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Publication numberUS3874375 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 1, 1975
Filing dateJun 13, 1973
Priority dateJun 13, 1973
Publication numberUS 3874375 A, US 3874375A, US-A-3874375, US3874375 A, US3874375A
InventorsJohn H Penner
Original AssigneeJohn H Penner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Back therapy and exercise apparatus
US 3874375 A
Abstract
A back therapy and exercise apparatus having a heavily padded horizontal knee bar made of pipe and with the padding formed of resilient foam material such as foam rubber wrapped with plastic, and a padded toe bar in parallel horizontally spaced relation to the knee bar and also made of pipe. A flexible ladder consisting of horizontal pipe sections supported on chains depends from the opposite ends of the knee bar. A trapeze is positioned with its horizontal bar slightly above and spaced laterally from the knee bar, and a rope having knots at spaced intervals depends from the trapeze to permit a user to grasp the trapeze bar, climb the flexible ladder, hook his knees over the knee bar, hook his toes under the toe bar, and lower himself to an inverted position by means of the knotted rope for the desired length of time.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Penner [4 1 Apr. 1,1975

[ BACK THERAPY AND EXERCISE APPARATUS 22 Filed: June 13, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 369,709

[52] U.S. Cl 128/75, 272/61, 272/62, 272/63 [51] Int. Cl. A61h 1/02, A63b 1/02 272/57 R, 60 R, 61-85, 272/62, 63; 128/25 R, 75'

[58] Field of Search OTHER PUBLICATIONS Martial Arts Supplies co., Ad. in Black Belt Magazine, 3-1973.

Marcy Gymnastic Equipment Co., Brochure 10-1963. Station 10.

Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Joseph R. Taylor Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Schapp and Hatch [57] ABSTRACT A back therapy and exercise apparatus having a heavily padded horizontal knee bar made of pipe and with the padding formed of resilient foam material such as foam rubber wrapped with plastic, and a padded toe bar in parallel horizontally spaced relation to the knee bar and also made of pipe. A flexible ladder consisting of horizontal pipe sections supported on chains depends from the opposite ends of the knee bar. A trapeze is positioned with its horizontal bar slightly above and spaced laterally from the knee bar, and a rope having knots at spaced intervals depends from the trapeze to permit a user to grasp the trapeze bar, climb the flexible ladder, hook his knees over the knee bar, hook his toes under the toe bar, and lower himself to an inverted position by means of the knotted rope for the desired length of time.

7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR' 1 ms 3. 874.375 sum 2 0f 2 FIE--7- BACK THERAPY AND EXERCISE APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a BACK THERAPY AND EXERCISE APPARATUS, and more particularly to a device for supporting a body in a relatively comfortable inverted position.

Various devices have been used to provide traction to individuals for purposes of therapy and exercise. Such devices typically comprise cables, pulleys, weights and cycling machines designed to apply a pulling force to various spinal and abdominal muscles. Various other devices use the full body weight to act as an elongated load to the axis of the body to thereby apply traction to the body and spine. Such devices typically apply support for the body in an inverted position to provide natural traction as well as relieve spinal compression which naturally occurs when the body is in its normal upright position. US. Pat. No. 3,593,708 to Steele is typical of such devices. Such devices frequently lack means for easily mounting or dismounting. Furthermore, they typically are constructed to impose various unwanted curvatures on the spine.

Although it is possible for a patient to suspend himself from a trapeze bar, such devices do not lend themselves to comfortable suspension of a patient in an inverted position since the weight of the entire body is distributed over a relatively small area in contact with the bars.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The Back Therapy and Exercise Apparatus of the present invention provides a heavily padded knee bar suspended from an overhead support with the bar and support preferably made of pipe or tubing. A padded toe bar is spaced laterally from the knee bar and is also made of pipe or tubing. The padding is formed of a resilient foam material such as foam rubber with plastic wrapped around the foam rubber. The user may thereby hook his knees over the padded knee bar and hook his toes under the padded toe bar to depend his body in an inverted position. The full body weight thereby acts as an elongating load to the long axis of the body. The padding of the knee bar distributes the body weight over a larger area to permit comfortable suspension of the user in the inverted position. The padded toe bar makes hanging by the knees more comfortable and provides a safety factor in keeping the user from accidently falling from the apparatus.

A flexible ladder consisting of horizontal pipe sections supported on chains depends from the opposite ends of the padded knee bar. A trapeze is positioned with its horizontal bar slightly above and spaced laterally from the knee bar with a rope having knots at .spaced intervals depending from the trapeze. A user may mount the apparatus by grasping the trapeze bar, climbing the flexible ladder, hooking his knees over the knee bar, hooking his toes under the toe bar, and lowering himself to the inverted position by means of the knotted rope. After the user has hung inverted for the desired length of time, he may dismount from the apparatus by the same procedure in reverse order.

In the preferred embodiment, the apparatus is hung from an overhead supports such as rafters or joists. In an alternative embodiment, the apparatus is mounted on a free standing support rather than an overhead support. In the latter embodiment, the knee bar may be supported between a pair of horizontal parallel members each connected to a pair of inverted U-shaped support members. The toe bar may be provided by the horizontal portion of one of the inverted U-shaped members. In this embodiment, the trapeze may be mounted on the horizontal portion of the second U- shaped member or, alternatively, the knotted rope may be attached directly to the support with the trapeze eliminated.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a back therapy and exercise apparatus capable of providing traction treatment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a suspension appparatus for supporting a user in an inverted position so that the full body weight can act as an elongated load through the: long axis of the body.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a heavily padded horizontal knee bar over which a user may hook his knees for suspension in an inverted position with the weight of the user distributed over the surface of the padding.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a ladder and cooperating knotted rope apparatus for mounting a back therapy and exercise apparatus.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a manually engageable trapeze bar spaced horizontally from a knee bar of a back therapy apparatus for use in mounting the back therapy and exercise apparatus to permit the user to be suspended therefrom in an inverted position.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the specification proceeds, and the new and useful features will be fully defined in the claims appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred form of the present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view on an enlarged scale taken substantially along the plane of line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, with a user mounting the apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view similar to that of FIG. 3, but showing the apparatus being used to provide back therapy and exercise;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view ofa modified form of the apparatus of the present invention incorporating a free standing support structure;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the form of the invention shown in FIG. 5 being used to provide back therapy and exercise; and

FIG. 7 is an end view of the apparatus of FIG. 5.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a back therapy and exercise apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention and having a knee bar 11 wrapped with padding 12 over which a user may hook his knees and a toe bar 13, spaced laterally from knee bar 11 by members 14 and 16, and under which a user may hook his toes or feet for hanging in an inverted positlon.

As shown in FIG. 2, the diameter of the padding 12 is substantially greater than that of the knee bar 11 to provide a large weight bearing surface comfortable to the backs of the knees. The padding 12 is preferably formed of a resilient foam material such as foam rubber, and may have sheet plastic wrapped around the foam rubber to prevent excessive wear. The bars 11 and 13 may be solid or made of hollow pipe or tubing for lightness and strength.

As here shown, knee bar 11 is suspended by vertical members 17 and 18 from an overhead support such as members 19, 21, 22 and 23 adapted to be fixedly attached to a ceiling 24 by conventional fastening means (not shown).

A trapeze bar 26 is positioned slightly above and laterally apart from the knee bar 11 and is suspended from the support structure by flexible chains 27 and 28. A rope 29 having spaced knots 30 is suspended from the trapeze bar 26. A flexible ladder formed of chains 31 and 32 and having rungs 33, 34, 35 and 36 depends from the opposite ends of padded bar 11.

As shown in FIG. 3, in order to mount the apparatus, a user 40 grasps the trapeze bar 26 climbs the rungs 3336, hooks his knees over the knee bar 11 and hooks his feet near his toes under the padded toe bar 13. The user then lowers himself to an inverted position, as shown in FIG. 4, by means of the knotted rope 29 and hangs inverted for the desired length of time. The user dismounts from the apparatus by following the above described procedure in reverse order.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 a knee bar 38 having padding 39 is mounted on parallel bars 41 and 42. Both bars 41 and 42 are connected to inverted U-shaped members 43 and 44 and are further supported by diagonal braces 46. The inverted U- shaped member 43 is connected through slip joints 47 to supporting legs 48 and 49, and inverted U-shaped bar 44 is connected through slip joints 51 to supporting legs 52 and 53.

A knotted rope 54 is suspended from inverted U- shaped bar 44, as shown in FIGS. and 6. A chain ladder comprising chains 56 and 57 and rungs 58, 59, 61 and 62 is connected to opposite ends of knee bar 38 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7. The toe bar 63 is here provided by the horizontal portion ofinverted U-shap'ed member 43 with some padding wrapped around it to cushion the instep of the user.

The user mounts the free standing embodiment of the present invention by grasping the knotted rope 54 or member 44, climbing rungs 58, 59, 61 and 62 of the flexible ladder, hooking his knees over the knee bar 38, and hooking his toes under the toe bar 63. The user then lowers himself to an inverted position as shown in FIG. 6, by means of the knotted rope 54, and remains suspended for the desired length of time. The user then dismounts from the apparatus by simply following the above described procedure in reverse order, first, climbing hand over hand up the rope 54, then disengaging his legs from bars 39 and 63 and climbing his feet down ladder 57.

It is apparent therefore, that the present invention is adapted to support the body weight of the user in a relatively comfortable inverted position. The padding on the knee bars permits distribution of the weight of the user to increase comfort in use of the invention. The present invention thereby permits inverted suspension of the user without unwanted curvatures on the spine. The present apparatus also provides for easy and safe mounting and dismounting by the user.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

I claim:

1. A back therapy and exercise apparatus, comprising a horizontal padded knee bar supported in fixed position sufficiently high from the floor for the user to hang suspended by his knees therefrom and allow his weight to stretch his spine,

a padded second bar mounted in parallel horizontally spaced relation to and above said knee bar in position for the user hanging from said knee bar to hook his insteps under said second bar,

a flexible ladder hanging freely from said knee bar and having vertically spaced parallel horizontal rungs,

and a manually engageable third bar mounted in parallel horizontally spaced relation to and above said knee bar on the side thereof opposite to said second bar whereby the user grasps said third bar and walks his feet up said rungs of said flexible ladder until the user can place his knees over said knee bar and his insteps under said second bar.

2. An apparatus as described in claim 1 and wherein a manually engageable flexible member having spaced enlargements therealong is suspended freely from said third bar whereby the user raises and lowers his upper body hand over hand between a position grasping said third bar and a position hanging from his knees from said knee bar.

3. An apparatus as described in claim 2 and wherein said flexible member is a rope with spaced knots therein.

4. An apparatus as described in claim 1 and wherein said flexible ladder comprises a pair of chains each connected to opposite ends of said second bar, and a plurality of spaced parallel rungs connecting said chains.

5. An apparatus as described in claim 1 and wherein said apparatus is incorporated into a free standing frame.

6. An apparatus as described in claim 5 and wherein said freestanding frame comprises laterally spaced side frame.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1529467 *Feb 21, 1923Mar 10, 1925Belanger Joseph PGymnastic apparatus for children
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3958801 *Apr 2, 1975May 25, 1976Correa Ronald JProtective cushion for gymnastic equipment
US4154233 *Aug 11, 1977May 15, 1979Brown James EHuman support apparatus
US4165873 *Mar 28, 1977Aug 28, 1979Draper George CExercising parallel bar
US4461287 *Mar 25, 1982Jul 24, 1984Hiroshi TakahashiPortable exercise and traction apparatus
US4470408 *Jun 9, 1982Sep 11, 1984Gordon Donald WGravity traction and exercise apparatus
US4489713 *Dec 1, 1982Dec 25, 1984Latenser John FFlexion-traction back relaxing system
US4492373 *Nov 1, 1982Jan 8, 1985Max DzitzerBody therapeutic and exercising apparatus
US4503845 *Dec 17, 1981Mar 12, 1985Back-Ease Products, Inc.Apparatus for supporting a user in an inverted position
US4566693 *Jun 7, 1982Jan 28, 1986Stretch Forming CorporationGravity traction apparatus
US4606539 *Dec 6, 1983Aug 19, 1986Farnham Richard DPhysical therapy device
US4690133 *Sep 12, 1985Sep 1, 1987George Achilles NInversion apparatus
US6671897Dec 9, 2002Jan 6, 2004Alfred M. VotypkaLift assisting device and stabilizing device for a bather and a shower, respectively
US7909748 *Oct 28, 2009Mar 22, 2011Reebok International Ltd.Exercise apparatus
US8197391 *Nov 13, 2008Jun 12, 2012Ruschell Rebecca SBallet barre cover
US20120295766 *May 21, 2011Nov 22, 2012Nelson Casey MPortable Inversion Apparatus
EP0116371A2 *Feb 14, 1984Aug 22, 1984Hans OetikerFitness therapy apparatus
EP0610839A2 *Feb 7, 1994Aug 17, 1994Bernhard FobbeDevice for supporting the body in an upside down position
WO1994008546A1 *Oct 15, 1993Apr 28, 1994Michel ChabilandGravitational relaxation apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification606/241, 482/144, 482/24, 482/41
International ClassificationA63B7/00, A61H1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B7/00, A61H1/0218, A61H2203/0493
European ClassificationA61H1/02D, A63B7/00