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Publication numberUS3782717 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1974
Filing dateMar 27, 1972
Priority dateMar 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3782717 A, US 3782717A, US-A-3782717, US3782717 A, US3782717A
InventorsD Berlin
Original AssigneeGen Home Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pivotal body-supporting exercising apparatus
US 3782717 A
Abstract
An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person and movable to a plurality of body supporting contours. The exercising apparatus includes a cloth covered support frame having at least two support frame elements which are movable with respect to each other. They are also rotationally connected to a base frame which acts as a support or stabilizing platform for the exercising apparatus. The support frame is mounted to the base frame through a plurality of generally Z-shaped linkage mechanisms which are pivotally mounted to both the support frame elements and the base frame.
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United States Patent [191 Berlin [451 Jan. 1,1974

[ PIVOTAL BODY-SUPPORTING EXERCISING APPARATUS [75] Inventor: Daniel Berlin, Rydal, Pa.

[73] Assignee: General Home Products Corp.,

Burlington, NJ.

[22] Filed: Mar. 27, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 238,044

[52] 11.8. C1. 272/58 [51] Int. Cl A63b 21/00 [58] Field of Search 272/58, 57 R, 52,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,491,998 1/1970 Lyon 272/58 2,938,572 5/1960 Solloway et a1. 272/58 3,561,772 2/1971 Curtess 272/58 2,667,207 1/1954 Magyar 5/103 UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 22,492 9/1909 Great Britain 5/103 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello Attorney-Nelson E. Kimmelman [5 7] ABSTRACT An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person and movable to a plurality of body supporting contours. The exercising apparatus includes a cloth covered support frame having at least two support frame elements which are movable with respect to each other. They are also rotationally connected to a base frame which acts as a support or stabilizing platform for the exercising apparatus. The support frame is mounted to the base frame through a plurality of generally Z-shaped linkage mechanisms which are pivotally mounted to both the support frame elements and the base frame.

1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAN 1 1974 PIVOTAL BODY-SUPPORTING EXERCISING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention pertains to the field of body supporting apparatus. In particular, this invention relates to the field of body supporting apparatus adapted to be moved to a number of positions for exercising a person supported thereon.

2. Prior Art Exercising apparatus are known in the art. Additionally, movable support frames pivotally mounted to base frames are also known, but the mounting mechanisms in some of these apparatus are merely pivoted connecting elements. Where pivoted connecting elements are used, frictional wear is maximized between rotating rotating elements thus causing structural failure of the apparatus. Further, the frictional force between moving elements also requires the supported person to expend a large amount of energy in displacing the support frame with respect to the base frame. In many prior devices the connecting mechanisms are arm members which cannot take the structural loading over a period of many loading cycles without a degradation in structural integrity thus causing failure of the exercising apparatus.

Other prior apparatus include complex mechanical linkage systems for providing a compact package when the apparatus is stored. Such systems increase the manufacturing complexity and cost of the exercising apparatus while at the same time lowering the reliability of the entire unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person which includes a support frame having at least two support frame elements rotationally connected about an axis common to two adjacently positioned frame elements. A base frame includes a pair of base elements pivotally mounted each to the other. A linkage mechanism having a generally Z-shaped configuration is pivotally mounted to the base frame and to the support frame elements and displaces each of the support frame elements with respect to the base frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of the exercising apparatus;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional top view of the support frame showing the pivotal mount between adjacently positioned support frame elements and taken along the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view of the linkage mechanism connecting the base frame and the support frame, taken along the section line 33 of FIG. I; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the pivotal mount between a pair of base frame elements taken along the section line 44 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to FIG. I, there is shown an exercising apparatus 10 for supporting the human body in a variety of supporting contours. The apparatus 10 includes a substantially rectangular shaped supporting frame 13 which is divided into at least two rotatable support frame elements 11a, 11b, 11c and 13a, 13b, 130. The frame arm members 11a, 11b, 11c taken in combination define one support frame element. The support frame elements are-rotationally connected about an axis common to two adjacently positioned elements as shown. The rotational axis of frame elements 1 la, 1 lb, 110 and 13a, 13b, 13c passes in a line perpendicular to the largest length dimension direction of the overall support frame 13. In this manner" the aforementioned support frame elements may be inclined each with respect to the other while supporting a person lying on the apparatus 10. By exerting pressure on one or the other of the support frame elements, either or both of the frame elements may be caused to rotate about the common axis. This rotation produces a new support contour for the body causing distention and contraction of various body muscles, thereby providing exercise for the person supported thereon.

The apparatus is supported on an external surface by a base frame having a pair of base elements 14 and 15 which are pivotally mounted to each other as is 1 shown in FIG. 1 and 4. The base frame elements 14 and 15 are also pivotally mounted to the support frame 13 by the link mechanism 17 thus permitting displacement of each of the support elements with respect to the relatively stabilized base elements 14 and 15.

The support frame 13, as depicted in FIG. 1 is constructed of two one piece U-shaped support frame elements having extended arm members 13a, 13c rotationally connected to opposing frame element arms 11a, 11c respectively. The pivotal axis of the two support frame elements lies substantially midpoint between opposing frame arms 11b and 13b. In this manner, the support frame 13 forms a closed contour being substantially rectangular in shape.

As shown in FIG. 2, rotatively connected arm members 11a and 13a (as well as and are flattened in the area of the rotational axis. The flattened areas of each of the arms lla, 11c and 13a, 13c approximate a plane surface passing normal to the axis of rotation which provides for ease of rotation between the respective arms. The support frame elements which define the support frame 13 are preferably tubular members made of stainless steel aluminum, or some like material which can accept the force loading without losing structural integrity.

The internal area defined by the closed contour support frame 13 is partially covered by a fabric, material or other textile covering 12. The fabric 12 is attached to frame element arms 11a, 11b, 13a and 130 around their peripheral edges to allow the material 12 to move when the support frame elements are rotated with respect to each other. The fabric 12 includes openings 12a which are located around rotational support frame joints in order that the fabric 12 will not be worn through frictional contact. The fabric 12 may be sewn to itself around the arms 11a, 110, 13a, 130 or otherwise mounted in order to form a body support within the support frame 13.

The base frame shown in FIG. 1 includes a pair of U- shaped elements 14 and 15 which are pivotaly mounted in cross-wise fashion and are constructed of tubular metal such as steel or aluminum. The base frame rests on an external surface and provides relatively stabilized support for support frame 13. The pivotal mount between the extended arms of the base elements 14 and 15 are shown in FIG. 4, and include a screw bolt 23 which passes through oepnings in base elements 14 and 15. The diameter of the openings in elements 14 and 15 are greater than that of the screw bolt 23 but less than the diameter of the head of bolt 23 and of washer 25 to hold elements 14 and 15 in a unitary structure while permitting free rotation between the elements 14 and 15. The screw bolt 23 threadedly engages a cap nut 18 in order to positionally fix the axis of rotation of base elements 14 and 15. Washer 27 encompasses the shaft portion of the screw bolt 23 between base elements 14 and 15 to separate these elements so that they do not rub and frictionally wear each other when they are rotated.

Stabilization of the exercising apparatus on an external surface is accomplished by connecting bars 20 and 21. The connecting bars 20, 21 are pivotally connected to each other at a common rotational point and are likewise pivotally connected on opposing ends to the base elements 14 and as is shown in FIG. 1. When a weight is added to the support frame/13, the connecting bars are tensilely loaded. This loading causes the bars 20, 21 to be aligned in substantially a straight line while holding the base elements 14 and 15 from moving outward with respect to each other. Further, when it is desired to store the apparatus 10, conecting bars and 21 may be pivoted about their common axis in order to permit closed alignment between the base elements 14 and 15 thereby aiding in providing a compact unit for storage purposes.

The base frame elements 14, 15 are mounted to support frame 13 through four linkage mechanisms 17, one of which is clearly shown in FIG. 3. Each linkage mechanism 17 has a generally Z-shaped configuration and is pivotally mounted to the base frame elements 14 and 15 as well as the support elements 11a, 11c and 13a, 130. The linkage mechanism 17 permits each of the support frame elements of the support frame 13 to be displaced with respect to the base frame elements 14, 15.

Each linkage mechanism 17 includes a generally Z- shaped connecting member 17a which has a double elbow section resulting in opposing arms passing abutting an intermediate section perpendicular thereto, the arms being in substantially parallel. Each of the opposing anns is threaded on its free end section for attachment to a cap nut 18. The connecting member 17a is preferably a rod member formed into the general Z- shape and is constructed of steel or some like material capable of withstanding the force loads imposed.

Each linkage mechanism includes two bushings 19 which are mounted within openings in the base frame elements 14, 15 and openings passing through the support elements 11a, 1 1c, 13a, 130, of the support frame 13. The bushings 19 are cylindrical in nature and have an external diameter substantially equal to the openings formed in elements 14, 15, 11a, 11c, 13a and 130. Each bushing 19 includes a shoulder portion at one end in order that the bushing 19 will not pass completely through the base frame or support frame element to which the bushing is attached. Additionally, each bushing 19 includes an internal through passage having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the opposing arms of connecting member 17. In construction, the bushings 19 are preferably formed of nylon or some like material in order to reduce the effects of frictional wear when rotation between moving elements occur.

The opposing arms of each connecting member 17 have a length greater than the cylindrical bushing 19 within which the arm is passed. Each arm is passed through a respective element l4, 15, 11a, 110, 130, or and is mounted to that element by threadedly engaging a cap nut 18 as shown. A washer 22 having an external diameter greater than the through opening of the bushing 19 is interposed between the cap nut 18 and one of the support frame or base frame elements. In this manner each arm of the connecting member 17a is positionally fixed to a corresponding support frame or base frame element. The connecting member is free to rotate within the bushings 19 but are relatively fixed from moving in a direction'defined by the extension of the arm members.

The brace member 16 is pivotally mounted to the support elements 1 1a, 13a and 1 10, 130 at the common axis line joining the elements. The brace member 16 is U-shaped in configuration and constructed of tubular steel, aluminum or like material. This member 16 provides structural support for the support frame 13 when the elements 11a, 11b, 11c and 13a, 13b, 130 are subjected to a moving force load. As is shown in FIG. 2, the brace member 16 is pivotally mounted to the support elements 11a and 13a through the bolt 24 which threadedly engages a cap nut 18. Washers 26 are mounted between the elements 13a, 11a and 16 in order to reduce frictional wear between the rotating portions of each element.

What is claimed is:

1. An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person for exercise thereupon, comprising:

a. a support frame having at least two support frame elements of generally U-shaped configuration whose ends are pivotally mounted to one another,

b. a base frame including a pair of generally U- shaped base elements pivotally mounted at points intermediate their ends to each other, and

c. a plurality of integral, generally Z-shaped metallic connecting members pivotally mounting said support frame to said base frame for suspending said support frame between the open ends of said base frame, said connecting members each having a substantially round cross-section and two substantially parallel arms having threaded ends, said support frame and said base frame having a plurality of sets of aligned openings through which the arms of said connecting members pass,

d. a plurality of non-metallic bushings having elongated portions extending through said openings and surrounding said arms of said connecting members, said bushings having a substantially T-shaped axial cross-section and e. a plurality of cap nuts which threadedly engage said threaded ends of said arms that are passed through said bushings.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2667207 *Jun 14, 1950Jan 26, 1954Magyar John AndrewChair and table combination
US2938572 *Jan 30, 1956May 31, 1960Harry SollowayExerciser device
US3491998 *May 2, 1968Jan 27, 1970Goodwin LyonCot exercising device
US3561772 *Sep 24, 1968Feb 9, 1971Embro Co IncReclining exercising device
GB190822492A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4182511 *Jul 20, 1978Jan 8, 1980Camp Hope H JrExerciser device
US4341378 *Sep 22, 1980Jul 27, 1982Agyagos Ferenc IMultipurpose exerciser device
US4655448 *Jun 3, 1985Apr 7, 1987John HarderExercise apparatus
US4893813 *Sep 16, 1988Jan 16, 1990Christopher MurrayBack Exercise device
US5171201 *Aug 30, 1989Dec 15, 1992Christopher MurrayBack exercise device
US5232426 *Nov 19, 1991Aug 3, 1993Verimark CcExercising machine
US5545114 *Apr 25, 1995Aug 13, 1996Kor-One, Ltd.Abdominal exercise device
US5665042 *May 6, 1996Sep 9, 1997Breaux; Lawrence WayneExerciser
US5692997 *Sep 25, 1996Dec 2, 1997Stearns Technologies, Inc.Exercise machine
US5902220 *Mar 30, 1998May 11, 1999Lin; Chen-DaReclining chair with exercising function
US5938575 *Jun 24, 1997Aug 17, 1999Stearns; Kenneth W.Exercise machine
US6491608Aug 16, 1999Dec 10, 2002Kenneth W. StearnsExercise machine
US7169097Dec 9, 2002Jan 30, 2007Stearns Kenneth WExercise machine
US7707955Jul 28, 2008May 4, 2010Sealift, Inc.Transom platform lifting apparatus and method
EP0542441A1 *Oct 23, 1992May 19, 1993Verimark CcExercising machine
WO2007085885A1 *Jan 30, 2006Aug 2, 2007Paul PattersonMulti-planar rowing machine and associated exercise protocols
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/142, 482/139
International ClassificationA63B23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B23/0233, A63B23/03575, A63B23/0211, A63B2210/50
European ClassificationA63B23/035G