US 3871646 A
An apparatus which may be used by physical therapists, musicians, athletes, and others for the purpose of exercising the hands and fingers and parts of the arm involved therewith. A base includes projecting sides, an upwardly projecting end on one end and a folding platform on the other end which has a wrist or arm rest thereon. Small padded finger loops mounted in adjustable sleeves are connected to pull cables attached to respective coil springs which are removably attached to the upwardly extending end. The thumb pulls with cables and coil springs are attached to the sides. The entire device may be inverted on a table for finger "hammer" action with the hand down. An optional frame may be attached to the base and the support changed to a different support so that the hand, wrist and arm may be exercised on a roller supported from elastic members on said frame. An optional arm rest is provided for adjustable positioning.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Slack Filed:
EXERCISE APPARATUS Inventor: Robert W. Slack, 635 Sycamore St.,
Decatur, Ga. 30030 Feb. 26, 1973 Appl. No.: 335,578
U.S. Cl 272/67, 84/467, 272/83 R,
272/82, 272/DlG. 4, 272/68 Int. CL. A63b 21/00, A63b 23/00, G09b 15/06 Field of Search 272/67, 68, 82, 83 R;
References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS Mar. 18, 1975 Primary E.raminer-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerR. T. Stouffer Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Patrick F. Henry An apparatus which may be used by physical therapists, musicians, athletes, and others for the purpose of exercising the hands and fingers and parts of the arm involved therewith. A base includes projecting sides, an upwardly projecting end on one end and a folding platform on the other end which has a wrist or arm rest thereon. Small padded finger loops mounted in adjustable sleeves are connected to pull cables attached to respective coil springs which are removably attached to the upwardly extending end. The thumb pulls with cables and coil springs are attached to the sides. The entire device may be inverted on a table for finger hammer action with the hand down. An optional frame may be attached to the base and the support changed to a different support so that the hand, wrist and arm may be exercised on a roller supported from elastic members on said frame. An optional arm rest is provided for adjustable positioning.
ABSTRACT 9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures f shim OF l- PATENTEDHARI s BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Exercise and therapeutic devices particularly for hands, arms, and fingers. Class 272 Subclasses 67 and 68 should be considered.
2. Description of the Prior Art 1 The following issued patents are noted:
248,980 2,50l,9l9 l,l75,226 867,981 2,476,518 638,632 494. l 97 3,606,3 l6 1,204,437 585,799
Generally, devices which can be manipulated by individual fingers against spring pressure or other resistance are quite old in the art as evidenced by the above noted patents. A
The problem with such devices is primarily one of versatility and optional exercises whereby various functions in different positions of the hand and fingers may be performed without a complicated and expensive arrangement. Some of the devices provide finger exercises in the position of a piano player when pushing down with the fingers but do not provide any means for adjusting the position of the fingers and wrist or to change the elevation or the like. Other devices provide finger exercising similar to pushing down the keys of a piano against a weight or spring but these do not provide pulling exercises for the fingers or other motions of the fingers which are necessary to proper strengthening and conditioning. Furthermore, some of the prior art devices are limited to exercise with the hand in the palm-down position and do not provide any exercise for the hand in the opposite position. Accordingly, there is a need for a device of the sort provided by the present apparatus wherein the fingers may be exercised in a pulling motion and also where there is variation in the amount of tension as well as in the position of the hand and fingers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a finger exercise device which may be used in the exercising of the fingers individually (all joints) or in clusters and in either the palm-up or palm-down position of the hand and with the wrist supported.
Another object of this invention resides in the simple adjustment of the tension on each finger which in one form is accomplished by crossing the cable from the finger pull to the spring over dowels to change the tension. Tension may also be increased or decreased by adjustment means.
Another object of the present invention is found in the use of a frame which is an optional attachment having an arm rest removably positioned thereon and a hand gripping member which may be pulled or turned and twisted against resilient resistance.
Still another advantage of the present invention is found in the arrangement for inverting the finger exercise device whereby the hand may be turned over and the same finger pulls used.
An additional object of the invention is found in a modification which uses padded finger pushers acting against resilient means such as coil springs on the same base as the other arrangement.
Other and further objects and advantages of my invention will appear upon reading the following description of a preferred embodiment in conjunction with the several figures of the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the finger exercise device without the optional frame.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along lines 3-3 in FIG. 2. 7
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating an optional attachment frame for hand and arm exercise attached to the base of FIG. 1 which is shown in dotted lines.
FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a rear elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a front end elevation view of the exercise device of .FIG. 1 inverted for the palm-down exercise of the fingers doing the hammer action.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 8-8 in FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 the device is referred generally and overall by reference numeral 10 and comprises a base designated generally by reference numeral 12 constructed from a flat board 14 having an upstanding end 16 on one end and a hinged platform 18 on the other end attached by means of a hinge 20. Rigid, vertical sides 22, 24 extend upwardly on opposite sides partially along the length of the base 12. A plurality of finger exercise devices designated generally by reference numeral 26 each comprises a finger ring 28 having a small prismatical pad 30 thereon and each ring 28 is attached to a cable 32 which slides in an adjustable tube 34 adjustably screw threaded into a tapped opening in an angle bracket 40 attached to the surface of the board 14. Tube 34 adjusts to fit any size hand or varying finger length thereby making it universal.
Each cable 32 has the end opposite from the finger ring 28 connected to a respective coil spirng 42 which is detachably hooked to an adjustable eyebolt assembly 44 passing through the end 16 and having an eyebolt 44a with threaded portion 44b receiving wingnut 44c.
A plurality of metal dowels or pins 45 are arranged generally to separate each of the cables 32 from the other and form guide means for the cables 32. As illustrated by the dotted lines shown in FIG. 1 any of the cables 32 may be lifted by stretching spring 42 and placing the cable around a different group of pins 45 thereby increasing the tension on the cable 32 as it is pulled by the finger inserted in the ring 28 against the pad 30. Eyebolts 44a may be adjusted to tighten or loosen cables 32 by moving wingnuts 440.
On each of the sides 22, 24 there is a thumb exerciser also using the same finger ring 28, cable 32, coil spring 42 and adjustable eyebolt 44 which passes through a small bracket 48 attached to the sides 22, 24 respectively.
The hinged platform 18 is arranged to be swung over or flat against the back side of board 14 when the entire device 10 is inverted in the manner shown in FIG. 8. There are a plurality of holes 50 in platform 18 into which fits a pair of pins 52 on the bottom of a palm block rest 54 in the form of a cylinder in the embodiment of FIG. 1.
In the operation of the device shown in the position of FIG. 1, the operators hand is placed in the palmdown position in the same fashion generally as would be in playing the piano and each finger is inserted through a respective finger ring 28. The operator proceeds to pull and exercise, flexing the fingers individually or in plurality bending all the joints at the same time (the thumb ring 28 action has been previously described in connection with FIG. 1 above). The palm block 54 may be moved to different hole locations 50 thereby changing the angle and extent of pull on the different digital members and the tendons involved. Also palm block 54 is adjustable in holes 50 to fit different size hands. Removal of palm block 54 sets up for exercises with palm up.
With reference to the position of the device shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, it should be noted that the top edges 54, 56 of the sides 22, 24 are slanted as noticed in FIG; 8 so that the bottom 14 inclines from a higher inclination at the finger rings 28 to a lower inclination at the end 16. In this position, the platform 18 is folded over and against the bottom of the bottom 14 to get it out of the way. Then, the hand may be placed in the palmdown position and the fingers inserted through the respective finger rings 28 (as seen in FIG. 8).
An optional attachment is shown in FIG. 4 and since it may be used with the base 12 shown in FIG. 1 or with any base to which it is attached, the base 12 has been shown only in dotted lines and the details of the finger pulls 26 which are not used in this version are omitted. However, the platform 18 supports an arm rest 64 which is a tapered three-dimensional configuration having a soft foam rubber or plastic pad 66 on the top against which the forearm rests. A spacer block 65 between platform 18 and arm rest 64 raises the main wrist support to place the wrist parallel for rotating exercises. The attachment is designated generally by reference numeral 68 and comprises a rectangular frame consisting of four frame members 70 having four respective corner legs 72 constructed from lightweight aluminum channel'or other suitable material extending and depending therefrom and being cross connected by braces 74. Each leg 72 is provided with a slot which passes around studs 76 having wingnuts 78 to hold the frame 68 firmly in elevated position. Supported within the frame in elastic bands 80 is a solid roller 82 having end plates 84 with openings 86 in which are attached S links 88 around which the elastic band 80 is connected and which band 80 is also looped around another S link 88 inserted in holes 90 in the respective frame member'70. The end plates 84 are tightened on the roller 82 by means of a shaft 94 extending through the roller 82 and a wingnut 96 tightened on shaft 94.
In the operation of theattachment 68, the arm is positioned either with the palm up or the palm down so that the hand can grasp the roller 82 and then the roller may be turned and twisted against the action of the elastic members 80 as well as pushed down, pulled up, pulled forward or pushed backward while at the same time changing the position of the forearm and even the position of the upper arm. It is possible to vary the particular exercises considerably during the period of exercise until a number of repeats have been accomplished or until the exerciser is tired.
While I have shown and described a particular embodiment of this invention together with a suggested mode of operation thereof this is by way of illustration only so as to disclose a preferred embodiment and does not constitute any sort of limitation since various alterations, changes, deviations, eliminations, substitutions,
additions, revisions and departures may be made in the particular embodiment shown without departing from the scope of my invention as defined only by interpretation of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In an exercise device:
a. a base having finger exercise members mounted thereon,
b. each of said finger exercise members comprising a finger portion into which a finger is inserted, a resilient means actuated by said finger and a connecting member connecting said finger member to said resilient means,
0. upstanding sides on opposite sides of said base and each of said sides being inclined whereby said base may be inverted to incline said finger members and raise same above the level of a support surface whereby the hand may be inverted to a palm-down position and the finger member actuated in this position, and a platform including means to support the limb of a user when said device is being used in the upright base position, said base being movably mounted on said base to be swung out of the way when using said device in the inverted base position.
2. The device in claim 1 wherein there is. an optional hand and wrist, exercise device for attachment to said mounted c. a plurality of pins on said base defining spaces 1 through which pass the connecting members for connecting said finger members to said resilient means,
d. each of said connecting members being liftable and repositionable across other selected pins thereby to increase the tension in the resilient means to adjust to the tension on the finger pull.
4. The device in claim 3 wherein said resilient means are coil springs and said members connecting said coil springs to said finger members being elongated on said base and spaced above the bottom of the base whereby the fingers may be actuated to pull in different direc tions on each of said springs.
5. The device claimed in claim 3 wherein there are side support means on said base and a finger exercise on at least one side comprising a finger member, a resilient means and a means connecting said finger member to said resilient means. 1
6. The device claimed in claim 3 wherein each finger member is a loop having a small pad thereon.
6 a support bracket on said base having a small tubular and on opposite sides thereof and a hand member member thereon through which the member for resiliently mounted thereon, connecting said resilient means to said finger loop id h nd member being suspended on opposite passes.
7. The device claimed in claim 6 wherein each of said 5 tubular members is adjustably mounted on said bracket whereby said tubular member may be adjusted to conends thereof on said frame by a plurality of resilient members, said resilient members each being connected to a different position on said support memform to any finger configuration. bets and 8. In an exercise device: d. a removable arm support positionable on said base a. a base having a hand and wrist exercise device for 10 for use to sPpport the arm Wh'le operanng the hand attachment th t member with the hand. b. said hand and wrist ex i d i comprising a 9. The device in claim 8 wherein said removable supframe attached to said base, said frame having support is adjustable in height. port members positioned at the top of said frame-