1
From the foregoing, it should be evident that a very advantageous and novel exercising cot has been described which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art and is reliable and safe to use.
It should also be understood that the materials used in fabricating the various parts and elements of the embodiments of the invention are not critical, and any material generally considered to be suitable for a particular function may be utilized. For example, the frame sections and the legs and support members may be fabricated from tubular steel, aluminum, or other metals or strong material such as certain synthetics and hardwoods. The pivot pins are preferably of a hard steel and the bearing surfaces may be nylon or metal bearing material or any synthetic material generally considered suitable for this purpose. Thus, the transverse plate 61 may include a synthetic bearing surface insert to reduce the friction at this point with the lower portion 27 of the first leg member 25.
Accordingly, it is intended that the foregoing disclosure and drawings shall be considered only as illustrations of the principles of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A folding structure convertible to a fixed chair, a rigid slant board, and a flexible body supporting exerciser for use on a floor, comprising:
first and second U-shaped body supporting frame sections each having a closed end and parallel sides and having pivotally interconnected open ends forming a cot hinged at its center;
first U-shaped leg member having a closed end and having open ends pivotally attached to said sides f said first frame section intermediate said open ends and said closed end thereof;
a generally U-shaped frame supporting member having a floor contacting closed end and parallel sides and having open ends pivotally attached to said sides 0f said second frame section intermediate said open ends and said closed end thereof, said closed end of said first leg member being rotatably supported by and detachable from said closed end of said frame supporting member;
a generally U-shaped second leg member having a floor contacting closed end and parallel sides and having open ends pivotally attached to opposite said sides of said frame supporting member intermediate said open ends and said closed end thereof; and
stop means associated with said frame supporting member and said second leg member for restricting the pivotal movement of said second leg member with respect to said frame supporting member to cause said second leg member to support said frame supporting member.
2. A folding structure according to claim 1, wherein said frame supporting member includes an upwardly bent extremity portion adjacent said open ends thereof whereat said second frame section is pivotally attached.
3. A folding structure according to claim 2, wherein said frame supporting member includes at said closed end thereof an upstanding transverse member with a generally U-shaped bearing insert to rotatably support said closed end of said first leg member.
4. A folding structure according to claim 1, wherein said stop means includes a bracket member fixedly attached to each of said sides of said frame supporting member between said open ends thereof and the pivotal attachment thereto of said second leg member, said bracket member having an arm portion extending in the path 0f the pivotal movement of said second leg member.
5. A folding structure according to claim 4, wherein said second leg member includes an upper extremity bent portion adjacent said open ends thereof whereat said frame supporting member is pivotally attached.
6. A folding structure according to claim 1, also comprising a retaining bracket fixedly attached to each of said sides of said frame supporting member; further comprising brace means including a U-shaped brace member having open ends pivotally attached to said pivotally interconnected open ends of said first and second frame sections for laterally supporting said pivotally interconnected open ends, said brace means being detachably connected to the retaining brackets; and still further comprising latching mechanism means associated with at least one of said brackets for releasably holding said brace means in said retaining brackets.
7. A folding structure according to claim 6, wherein said brace member is biased to rotate to a retracted position below and adjacent said first frame section by a spring attached to at least one of said frame sections and said brace member, said spring being enclosed at least at its uppermost portion by a spring cover member.
8. A folding structure according to claim 7, wherein said spring cover member is a U-shaped tube mounted with its open extremities pointed downward.
9. A folding structure according to claim 1, further comprising at least one pair of human extremity holding straps attached to the sides of the cot.
10. A folding structure according to claim 9, wherein said straps are attached to the sides of said second leg member at points intermediate the ends of said sides.
(References on following page) 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1939 Jensen 12825 R 3:5 1:772 10/1955 Lesser 5-11OX 5 7/1962 Sellner 128--25 R X 9/1938 Hawley 12825 R 8/1950 Hand 5 111 X 5/1960 Solloway et a1. 27258 X 10/1961 Riemer 12s 25 RX 10 297-296 8 Linstrom 12825 R Sellner 272-58 Kupchinski 272-5 8 Curtess 272-58 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner R. J. APLEY, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.