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Publication numberUS3896672 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1975
Filing dateJul 2, 1973
Priority dateJul 2, 1973
Publication numberUS 3896672 A, US 3896672A, US-A-3896672, US3896672 A, US3896672A
InventorsMilton W Fisher, Glen E Henson
Original AssigneeRobar Mini Gym Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise apparatus
US 3896672 A
Abstract
An exercise apparatus providing for accommodating resistance while allowing the level of resistance to the exercise force to be varied is provided by the present invention. The exercise apparatus also includes a movable arm for indicating the magnitude of the force exerted by a user of the apparatus. A frictional member is journaled on a rotatable shaft which is rotated by a user of the apparatus and means is provided for varying the frictional force against the member. Centrifugal force responsive structure is also provided which is responsive to the speed of rotation of the shaft and increases or decreases the frictional force in accordance with increases and decreases in the speed of rotation. An arm for indicating the magnitude of the force exerted by a user of the apparatus is coupled with the frictional member and holds the member against rotation with the shaft while accommodating a limited degree of pivotal movement. Thus, the arm will move in accordance with the degree of movement of the frictional member which is, in turn, proportional to the force exerted. The invention also provides for continuous recording of the exerted force on a roll of paper which is unwound by a drive mechanism coupled with the rotatable shaft.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Henson et al.

[451 July 29,1975

EXERCISE APPARATUS Inventors: Glen E. Henson, Independence;

Milton W. Fisher, Jackson, both of Mo.

Primary Examiner-James J. Gill Assistant Examiner-Anthony V. Ciarlante Attorney, Agent, or FirmLowe, Kokjer, Kircher, Wharton & Bowman [57] ABSTRACT An exercise apparatus providing for accommodating resistance while allowing the level of resistance to the exercise force to be varied is provided by the present invention. The exercise apparatus also includes a movable arm for indicating the magnitude of the force exerted by a user of the apparatus. A frictional member is journaled on a rotatable shaft which is rotated by a user of the apparatus and means is provided for varying the frictional force against the member. Centrifugal force responsive structure is also provided which is responsive to the speed of rotation-of the shaft and increases or decreases the frictional force in accordance with increases and decreases in the speed of rotation. An arm for indicating the magnitude of the force exerted by a user of the apparatus is coupled with the frictional member and holds the member against rotation with the shaft while accommodating a limited degree of pivotal movement. Thus, the arm will move in accordance with the degree of movement of the frictional member which is, in turn, proportional to the force exerted. The invention also provides for continuous recording of the exerted force on a roll of paper which is unwound by a drive mechanism coupled with the rotatable shaft.

6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEB JUL2 91975 SHEET 1 EXERCISE APPARATUS This invention relates to exercising apparatus generally, and more particularly to apparatus which provides for accommodating resistance and structure for indicating the magnitude of force exerted by a user of the apparatus.

This invention is an improvement in exercise apparatus of the type disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,640,530, issued Feb. 8, 1972. This patent is expressly incorporated herein by reference to the extent necessary to obtain a full and complete understanding of the present invention.

A general discussion of isotonic and isometric exercises as well as isokinetic exercises which can be performed with the apparatus of the present invention are discussed in the above-referenced patent. There has been a definite need in isokinetic exercisers for a device which can vary the resistance level by a predetermined amount to accommodate persons of greatly varying strength.

While the isokinetic exercise apparatus disclosed in the above-referenced patent provides for some degree or measuring the force exerted by a user of the apparatus, such a measuring device has depended upon movement of the entire framework of the exerciser which has proved to be a relatively expensive construction.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide isokinetic exercise apparatus wherein the accommodating resistance may be adjusted to different predetermined minimum resistance levels thus offering a greater range than is possible with prior art devices having a non-variable accommodating resistance.

As a corollary to the above object, an objective of the invention is to provide a variable accommodating resistance which can offer greatly increased resistance potential utilizing only a single frictional member as a result ofthe member being sandwiched between two relatively movable members both having surfaces engageable with the frictional member.

As still another corollary to the object second above, an aim of this invention is to provide an isokinetic exerciser wherein the resistance level of the accommodating resistance may be preset simply by turning a knob located conveniently for a user of the apparatus.

Another important aim of this invention is to provide an isokinetic exerciser having an arm for indicating the force exerted by a user of the apparatus wherein the indicator arm does not depend upon movement of the supporting framework to provide the necessary indication.

Another objective of this invention is to provide an isokinetic exerciser wherein the accommodating resistance is provided by a frictional member engageable with centrifugal force responsive means and including an arm for indicating the amount of force exerted by a person using the exerciser wherein the arm is coupled directly with the frictional member to provide for increased accuracy as well as simplified construction.

Another one of the objects of this invention is to provide an isokinetic exerciser having an arm for indicating the amount of force exerted by a user of the apparatus and wherein a continuous graphic record of the force is made on a length of paper which is continually advanced throughout the exercise movement.

Referring now to the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the isokinetic exercise apparatus of the present invention showing the relative locations of the adjustable resistance control and the continuous graphic record of force exerted;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, top plan view of the exercise apparatus with the covering case removed;

F IG. 3 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the exercise apparatus taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged top plan view of the accommodating resistance mechanism of the invention with portions being shown in cross section to reveal details of construction;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view of the exercise apparatus illustrating an alternative form of elevator arm;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top plan view of the calibrated dial which is used in conjunction with the alternative form of indicator arm as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.

Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, the exercise apparatus of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 10. Apparatus 10 comprises a supporting framework 12 of generally U-shaped crosssectional configuration, as is most readily apparent from viewing FIG. 4. The framework 12 provides a supporting base for the working mechanism of the apparatus as well as for an external covering case 14. A pair of foldable foot rests 16 are hingedly coupled with framework 12 and the same may be moved from a position in planar alignment with the supporting base of framework 12 to a folded position adjacent the sidewall of carrying case 14 as indicated in FIG. 2.

A relatively large externally toothed drive gear 18 is pinned to a shaft 20 which is rotatably supported by framework 12. Also keyed to shaft 20 is a spool 22 around which a rope 24 is coiled. One end of the rope is rigidly secured to the spool. At the end of spool 22 adjacent gear 18 an annular dish-shaped housing 26 encloses a ratchet and pawl assembly (not shown). The ratchet and pawl assembly is described in detail in the above-referenced patent and permits the direction of rotation of spool 22 to be reversed under the influence of a coil spring (not shown) without turning gear 18 in reverse. Manifestly, the free end of rope 24 is secured to a handle 28 which is normally disposed outside of case 14 where it can be easily grasped by a user of the apparatus.

Also rotatably mounted on framework 12 in parallel relationship to spool 22 is an externally polygonal shaft 30 which mounts accommodating resistance mechanism designated generally by the numeral 32. One end of shaft 30 carries a gear 34 which is coupled for rotation with the shaft and is operably engaged with the relatively large drive gear 18. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the other end of shaft 30 is provided with threads 36 for mounting a complementally threaded adjusting knob 38. An elongated sleeve 40 has an internal surface complemental to the polygonal surface of shaft 30 and rotatably mounts the shaft within a bushing 42 carried by the supporting framework. The end of sleeve 40 adjacent knob 38 is flared outwardly into an annular projection 44 which complementally receives knob 38.

The opposite end of sleeve 4ft terminates in an integral flange d6.

A first frictional member 48 is journaled on shaft 30 and presents first and second frictional surfaces sandwiched between second and third members in the form of discs 50 and 52 which are coupled for rotation with the shaft 30. The centrifugal force responsive mechanism for increasing the frictional resistance between members 40, i8, 54) and 52 in direct relationship to the force exerted by a user of the apparatus comprises first and second elongated levers 5 3 and se disposed on opposite sides of shaft E il and keyed to the latter by a common pin 58. Each lever 54 and 56 has an integral outturned end bfl and 62 respectively for bearing against a block 64 that is rotatably coupled with shaft 30 while being movable longitudinally of the latter. First and second leaf strips on and 6% are interposed between block :64 and disc 5t) and are also rotatably coupled with shaft 30.

Disposed along the length of levers 5 and 56, and rigid therewith, are weights 7t) and '72 respectively. Each of the weights has a cutaway portion of a general configuration complementa! to the shaft 35th so as to partially surround the latter. Outward movement of levers 54 and 56, in response to centrifugal forces when shaft 30 rotates, is resisted by coil springs 74 and 76 respectively which are pinned to shaft 36D by bolts 75 and 81) respectively.

As shaft 3t) rotates and member 5th grasps frictional member 48 with increasing force, the latter is prevented from rotating with the shaft by a link 52 which couples frictional member 48 with an indicator arm be which carries a marking instrument 86. indicator arm 84 and its associated mechanism will now be described in greater detail. Disposed at the end of framework l2 opposite spool 22 is an elevated platform which mounts a roll of translucent marking paper 56). A length 92 of the paper roll 90 is threaded between a generally U-shaped trough W3 and a transparent backing plate 96 (H6. 3). A window 98 in the trough 94 allows marking instrument 86 to mark on the paper with support from backing plate 96. Adjacent the free end of the length of paper 92 is a friction roller MW which is rotatably mounted on platform 88 and is in frictional engagement with the paper as it bears against trough 9 A rod Hi2 extending parallel to shaft 3t) is rotatably mounted by framework l2 and is provided with a drive gear 104 adjacent one end. Gear MM is operably coupled with a reduction gear train ith which in turn is operably engaged with gear 3 1 on shaft 3t). The opposite end of rod M02 is provided with a bevel gear Mil that is operably engaged with a second bevel gear Zllltl for driving roller llllti through an integral spool H2 and associated drive shaft i114. Link 82, previously described. is of generally lrshaped configuration and has an ex tension 82a projecting perpendicular to the shorter leg of the link for mounting arm 34. Projection 82a is journaled in a tab support lilo rigid with supporting framework 12. A coil spring M8 has one end coupled with link 82 and the other end secured to an upwardly pro jecting bracket 120 so as to resist movement of link 82 under the influence of frictional member Manifestly, while link 82 prevents rotation of the member with shaft 3%, a limited degree of pivotal movement is accommodated which movement is utilized to measure the force exerted by a user of the exercise apparatus.

When a user of the apparatus l0 positions his feet on foot rests it) and pulls on handle 28, shaft 30 is rotated at a speed proportional to the force exerted by the exerciser. Accordingly, levers 54 and 56 with weights and '72 thereon will move outwardly to a greater extent in response to centrifugal forces as the speed of rotation of the shaft increases. As levers 54 and 56 move outwardly they force member 50 into tighter and tighter engagement with member 48 to thereby increase the frictional resistance between the members. To this end, knob 38 has been screwed on the shaft 30 a predetermined distance to cause sleeve All to move longitudinally of the shaft and member 52 to engage member 458 with a predetermined force. Thus, the minimum level of resistance offered by the exercise apparatus is determined by the extent to which knob 3 is screwed onto shaft fill The frictional resistance between the members will continue to increase beyond this predetermined minimum level as member 50 grasps member 48 within increasing force in response to movement oflever arms 54 and 56. It is to be emphasized that rather than simply providing an adjustment for moving frictional member'48 closer to member 50, the sleeve sit) in cooperation with knob 38 actually pro vides for twice the braking action at the very outset of the exercise movement by virtue of the fact that member 52 rotates with shaft 30 while being in engagement with member 38. The magnitude of the minimum frictional resistance level may be increased even above twice what has heretofore been possible by screwing knob 38 still further onto shaft 30.

Springs 7 and '76 assure return of levers 54 and 56 to their at rest positions as the speed of rotation of shaft 30 is slowed. This, in turn, assures that contact between frictional member 48 and member 50 will be broken when desired.

While link 82, which is coupled with member 48 by a pin connection 82b holds the frictional member against rotation with shaft 30, a limited degree of pivotal movement is accommodated. This pivotal movement is translated to indicator arm 84 through link 82 and marking instrument 86 records the movement on length 92 of the roll of paper 94). Manifestly, member 48 can move only when the person exercising overcomes the frictional resistance between this member and members 50 and 52. Thus, the limited degree of pivotal movement of member 45 will be directly proportional to the force exerted by the person exercising. Since paper is translucent in nature and backup plate 96 is transparent, a person exercising may observe the continual graphic recording of the force they are exerting through an opening 122 in case Ml. Roller lltl ll, which is driven through gear train ms, rod 102, and gears Mm and lit) continues to unroll paper throughout the exercise movement to provide a continual recorded graph of exerted force. Movement of link til is always away from coil spring 118 which assures that arm 84 will be returned to its at rest position as pivotal movement of member 48 ceases.

Referring now to the alternative embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 63-h, construction of this alternative embodiment is, in every respect, identical to the construction of the embodiment described above with the exceptions noted hereinafter. A modified case 11M encloses the accommodating resistance mechanism of the apparatus and is provided with a dial i224 calibrated in units'of force which is readily visible to a person exercising with the apparatus. An indicator arm 184 has a hand portion 185 which moves along the face of dial 124 to indicate to a person exercising the magnitude of force exerted. Arm 184 is coupled withfrictional member 48 through an integral depending shank portion 187 and associated linkage as will now be described.

A first, generally L-shaped link 182 has one end secured to frictional member 48 by a nut and bolt assembly 182b or other appropriate connector. The opposite end of link 182 is coupled with a second elongated link 1183 which moves within a sleeve 189 mounted on a supporting platform 183. Link 183 is, in turn, coupled with one end of a bell crank 12% pivotally mounted on platform 188. The other end of the bell crank is coupled with a third link 128 which is operably connected with a gear track 130. Gear track 130 is reciprocable back and forth between two spaced apart housings 132 and 134 which receive opposite ends of the gear track.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, housing 134 extends upwardly topresent a collar 136 that receives shank portion 187 of arm 184. An integral washer 138 on arm 184 provides a bearing surface and seats shank portion 187 within collar 136. Rigid with the lowermost end of shank portion 187 is an externally toothed gear 1MB which is operably engaged with gear track 130.

Shank portion 187 is provided with a central bore of a size to tightly receive the end of an upright pivot rod 142. Thus, pivot rod l4). will turn with arm 184 and, to this end, the lowermost end of rod 162 is rotatably mounted in a bushing 144. Rigid with pivot rod 142 is a counterweight res.

The lowermost portion of Lshaped link l82 is of a greater cross-sectional dimension than either of the two ends of the link and is hollowed out to receive an elongated extension 143 which projects outwardly from the link and has its far end slidably received by a bracket 150 supported by framework 12. Extension .1438 thus provides a guide for link 182 and a coil spring 152 re sists movement of the link under the influence of frictional member 48. A second spring 154 coupled with third link 128 and a third spring 156 coupled with bell crank 126 cooperate with the spring 152 to assure return of arm 184 to its at rest position.

Again referring to dial 124, it is seen that a second indicator arm 284 is pivotally mounted on the face of the dial. This second arm is freely and independently pivotal through an arc of 180 degrees and, as a result of a tab projection 158, arm Field is carried by arm 18 The modified structure of the exercise apparatus, as above described, is utilized to provide a user of the apparatus with an indication of the force exerted rather than utilizing roll of paper 9% to provide a continuous graph of the force. Thus, as member moves a limited degrees as the exercise force increases, arm lfl i will move along the face of dial 124 to indicate to the exerciser the amount of force exerted. Arm 284 will be carried by the arm 184 to the position of the maximum force exerted where it will remain until reset at the end of the exercise. Counterweight 146 assures smooth movement of the arm i3 3 and minimizes hunting" of the arm as a result of small variations in the force exerted.

Having thus described the invention, we claim:

1. Exercise apparatus comprising: a framework;

rotatable shaft means mounted on said framework;

a first member journaled on said shaft and having first and and second frictional surfaces; a second member rotatably coupled with the shaft and movable longitudinally of the shaft toward and away from said first surface of the first member for engagement with the latter upon rotation of the shaft; third member rotatably coupled with the shaft on the side of said first member opposite said second member and movable longitudinally of the shaft into engagement with said second surface of the first member whereby to sandwich said first member between the second and third members; means adapted to be acted upon by a user of the apparatus for rotating said shaft;

means for moving said second member in the direction of said first member to engage the second member against the first surface of the first member with increasing force as the speed of rotation continues to increase, and for withdrawing the second member from the first surface of the first member as the speed of rotation decreases;

a roll of marking paper mounted on said framework;

a marking instrument for making a mark on the paper corresponding to the magnitude of the exerted force;

a drive roller in engagement with a length of the paper;

a gear train for driving said roller in response to rotation of the shaft; mean for and yieldable means supported by the framework and disposed for resisting the pivotal movement of said first member.

2. The invention of claim 1, said paper being translucent, and wherein is included a transparent backing plate rigid with said supporting framework for said paper immediately opposite said marking instrument, the latter being disposed beneath said plate whereby a user of the apparatus may observe the markings on said paper.

3. Exercise apparatus comprising:

a framework;

rotatable shaft means mounted on said framework;

a first member journaled on said shaft and having first and second frictional surfaces;

a second member rotatably coupled with the shaft and movable longitudinally of the shaft toward and away from said first surface of the first member for engagement with the latter upon rotation of the shaft;

a third member rotatably coupled with the shaft on the side of said first member opposite said second member and movable longitudinally of the shaft into engagement with said second surface of the first member whereby to sandwich said first member between the second and third members;

a first member journaled on the shaft and presenting a frictional surface;

a second member rotatably coupled with the shaft and movable toward and away from the frictional surface for engagement with the latter upon rotation of the shaft;

means adapted to be acted upon by a user of the apparatus for rotating said shaft;

centrifugal force responsive structure rotatably coupled with said shaft and responsive to the speed of rotation of the shaft for first moving said second member in the direction of said first member to engage the second member with increasing force as the speed of rotation continues to increase, and for withdrawing the second member from the first member as the speed of rotation decreases;

a roll of marking paper mounted on said framework;

a marking instrument for making a mark on the paper corresponding to the magnitude of the exerted force;

linkage means for coupling said first member with said instrument and for accommodating a limited degree of pivotal movement of the first member while holding the latter against rotation with the shaft;

a drive roller in engagement with a length of the paa gear train for driving said roller in response to rotation of the shaft; and

yieldable means supported by the framework and disposed for resisting the pivotal movement of said first member.

4. The invention of claim 3, said paper being translucent, and wherein is included a transparent backing plate rigid with said supporting framework for said paper immediately opposite said marking instrument, the latter being disposed beneath said plate whereby a user of the apparatus may observe the markings on said paper.

5. The invention of claim 4, wherein is included a first gear rigid with said shaft, and said gear train comprises a plurality of reduction gears operably engaged with the first gear for driving said roller at a reduced speed relative to the speed of rotation of the shaft.

6. The invention of claim 5, wherein is included a trough supported by said framework for guiding said paper as the latter is unrolled, said drive roller being supported by the framework and bearing against said trough, and wherein is further included a rod operably coupled with one of said reduction gears and extending in the direction of the roller, said roller being provided with a first bevel gear rigid therewith, and a second bevel gear rigid with said rod and operably engaged with the first bevel gear for driving said roller.

UPHTED ST- TES ERTIFICATE O1 GRRECTIUN Patent 3,896,672 Dated Jug 29, 1 975 lnventofls) Glen Henson and Milton W. 'Fisher It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby correct-ed as shot-m below: I

Col. 6 line 3O, mea ns' for and" shouldbe deleted I Col. 6, between lines and 31 the following. should be in seir ted as a separate pa tagra p h; j-link ag e-.means for; coupling said first meniber vithfsa'id instrument and for .ac commodatin g a limited degree of pivotal movement of the fitstmember while holding theyl a tte'r egalnstrotetion with the shaft; and-f Signed and Scaled this [SEAL] thirtieth of September1975 A nest:

RUTH C. MASON C. MA Armslin 0 17 RSHALL DANN (vmmlsxinnvr nflalenls and Tradcmarkx

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2199955 *Dec 17, 1937May 7, 1940Eugen KruckForce measuring device
US3640530 *Apr 10, 1969Feb 8, 1972Henson Glen EExercise apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4041760 *Mar 14, 1975Aug 16, 1977Robar Mini-Gym, Inc.Exercise apparatus
US4050310 *Mar 17, 1976Sep 27, 1977Keiser Dennis LExercising apparatus
US4082267 *May 12, 1976Apr 4, 1978Flavell Evan RBilateral isokinetic exerciser
US4184678 *Jun 21, 1977Jan 22, 1980Isokinetics, Inc.Programmable acceleration exerciser
US4307608 *Jan 14, 1980Dec 29, 1981Fitness Motivation Institute Of AmericaApparatus for digitally displaying muscle strength
US4374588 *Dec 15, 1980Feb 22, 1983Isokinetic Sales Co.Isokinetic exercise device with speed control
US4607841 *Dec 16, 1982Aug 26, 1986Gala Jeffrey AIsometric exercise apparatus
US4625961 *Dec 16, 1983Dec 2, 1986Brand Dieter C HTransportable home energy training device and sprocket
US4824104 *Jul 10, 1987Apr 25, 1989Bloch Ralph FIsokinetic exercise method and apparatus, using frictional braking
US4848152 *May 4, 1987Jul 18, 1989Pratt Jr G AndrewBiofeedback lifting monitor
US4912638 *Dec 23, 1988Mar 27, 1990Pratt Jr G AndrewBiofeedback lifting monitor
US4930770 *Dec 1, 1988Jun 5, 1990Baker Norman AEccentrically loaded computerized positive/negative exercise machine
US5147265 *Dec 13, 1991Sep 15, 1992Nordictrack, Inc.Rotation-activated resistance device
US5302161 *Feb 13, 1992Apr 12, 1994Noordictrack, Inc.Flexible line guidance and tension measuring device
US7998038Apr 7, 2005Aug 16, 2011Keiser CorporationExercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
US8323158Jun 28, 2004Dec 4, 2012Keiser CorporationExercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
Classifications
U.S. Classification73/379.6
International ClassificationA61B5/22
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/153, A63B2021/0026, A63B21/22, A61B5/224, A63B2071/027, A63B23/12
European ClassificationA63B21/15F4, A61B5/22D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 29, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: HENSON, GLEN E. 3510 SOUTH COLLEGE, INDEPENDENCE,
Owner name: MGI STRENGTH/FITNESS, INC.
Effective date: 19790817
May 29, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: HENSON, BRADLEY JACKSON, MO
Owner name: HENSON, GLEN E. 3510 SOUTH COLLEGE, INDEPENDENCE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MGI STRENGTH/FITNESS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004262/0314
Effective date: 19790817
Owner name: HENSON, GREGORY JACKSON, MO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HENSON, HELEN;REEL/FRAME:004261/0866
Effective date: 19800528