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Publication numberUS3885789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1975
Filing dateJun 21, 1974
Priority dateJun 21, 1974
Also published asCA1021368A1, DE2526625A1, DE2526625C2
Publication numberUS 3885789 A, US 3885789A, US-A-3885789, US3885789 A, US3885789A
InventorsMichael E Deluty, Morton A Levine
Original AssigneeMichael E Deluty
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercising device
US 3885789 A
Abstract
An exercising device having a housing which is attached to a stationary surface. A cord with a hand grip on its free end can be pulled out of the housing against the internal resistance of the exercising device. The amount of internal resistance can be varied by means of a control knob. An automatic rewind mechanism draws the cord back into the housing when the cord is released. The device has, as a specific feature, a manually adjustable resisting force mechanism. This mechanism includes the combination of a stationary capstan around which the cord is wrapped, and a variable force friction nip mechanism which (a) retards the cord as it is pulled out of the housing, and (b) maximizes the capstan's frictional resistance by keeping the cord tightly wound around the capstan as the cord is being pulled out of the housing.
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United States Patent 1 Deluty et al.

[111 3,885,789 [4 1 May 27, 1975 EXERCISING DEVICE [75] Inventors: Michael E. Deluty, Brookline;

Morton A. Levine, Belmont, both of Mass.

[52] US. Cl 272/83 A; 242/147 R; 242/156.l; 272/DIG. 3 [51] Int. Cl A63b 21/02 [58] Field of Search..... 272/83 A, 79 R, 80, DIG. 3; 242/l56.l, 147

Primary Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thompson, Birch, Gauthier & Samuels [5 7] ABSTRACT An exercising device having a housing which is attached to a stationary surface. A cord with a hand grip on its free end can be pulled out of the housing against the internal resistance of the exercising device. The amount of internal resistance can be varied by means of a control knob. An automatic rewind mechanism draws the cord back into the housing when the cord is released. The device has, as a specific feature, a manually adjustable resisting force mechanism. This mechanism includes the combination of a stationary capstan around which the cord is wrapped, and a variable force friction nip mechanism which (a) retards the cord as it is pulled out of the housing, and (b) maximizes the capstans frictional resistance by keeping the cord tightly wound around the capstan as the cord is being pulled out of the housing.

13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,137,349 4/1915 Patterson 272/83 A 1,867,642 7/1932 Woods 272/83 A X 3,544,105 12/1970 Latta 272/83 A 3,596,907 8/1971 Brighton et al. 272/83 A EXERCISING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Previous exercising devices of this type have usually taken the form of complex mechanisms, or have taken the form of simple mechanisms employing friction brakes acting directly on the pull cord. The complex mechanisms are relatively expensive to construct. The simple mechanisms wear out the cord when high resistance force levels are frictionally applied against the cord.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an exercising device which is a simple mechanism, which is inexpensive to construct, and which does not employ high resistance force friction brake shoes on the pull cord. 1

A further object of this invention is to provide an exercising device on which the operator can manually select a variety of specific pull cord resistance force levels.

A still further object of this invention is to provide an exercising device which the operator can utilize in a true exercising motion as if he were lifting a barbell or a dumbbell.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The exercising device of the preferred embodiment of this invention has a hollow housing in which a rotatably mounted retractor reel is spring-loaded in the rewind direction. A flexible cord is attached to the retractor reel and extends out of the housing where his fitted with a hand grip. When little or no pulling force is exerted by the operator on the hand grip, the retractor reel rewinds the cord into the housing.

When the operator pulls on the hand grip, the outward pulling force on the cord is resisted by a combination of three mechanisms mounted within the housing. These mechanisms can be manually adjusted to produce various levels of resistance. The first resisting mechanism is the retractor reel which continuously produces a small biasing force on the cord in the rewind direction.

The other two mechanisms resisting the outward pull .of the cord both operate to apply friction force to the cord as it is being pulled out (unwound) by the operator and both apply no friction force to the cord as it is being rewound by the retractor reel. The friction nip mechanism has a spring-loaded support member and an opposed spring-loaded pivoted jamming arm which cooperate to form a nip through which the cord is led from the retractor reel. The spring tension on the support member can be manually adjusted by the operator to vary the force applied by the nip on the cord in opposition to the exteriorly applied pulling force on the cords hand grip.

After the cord passes from the retractor reel through the friction nip mechanism, it is led to and is passed at least one full turn around the capstan and then is led out of the housing. The capstan can be locked in a stationary position to oppose the cords being pulled out of the housing, or it can be unlocked and allowed to free wheel as the cord is being pulled out of the housing. In either position, the capstan is allowed to free wheel in the rewind direction. Because the capstan is inoperative unless the cord around the capstan is pulled tightly in both directions, the friction nip mechanism has the function of exerting a drag on the cord on the rewind side of the capstan for two purposes. First, it acts in opposition to the outward pull on the cord. Second, it causes the capstan to frictionally resist the outward pull on the cord.

In other words, at all times the retractor reel urges the cord in the rewind direction while the friction nip mechanism and the capstan apply no force on the cord as it rewinds. At all times, the friction nip mechanism applies frictional force on the cord to resist its being pulled out of the housing by the operator. At selected times, the capstan can be locked into its operative stationary position to cooperate with the friction nip mechanism and the retractor reel to all three act upon the cord to resist its being pulled out of the housing by the operator.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the exercising device of the preferred embodiment of this invention showing an operator holding the hand grip and pulling the cord out of the housing.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the exercising device showing details of the housing exterior.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the exercising device of FIG. 2 showing the housing interior and the mechanisms mounted therein.

FIG. 4 is a detail view of the exercising device of FIG. 3 showing the housing interior and the mechanisms mounted therein, the mechanisms being partially cut away for purposes of clarity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows a human operator performing a curling exercise with the exercising device 10 of this invention. The curling exercise is usually performed with a barbell and it is the purpose of FIG. 1 to show one example of v how exercising device 10 can be substituted for a barbell in weight training. The operator simply dials the. desired weight setting on the device and then uses the exercising device as if it were a barbell weighing the dialed amount. 1

Exercising device 10 is provided with a flexible pull cord 12, preferably made of nylon, and a detachable hand grip 14. Various different types of hand or other grips can be attached to the end of cord 12 in order to meet the requirements of various exercise routines. Examples of different grips include double grips, bar grips, loop grips, grips to fit the operators head, and grips to fit the operators feet. The exercising device of this invention is not limited to any specific type of grip attached to the end of pull. cord 12.

In order to hold the exercising device 10 in a station- I ary position (which is usually preferred), the exercising device is provided with various fittings, such as interior stanchions 16 (see FIG. 3) over which the eye of a short length of line 18 can be looped. Line 18 can then be attached to a foot rest 20, or to a wall fitting, or to a ceiling fitting, or to other fixed supports. It will be understood that a wide variety of such fittings is contemplated and this invention is not limited to any specific type or location of fitting, or any specific type or location of line, or any specific type or location of foot rest or other fixed support.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the exercising device 10 has a hollow housing 22 which has a cord opening 24 through which pull cord 12 extends. The outer end of cord 12 is fitted with hand grip l4 and the inner end of cord 12 is fixed to and is wrapped several times around retractor reel 26. Retractor reel 26 is rotatably mounted in the housing and is spring-powered in the clockwise or rewind direction. Preferably, retractor reel 26 exerts a continuous rewind force on the cord of approximately 1 to 3 lbs.'Thus, whenever the operator releases hand grip 14, or exerts less than the retractor reel rewind force, cord 12 will be drawn into housing 22 through opening 24 and will be rewound on reel 26. The size of hand grip l4 prevents the outer end of cord 12 from being drawn entirely into housing 22 through opening 24.

In order to provide a substantial force against cord 12 which will resist the operators outward pull on the cord, a manually adjustable variable resistance means is mounted within the housing between retractor reel 26 and housing cord opening 24. In the shown preferred embodiment, this variable resistance means is more specifically identified as a friction nip means which includes a support member 28, which contacts one side of cord 12, and a pivoted jamming arm 30, which is biased by spring 32 against the other side of cord 12. The purpose of the friction nip means is to apply frictional force against the cord as it is pulled in the unwind (outward) direction only. This frictional force must be overcome by the operator in order to pull the cord out of the housing. Furthermore, this frictional force is necessary to enable the capstan to operate effectively in its locked stationary position, as will be described subsequently.

Support member 28 can take various forms and, in the shown preferred embodiment, is a block having a rounded and grooved shoulder surface 34 which bears against and guides the cord 12 as the cord passes from retractor reel 26 through cord opening 24. Support member 28 also has a base portion 36 having guide surfaces on one exterior side which ride on mating guide surfaces which are provided on the adjacent interior wall of housing 22. By this arrangement, support member 28 can be reciprocated towards and away from cord 12 along a path which is perpendicular to the cord. Obviously, other types of guide means can be substituted for the shown mating guide surfaces.

Support member base portion 36 has a spring socket 38 formed therein. A helical spring 40 is positioned in socket 38 and is retained therein by threaded shaft 42. The shaft is carried by a smooth-bored shaft support block 44 which is formed on the interior wall of housing 22, and a control knob 46 is fixed on the exterior end of shaft 42. A collar 48 is mounted on shaft 42 to prevent axial movement of the shaft while permitting the shaft to be rotated by the control knob.

A floating nut 50 is provided with internal threads which mesh with the external threads on shaft 42. An indicating arrow 52 is fixed to floating nut 50 and extends through housing slot 54. Because the indicating arrow 52 is confined within slot 54, nut 50 cannot rotate when shaft 42 is rotated. Instead, when control knob 46 is rotated, shaft 42 is rotated, and nut 50 moves axially on shaft 42. This causes indicating arrow 52 to move along slot 54 and across weight dial 56 (as shown in FIG. 2).

It will be seen that as nut 50 compresses spring 40, the support member 28 is forced against the pivoted jamming arm 30 in the nip. Likewise, as nut 50 releases the pressure on spring 40, the support member 28 moves away from jamming arm 30 in the nip. During this axial nut movement, indicating arrow 52 moves across weight dial 56 which is calibrated to indicate, for example, 0 to 50 lbs. nip resistance force on the cord which must be overcome by the operator in order to pull the cord out of the housing. Thus, the operator, by turning control knob 46, can set the level of nip resistance which he wants the exercising device to exert against his pull on the cord.

The nip formed between support member 28 and jamming arm 30 exerts frictional force on the cord only during the outward (unwind) travel of the cord through the nip. This is because the jamming arm is positioned so that its free end is always pointed in the rewind direction and is therefore ineffective as a nip-forming component during the rewinding travel of the cord. The cord can be alternately pulled out and rewound back numerous times without becoming jammed in the nip because a relatively loose fit exists between the guide surfaces on the support member 28 and the guide surfaces on the interior housing wall. Thus, there is considerable support member lateral play which facilitates easy nip opening.

Accordingly, if the operator wishes to pull against say 35 lbs of resistance, he turns control knob 46 until the indicating arrow 52 aligns with the 35 lb. weight marking on dial 56. This means that nut 50 has compressed spring 40 the sufficient distance to achieve a 35 lb. nip pressure against the cord 12. When the cord is pulled outwardly, the jamming arm 30 wedges cord 12 against supportmember 28 to produce the desired nip frictional resistance. When the operator releases the cord, the nip opens, because jamming arm 30 pivots away, and cord 12 rewinds on retractor reel 26. Optimum functioning of the friction nip means is achieved by locating the pivot point of jamming arm 30 in line with the perpendicular travel path of the support member 28.

A second optional substantial cord resistance force is provided by the capstan which is generally indicated as 58. The capstan has an inoperative mode in which it freewheels in both directions and an operative mode in which it is either entirely stationary or in which it is sta-.

tionary in the outward or unwind direction (clockwise in FIG. 4). Capstan 58 has a fixed central shaft 60 mounted in the housing parallel to the central shaft of retractor reel 26. A flanged spool 62 is rotatably mounted on central shaft 60 and can revolve in either direction. A guide roller 64 is provided near cord opening 24 to guide cord 12 around capstan 58 and out of opening 24.

In the previously given 35 lb. resistance example, the

capstan was assumed to have been in its inoperative mode in which it freewheeled in both directions and functioned simply as a guide roller like guide roller 64.

When it is desired to substantially increase the resistance exerted by the exercising device against pull cord 12, the capstan 58 is locked into its operative mode. Capstan spool 62 is provided with four symmetrically spaced locking recesses 66 in its upper flat end surface. A locking lever 68 is mounted in housing 22 and can be pivoted between an inoperative position which maintains spring-loaded locking pin 70 above the locking recesses 66, and an operative position which lowers locking pin '70 into one of the four locking recesses 66. Once the locking pin 70 is lowered into. any of the locking recesses 66, the capstan spool 62 cannot rotate about shaft 60. A plurality of recesses 66'is provided simply for ease of locking. A greater or lesser number of recesses would also be satisfactory.

It is preferred to wrap cord 12 two and one-half turns around spool 62. Then, if the friction nip applies 35 lbs. of force against the outward pull of the cord, the locked capstan will multiply the resistance force by a factor of approximately ten so that the operator must exert a force of approximately 350 lbs. on the hand grip in order to pull cord 12 out of the housing. Obviously, many factors will affect the exact multiplying ratio produced by the capstan. Examples of these factors include the diameter of the capstan, the capstan surface roughness, the diameter of the cord, the cord material, the number of turns on the capstan, and numerous others. However, regardless of the exact multiplying ratio, the capstan will produce a substantial resistance force opposing the passage of the cord out of the housing.

As previously indicated, the capstan cannot effectively provide frictional resistance against the cord unless the cord is held tightly against the spool from both directions. For this reason, capstan operation requires the resistance produced by the friction nip. Likewise, for purposes of rewind, when the operator releases the hand grip, the small rewind force of retractor reel,26 is sufficient to draw the cord back into the housing because without an outward force on the cord, the cord simply slips on the stationary capstan spool.

There may also be certain exercises in which .the operator wishes to maintain a low level of outward force on the hand grip, yet desires for the cord to simultaneously rewind. In these situations, the retractor reel may not produce sufficient force to rewind the cord. Therefore, it is within the contemplation of this invention that the. capstan, in its operative mode, could be provided with a ratcheting mechanism wherein the spool is fixed against rotation in the unwind or outward direction yet is permitted to freely rotate in the rewind or inward direction. Also, instead of a ratcheting mechanism, many types of clutch mechanisms could be substituted to accomplish the same purpose.

In operation, when the operator desires to set the cord resistance force at a high level, he pivots locking lever 68 to the locked position and pulls cord 12 outwardly a short distance to rotate spool 62 until locking pin 70 drops into one of the locking recesses 66. This locks the capstan in its operative mode. Then, the operator twists control knob 46 to set the spring compression on the friction nip at the level which he desires as shown by the indicator arrow 52 on dial 56. Dial 56 is calibrated and marked so that one set of dial figures reflects the resistance force settings when the capstan is in its inoperative mode. A second set of parallel dial figures reflects the resistance force settings when the capstan is in its operative mode. In the preferred embodiment, the upper figures (operative mode) are a multiple of ten times the lower figures (inoperative mode). Thus, in the example used thus far, the arrow would read 35 lbs. on the lower dial figures and 350 lbs. on the upper dial figures. Of course, other resistance force level indicating arrangements could be provided to perform the same function as the illustrated arrangement.

This invention features a great ease of adjustability whereby the operator can set the cord resistance force levels across a very wide range by locking or unlocking the capstan and by dialing the desired spring tension on the nip. It is the combination of these two cooperative features which gives the exercising device of the preferred embodiment of this invention the superior qualities which it possesses.

The above description obviously suggests many possible variations and modifications of this invention which would not depart from its spirit and scope. It-

should be understood, therefore, that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of structure specifically described or illustrated and that within the scope of the appended claims, it may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described-or illustrated.

We claim:

1. An exercising device comprising:

a. a housing having a hollow interior and a cord openb. a cord retractor reel mounted for rotation within said housing;

0. rewind means for continuously urging said retractor reel in the rewind direction;

(1. a flexible cord fixed to and wrapped around said retractor reel; said cord running from said reel out of said housing through said cord opening; and

e. manually adjustable variable resistance friction nip means mounted within said housing between said cord retractor reeland said cord opening for applying frictional force to said cord, said friction nip means including a support member contacting one side of said cord, a pivoted jamming arm mounted on the other side of said cord, resilient means for continuously urging the free end of said pivoted jamming arm in the unwind direction against the other side of said cord to frictionally wedge said cord between said support member and said jamming arm as said cord is pulled out of said housing, said jamming arm pivoting in the rewind direction to unwedge said cord as said cord is retracted into said housing; said rewind means and said variable resistance friction nip means both cooperating to apply force to said cord to oppose an exteriorly applied manual force pulling said cord in the unwind direction, said friction nip means releasing force on said cord, and said rewind means retracting said cord in the rewind direction in the absence of an exteriorly applied manual force on said cord.

2. The exercising device of claim 1 further having means for resiliently urging said support member and said pivoted jamming arm towards each other along a path which is substantially perpendicular to said cord.

3. The exercising device of claim 2 wherein a line drawn along the support member path intersects with the jamming arm pivot point.

4. The exercising device of claim 1 further having means for permitting said support member to move within limits along a path which is substantially parallel to said cord.

5. The exercising device of claim 1 further having means for retaining the free end of said pivoted jamming arm on the rewind side of an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to said cord from the jamming arm pivot point.

6. An exercising device comprising:

a. a housing having a hollow interior and a cord opening;

b. a cord retractor reel mounted for rotation within said housing;

c. rewind means for continuously urging said'retractor reel in the rewind direction;

d. a capstan mounted within said housing, said capstan being fixed against rotationin the unwind direction in its operative mode;

e. a flexible cord fixed to and wrapped around said retractor reel, said cord running from said reel to and being wrapped at least one full turn around said capstan, said cord running from said capstan out of said housing through said cord opening; and

f. manually adjustable variable resistance friction nip means mounted within said housing between said cord retractor reel and said capstan for applying frictional force to said cord, said friction nip means including a support member contacting one side of said cord, a pivoted jamming arm mounted on the other side of said cord, resilient means for continuously urging the free end of said pivoted jamming arm in the unwind direction against the other side of said cord to frictionally wedge said cord between said support member and said jamming arm as said cord is pulled out of said housing, said jamming arm pivoting in the rewind direction to unwedge said cord as said cord is retracted into said housing;

g. said rewind means, said capstan, and said variable resistance friction nip means all cooperating to apply force to said cord to oppose an exteriorly applied manual force pulling said cord in the unwind direction, said friction nip means releasing'force on said cord, and said rewind means retracting said cord in the rewind direction in the absence of an exteriorly applied manual force on said cord.

7. The exercising device of claim 6 further having means for resiliently urging said support member and said pivoted jamming arm towards each other along a path which is substantially perpendicular to said cord.

8. The exercising device of claim 6 further having means for permitting said support member to move within limits along a path which is substantially parallel to said cord.

9. The exercising device of claim 6 further having means for retaining the free end of said pivoted jamming arm on the rewind side of an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to said cord from the jamming arm pivot point.

10. The exercising device of claim 9 wherein said retaining means includes a stop mounted in said housing.

11. The exercising device of claim 6 further having manual locking means cooperating with said capstan for selectively locking said capstan against rotation in the unwind direction in the operative mode, and for selectively unlocking said capstan to permit free wheeling in both directions in the inoperative mode;

12. The exercising device of claim 11 wherein said manual locking means includes a ratcheting mechanism which is engaged in the operative mode.

13. The exercising device of claim 6 wherein the axis of said capstan is parallel to and spaced from the axis of said cord retractor reel.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4027876 *Apr 7, 1976Jun 7, 1977Lyman Clarke JohnstonExercising apparatus
US4114875 *Mar 29, 1977Sep 19, 1978Deluty Michael EFriction type exercising device
US4174832 *Nov 8, 1976Nov 20, 1979Thompson Charles WFriction type exercise device
US4284272 *Feb 9, 1979Aug 18, 1981Tekron Licensing B.V.Exercise machines
US4294446 *Jul 23, 1979Oct 13, 1981Ronald E. UseldingerFriction type exercising device with improved friction setting indicator
US4811946 *Mar 18, 1988Mar 14, 1989Pelczar Stanley JWeight lifting apparatus
US4944511 *Jan 23, 1989Jul 31, 1990Paul S. FrancisAdjustable resilient reel exerciser
US5101735 *Aug 27, 1990Apr 7, 1992Williams Matti IConstant tension apparatus and method with eccentric cam to regulate tension
US5109690 *May 29, 1990May 5, 1992Nippondenso Co., Ltd.Tension apparatus
US5316535 *Sep 21, 1992May 31, 1994Ray BradburyUniversal exercise apparatus
US5397288 *Apr 14, 1994Mar 14, 1995Sayre; Cotter W.Resilient exercise device having pair of handles and protective spine
US6063014 *Apr 14, 1999May 16, 2000Scoggins; H. AltonPortable exercise device
US7060013 *Jun 28, 2002Jun 13, 2006Bedside Rehabilitation Technology, Inc.Versatile health care apparatus
US7087001Dec 24, 2002Aug 8, 2006Ihli Stephen PPortable handheld exercise apparatus which can be attached to a multiplicity of body parts
US7591763 *Mar 7, 2008Sep 22, 2009Gymflex Fitness, LlcPortable convertible multifunction exercise apparatus and method
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US8070657 *Feb 2, 2007Dec 6, 2011Andrew Robert LoachExercise machine
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US8465401Nov 10, 2010Jun 18, 2013Stephen P. IhliPortable exercise apparatus and methods
US8523745 *Nov 10, 2010Sep 3, 2013Stephen P. IhliExercise methods and apparatus
US8556783 *Nov 10, 2010Oct 15, 2013Stephen P. IhliExercise resistance methods and apparatus
US8556785 *Nov 10, 2010Oct 15, 2013Stephen P. IhliGolf exercise methods and apparatus
US8622879 *Nov 10, 2010Jan 7, 2014Stephen P. IhliExercise shoe methods and apparatus
US8998779Mar 5, 2013Apr 7, 2015Stephen P. IhliExercise resistance apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/120, 242/147.00R, 242/156.1
International ClassificationA63B21/00, A63B21/018
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/018, A63B21/00069, A63B21/1484, A63B21/153
European ClassificationA63B21/15F4, A63B21/018