US 3785644 A
An apparatus for physical exercising in which a bar assembly having a rotatable shaft with reels at opposite ends thereof is connected to a base by ropes or other types of lines wound on the reels. The shaft is enclosed in a tubular member in which it rotates, and hand grips on the tubular member are provided. Any gripping force exerted by a user on the hand grips will be transmitted to the tubular member and to the shaft to resist the force required to rotate the shaft, when the bar assembly is being lifted. The shaft is rotatable in the direction to wind the lines on the reels by a spring mechanism which consists of a cylindrical housing and the shaft about which a spring of strip metal is wound and attached, the spring being of a type which produces essentially its entire torque force at the area where it leaves the coil on the shaft, thereby providing a substantially constant force regardless of the amount of winding of the spring on the shaft.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 Bradley et al.
[4 1 Jan. 15, 1974 PULL TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE HAVING WITH FRICTIONAL RESISTANCE TO PULLING  Inventors: Robert F. Bradley; Lindell P.
Bradley, both of 10792 Maudlin Rd., New Buffalo, Mich.
 Filed: Nov. 2, 1971  Appl. No.: 194,867
Riley 272/83 A Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-William R. Browne Attorney-Marmaduke A. Hobbs et al.
[5 7 ABSTRACT An apparatus for physical exercising in which a bar assembly having a rotatable shaft with reels at opposite ends thereof is connected to a base by ropes or other types of lines wound on the reels. The shaft is enclosed in a tubular member in which it rotates, and hand grips on the tubular member are provided. Any gripping force exerted by a user on the hand grips will be transmitted to the tubular member and to the shaft to resist the force required to rotate the shaft, when the bar assembly is being lifted. The shaft is rotatable in the direction to wind the lines on the reels by a spring mechanism which consists of a cylindrical housing and the shaft about which a spring of strip metal is wound and attached, the spring being of a type which produces essentially its entire torque force at the area where it leaves the coil on the shaft, thereby providing a substantially constant force regardless of the amount of winding of the spring on the shaft.
12 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH15'974 3J85M sum 1 or 2 I NVENTORS AOfi'E/PT E BRADLEY BY LIA/DELL pap/404w 7.4% swam A TTOPNEYS 'PATENTEBJAH 1 5 1974 saw 2 or 2 I I INVENTORS ROBERT E BRADLEY I BY fill/V0611. Paw/104E) 'ATTOPNEYS 1 PULL TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE HAVING WITH FRICTIONAL RESISTANCE TO PULLING In the sport of weight lifting it is necessary, as in many physical fitness and body development exercises, to practice at frequent and regular intervals in order to improve and maintain the maximum level of physical development and ability, and it has been necessary in the past to use standard, relatively heavy weight lifting equipment such as barbells. Improvement in muscular development entails, in part, increasing the weight load of the barbell from time to time as the physical condition improves and muscularstrength grows. As the improvement continues, more plates are added to the bar, so that in time the apparatus used for the exercises is heavy and bulky and difficult to move, handle and transport from place to place, and to take on trips for people who travel and are away from the place where they normally reside. Further, even in homes and gymnasiums where the equipment is often kept and used, it is inconvenient to move the heavy plates between the storage place and the practice area each time the barbells are used. The heavy weight and bulk create both a safety hazard and a storage problem, and the relatively large number of plates required for the more strenuous exercises often, when changed and used, creates objectionable noise and time consuming inconvenience. Springs, motors and complicated mechanisms have been used and tried as substitutes for the weights, but these have been inaccurate and dissimilar to the weights, or have been expensive and difficult to make, maintain and/or control. It is, therefore, one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide a physical fitness and body development apparatus which simulates in operation and performance the movements and exertion obtained from the use of barbells, and which can be effectively controlled during use to give the desired weight or force required for each exercise.
Another object of the invention is to provide a body development apparatus which responds to the movements of the body muscles in essentially the same manner as barbells, and which permits the userto perform substantially all of the movements normally performed with barbells to develop body'muscular structure.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus simulating barbell usage, which is so constructed and designed that it can be readily controlled and adjusted to simulate or provide, in effect, an infinite number of weights or forces, including the weight of any plate combination on barbells, and which provides the equivalent of a wide range of weights covering all of those normally used on barbells.
A further object is to provide an exercising apparatus of the aforesaid type which can easily be lifted, carried and transported from place to place and quickly set up for use, and thereafter readily taken down for storage, and which can be adjusted readily and used effectively by persons of different ages and sizes and of various degrees of physical development.
Another object is to provide an exercising apparatus of the aforesaid type which will provide a variable and selected force controlled by the hands of the user gripping the bar, and which has a pair of cables, ropes or the like wound on a reelmeans controlled by a spring of a substantially constant torque.
Another object is to provide a sturdy and efficient apparatus of simple and economical design, construction and operation for use in achieving and maintaining physical fitness, which is safe for the inexperienced, as well as the experienced, person in weight lifting, and which is quiet to use, handle and move, and which is suitable for use in maintaining barbell skill and fitness for professional and amateur weight lifters and physical training classes and instructions.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein: v
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present exercising apparatus, showing it in one operating position, and a person prepared to use the apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 illustrating another position of the apparatus and the manner in which it is used by the person;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view of the apparatus, the section being taken on line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view of a portion of the apparatus shown in the preceding figures, the section being taken on line 5-5 of FIG.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the apparatus, the section being taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 4; FIG. 7 is another cross-sectional view of the apparatus taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a modified form of the control mechanism embodied in the apparatus.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, numeral 10 indicates generally the present exercising apparatus which is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in two extreme operating positions, in FIG. 1 before the bar is lifted, and FIG. 2 after the bar has been raised above the head of the user. While normally the apparatus would be manufactured and sold in one sized model. various models for use by children and another model of a large size for use by adults may be made if desired.
The apparatus includes a base 12 and a bar assembly 14 connected to the base by cords or ropes 16 and 18 by fixtures20 and 22, respectively. The base is preferably of wood; however, it may be of any other suitable material, and the fixtures are secured rigidly thereto.
The bar assembly 14 consists of a metal rod or shaft 30 which extends the full length of the bar assembly and is enclosed in a metal or plastic tube 32. The shaft is journalled in the tube for free rotation therein, except as restricted by the user, as will be more fully explained hereinafter. The two ropes 16 and 18 are connected to the ends of shaft 30 by a reel means, indicated by numeral 34, each consisting of a groove portion 36 in the surface of the respective shaft end and a traveling guide means 38 which moves along the spiral groove as the rod is rotated to wind the rope in groove 36. The guide means 38 contains an internal spiral ridge or threads 40 which mesh with the spiral groove 36, and contains an extension 42 with a hole 44 through which the respective rope passes as it is wound on reel 34 and unwound therefrom. As the rope is unwound from the reel, guide means 38 moves to the left as viewed in FIG. 5, and, as the rope is wound in the groove, the guide means moves to the right; thus the FIG. 5. of the guide means places the rope in the center of groove 36 in the manner best illustrated in FIGS. As the bar assembly is raised from the position shown in FIG. 1 to the position shown in FIG. 2 or to any intermediate elevated position, the rope unwinds from the reel and guide means 38 moves along the shaft end as the reeling operation is performed. The reverse action taken place when the bar is lowered and the rope is rewound on the reel means. The tube 32 is preferably rather rigid so that shaft 30 will rotate freely therein without binding from pressure applied to the external surface of the tube, which might result in distortion thereof.
Rotation of shaft 30 in the tube 32 is controlled by the hand grip mechanism, indicated generally by numerals 50 and 52, each grip mechanism including a plastic sleeve 53 surround tube 32 and covering a slot 54 in tube 32. The flexible plastic sleeve 53 can readily be pressed into slot 54 and against the surface of shaft 30. This pressing operation is facilitated by an elongated, rigid member 56 held in place radially outwardly from slot 54 by an outside cover 58 extending around member 56 and around the flexible plastic sleeve 53. When the apparatus is being used, the braking pressure is applied by the user by pressing on member 56, which in turn depresses sleeve 53 against the surface of shaft 30. By varying the pressure applied by the user on the shaft through member 56, the force required to lift the bar assembly can be varied to any degree desired. The hand grips 50 and 52 are squeezed by the user as he lifts the bar assembly from the position shown in FIG. 1 to the position shown in FIG. 2 or to any intermediate position. Scales or other force indicating gages, such as that shown at numeral 60, are preferably incorporated in or mounted on the base 12. The person using the apparatus stands on the scales which contain a dial, and can read the scales as he lifts the assembly, thereby determining the pressure in pounds being lifted by him as he raises the bar assembly while pressing the braking mechanism in the two hand grips.
A spring mechanism 70 for winding the two ropes on the reel means 34 and 35 at each end of the bar assembly is mounted on shaft 30 and tube 32. The spring mechanism consists of a spring 72 of strip metal connected at its inner end to the shaft by screw 74 and at its outer end to a housing 76 by a bolt 78. The housing has a radial wall 80 and an outwardly extending flange 82 which is connected to tube 32 by a plurality of screws 84. The housing remains stationary while shaft 30 rotates within the tube and the housing. One of the features of the present invention is the substantially constant torque of the spring mechanism 70 which merely performs the function of rewinding the rope as the bar assembly is lowered. It is not used for determining the force required to raise the bar assembly. The spring mechanism includes an elongated strip of straight spring metal and when this strip is at least partially wound on the shaft, a force is created for rotating shaft 32 to rewind the ropes, and this force is generated in the area 90 in which it makes its final bend before leaving the coiled spring portion at the shaft. At this point there is a tendency for the spring to straighten the tail 92, i.e., the unwound portion. The housing merely serves as a connection between the spring and tube 30, and, in effect, an abutment which causes the force of the spring to be transmitted to the shaft for rotation thereof. There is no force otherwise created throughout the tail or through the fully coiled material. Since the area of effective force remains substantially constant, the force provided by the spring likewise remains substantially constant throughout the winding and unwinding operations. This permits the user of the exercising apparatus to have complete control over the bar assembly when it is raised and lowered without the spring adding varying component to the force lifted by the user. A collar 88 is preferably mounted on tube 32 near the end opposite the spring mechanism to counterbalance the spring mechanism and to permit the bar assembly to rest in a level position.
In the operation and use of the exercising apparatus, starting with the bar assembly in its lowered position on base 12 and with ropes l6 and 18 fully wound on reel means 34 and 35 at opposite ends of shaft 30, as shown in FIG. 1, the person, standing on base 12, places his hands on the hand grips and squeezes the grips sufficiently to cause member 56 of each grip to press inwardly and force flexible sleeve 53 against the surfaceof shaft 30, thereby creating a resistance to the rotation of the shaft. Preferably scales 60 are first zeroed after the person steps on the scales, and the scales preferably have a hand which remains at the maximum weight obtained during the lifting operation so that this maximum weight can be read by the person after completing the operation. The person controls the amount of forces required to lift the bar assembly by applying the desired pressure to member 56. When the person has firmly gripped the grip mechanism 50 and 52, he then lifts the bar assembly in substantially the same manner as he would a barbell, excep that he applied the force necessary to produce the resistance equivalent to the desired weight to be lifted. As the bar assembly is raised, the ropes l6 and 18 unwind from reel mechanisms 34 and 35 and spring 72 is wound on shaft 30. When the bar assembly is to be lowered, the grip is relaxed and the assembly lowered without any applied force or resistance on the bar. As the bar assembly is lowered, spring 72 causes shaft 30 to rotate in tube 32, thereby winding ropes l6 and 18 on reel means 34 and 35 in the manner previously described herein.
A modified form of the braking mechanism in one or both of the hand grips is illustrated in FIG. 8, which is a section corresponding to section 7-7 of FIG. 4. In the modified form, a wedging braking action is obtained by side members 90 and 92 embedded in flexible plastic sleeve 94 and engaging the sides of shaft 30. A reinforcing bar 96 interconnects members 90 and 92 to form a substantially rigid, inverted U-shaped structure which can apply a uniformly controlled pressure to the shaft. As the grip is squeezed, members 90 and 92 press firmly against the sides of the shaft, producing a braking effect which can easily be controlled by varying the gripping force. The resiliency of the plastic releases the braking action of members 90 and 92 when the grip is eased or released by the person using the exercising apparatus.
The present invention can be utilized effectively with a single rope attached to the base and one or two grips on the bar assembly. Such apparatus can be operated with either one or both arms using one or two hand grips to control the braking action, Other embodiments and modifications of the present exercising device may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
1. An apparatus for physical exercising, comprising a base for supporting the user of the apparatus, two spaced line anchoring means attached to said base, a bar assembly spaced from and generally parallel to said base, a freely rotatable, longitudinal shaft mounted in said bar assembly, a line supporting reel connected to each end of said shaft and rotatable therewith, a line fixedly connected to each of said means and to each of said reels, a hand grip on said bar assembly, means in said hand grip for transferring any manually exerted gripping force to said shaft so as to vary the amount of frictional resistance opposing the rotation of said shaft and thereby controlling the rate of rotation of said reels and said shaft when said bar assembly is being lifted by a user, and means attached to said shaft for rewinding the lines on said reels.
2. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 1 wherein said apparatus includes a tubular member which surrounds the middle portion of said rotatable shaft and in which said shaft rotates.
3. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 2 in which said hand grips are mounted on said tubular member.
4. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 3 in which said means for for transferring a gripping force to the shaft consists of a member responsive to the gripping action of a user for applying a braking action to said shaft.
5. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 4 in which said reel at each end of said shaft in cludes a sprial groove for receiving said line as it is,
wound on the reel.
6. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 5 in which said rewinding means is connected at one end to said tubular member and at the other end to said shaft and is so constructed that said rewinding means has a substantially constant torque throughout the normal use of the bar assembly.
7. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 2 in which said rewinding means is connected at one end to said tubular member and at the other end to said shaft and is so constructed that said rewinding means has a substantially constant torque throughout the normal use of the bar assembly.
8. An apparatus for a physical exercising device as defined in claim 7 in which said rewinding means includes a cylindrical housing and having a radial wall supporting said housing on said tubular member, and said rewinding means includes a spring strip connected at one end to said shaft and at the other end to said cylindrical housing and being so constructed and designed that the force created by said strip is in the area at which said strip leaves the winding on said shaft.
9. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 1 in which said reel at each end of said shaft includes a spiral groove for receiving said line as it is wound on the reel.
10. An apparatus for physical exercising, comprising a base for supporting the user of the apparatus, a line holding means attached to said base, a bar assembly having a rotatable, longitudinal shaft, a reel means connected to said shaft and rotatable therewith, a line connected to said line holding means and windable on said reels, a hand grip on said bar assembly, and means operated by said hand grip for frictionally controlling the rotation of said shaft and thereby controlling the force required to unwind said reel and lift said bar assembly and spring means for rewinding the line on said reel means.
1 1. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 10 in which the apparatus includes two lines interconnecting said base and said reel means.
12. An apparatus for physical exercising as defined in claim 10 in which a single line interconnects said base and reel means and two hand grips are included in said bar assembly.