US 3929331 A
An exercise device having a flexible line wound about a spool and attached to a handle for pulling by an operator. A disc is mounted in a facing relationship with the spool on an axle, and spreading means are positioned between the disc and spool and operate upon pulling of the handle to actuate a braking means and apply a resistance to rotation of the spool in proportion to the amount of pulling force applied to the handle. A rewind means automatically rewinds the line about the spool, and a force indicating means is provided. The spool and disc have opposed indentations in their facing surfaces which increase in depth in opposite directions about an arc on the surfaces, and spherical spreading means are positioned within the indentations.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Dec. 30, 1975 United States Patent 1 91 Beeding  EXERCISE DEVICE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Inventor: Jack D. Beeding, Rockford, 111.
 Assignees: E. Dale Mask, Milwaukee, Wis;
625,607 9/1961 Italy 272/83 R 250,515 12/1969 73/136 R Ernest M. Mattox, Independence,
Primary ExaminerRichard C. Queisser Assistant Examiner-Marcus S. Rasco Mo. a part interest to each Oct. 15, 1974  Appl. No.: 514,382
Attorney, Agent or Firm-Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 355,
554, April 30, 1973,
 U.S. 272/79 D; 73/135; 73/379;
272/DIG. 3 A63B 21/00 tioned between the disc and spool and operate upon pulling of the handle to actuate a braking means and 51 Int.
 Field of Search 73/379, 380, 381, 135; pp y a resistance to rotation of the Spool in p p 272/79 R, 83 R, 83 A, DIG. 3, DIG. 5 79 D- 128/25 192/93 tion to the amount of pulling force apphed to the handle. A rewind means automatically rewinds the line  References Cited about the spool, and a force indicating means is pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS vided. The spool and disc have opposed indentations in their facing surfaces which increase in depth in op- RRA 663 33 MHZ 339 771 Chilton 4/1960 Zeidler et al.
Brighton et a1.
Henson et a] a a? -ufii M 3 3 3 US. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 EXERCISE DEVICE CROSS-REFERENCE TO A RELATION APPLICATION This application is a continuation of my application Ser. No. 355,554, filed Apr. 30, 1973, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION An exercise device that will resist a force applied to it in proportion to the amount of the applied force is very desirable. Such devices enable a person to exert maximum effort throughout a range of motion, and are generally referred to as isokinetic exercise devices.
Isokinetic exercise devices presently available include complex motor driven machinery, used primarily in physical therapy and the like. Such devices are far too expensive to be practical as a home or office exercise device. Another presently available isokinetic exercise apparatus is described in US. Pat. No. 3,640,530. The apparatus described therein has enjoyed considerable success, but it is also quite complex and requires considerably maintenance for satisfactory operation.
A need exists for an isokinetic exercise device that is simple and durable, and which can be used in the home or office, or used as a portable exercise device by a traveling person.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to this invention, an exercise device is provided which applies variable resistance in proportion to the force exerted by an operator throughout a range of movement. The device of this invention utilizes a self-energizing braking means, described in detail below, which produces a braking force directly proportional to the force applied to the device. The self-energized braking force results from a wedging action between a first movable braking member and a second stationary braking member. The device of this invention is simple, rugged, and reliable, and can be used conveniently in a home, office or the like. The device is compact, and can be conveniently taken along on business trips and vacations.
The device of this invention comprises, in one of its forms, a flexible line attached at one end to a handle and at the other end to a spool. The line is wound upon the spool, which is rotatably mounted on an axle supported by a framework. A coil spring rewind mechanism allows for repetitive operation of the device.
The variable resistance is provided by a braking means which resists the rotation of the spool by an amount proportional to the force applied to the operating handle, thus enabling an operator to carry out isokinetic exercises according to the individual operators strength capabilities.
The exercise device of this invention includes a disc mounted adjacent to the spool, with the disc and spool having facing surfaces with spreading means positioned therebetween within indentations preferably in both the disc and spool surfaces. The spacing means preferably are spherical balls, and the indentations preferably increase in depth in at least one of the facing surfaces about an arc.
When the spool is rotated, as by pulling on the flexible line, the spreading means causes the disc and spool to move slightly apart axially. The disc upon spreading 2 apart contacts a braking surface, thus providing a braking reaction to the disc and also to the spool which rotates with the disc.
According to one aspect of the invention, a second disc also has the braking force applied thereto. .This second disc is mounted for limited radial movement against a spring or the like such that the amount of radial movement thereof is indicative of the amount of force applied thereto. Through suitable linkage, this limited radial movement actuates a force indicator. A coil type rewind spring attached to the spool in a conventional manner returns the spool to the starting position.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an assembly is provided for use in a self-energized torque-responsive device, the assembly including a pair of rotatable members mounted in an adjacent, facing relationship with spreading means therebetween. The spreading means are positioned within identations in the facing surfaces, and the indentations increase in depth about an arc such that the surfaces are urged apart upon rotation of a first one of the members in a first direction, but are not urged apart upon rotation of the first member in the other direction.
It is a primary object of this invention to provide an exercise device that will apply a resistive force to movement of an operating handle in proportion to the amount of force exerted on the handle.
It is a further object to provide such an exercise device that is simple, compact and reliable.
It is still a further object of the invention to provide an assembly for use in a torque-responsive device.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a self-energized torque-responsive exercise device.
That the above and other objects and advantages are obtained by the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an exercise device in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is'a cross-sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, illustrating the interior of the device.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, partially broken away, taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective exploded view illustrating the arrangement of parts of an assembly in accordance with one aspect of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4, with the spread-apart position of a disc shown in phantom.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The preferred embodiments of the invention will now be. described in detail with reference to the drawings. It
3 platform for an opeators feetduring operation of the device. Alternatively, the housing 11 could be permanently affixed to a floor or the like, resulting in a permanent installation. An operating handle 13 is shown attached to one end of a flexible line 14 which, in this instance, comprises a manually operable means.
The internal workings of the device 11 are illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4. A pair of supporting posts 15 and 16 extend upwardly from the base 12 and support an axle 17 at their upper ends. A first member which herein takes the form of a sheave or spool 18 is rotatably mounted on axle 17 over bushing 19 (FIG. 3), and has a groove 20 adapted to receive a plurality of windings of line 14 as best seen in FIG. 2. The line 14 is attached to spool 18 by means of an opening 21 drilled into groove 20 of spool 18 (FIG. 3). The line 14 is inserted in the opening 21 and retained therein by means of set screw 22.
A member or disc 23 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is rotatably mounted on axle 17 to the left of spool 18, and a second disc 24 is mounted for limited rotational movement on axle 17 at the left of first disc 23. The reason for limiting the rotational movement of second disc 24, and the preferred manner of doing so, will be explained below. Positioned between first disc 23 and second dis 24 are a pair of friction plates 25 and 26. The number of friction plates could be more or less than two, but preferably a pair of plates are utilized.
A rewind spring 27 is attached at one end to spool 18 by pin 28 (FIG. 3) and at the other end to base 12 by eye 29. A spring retainer plate 30 keeps the coils of spring 27 in vertical alignment. A thrust bearing 31 (FIG. 3) is positioned at the right edge of bushing 19, and retainer snap rings 32 and 33 retain first disc 23, second disc 24, spool 18 and thrust bearing 31 on axle 17.
Located between adjacent facing surfaces of spool 18 and first disc 23 are a plurality of spreading means, illustrated as spherical balls 34. The balls 34 are received within raceways or indentations 35 in the opposing surfaces of first disc 23 and spool 18. The indentations 35 in accordance with the preferred embodiment increase in depth along an arc (FIGS. 5 and 6) such that relative rotation of disc 23 and spool 18 results in a spreading apart of disc 23 and spool 18 as illustrated in phantom in FIG. 6. Thus, it will be seen that upon pulling of handle 13, spool 18 will rotate, resulting in an initial spreading apart of disc 23 and spool 18. The spreading motion is limited by the retainer snap rings 32 and 33, however, so that after the spreading apart, the disc 23 will rotate with spool 18 due to the driving connection provided by the balls 34 in indentations 35.
As the disc 23 is moved axially away from spool 18, it will press against friction plates 25 and 26, which in turn will press against second disc 24. Since second disc 24 is not free to rotate, a resultant retarding or braking force results against continued rotation of spool 18. The disc 24 thus constitutes a braking element. Due to the unique arrangement of elements, increased force applied to line 14 results in increased braking force upon continued rotation of spool 18, such that an operator can exert maximum effort throughout the effective range of movement of handle 13, while the resulting braking force will prevent rapid unwinding of line 14.
It will be apparent that the above described braking action could be achieved if second disc 24 were rigidly affixed, but an indication of the force being applied to handle 13 can be obtained by mounting second disc 24 for limited rotational movement. The details of the preferred manner of mounting second disc 24 will now be described.
A first protuberance 36 terminating in a ball 37 (FIGS. 2 and 4) extends radially outward from second disc 24. The ball 37 seats in the upper end of a spiral spring 38 supported vertically from base 12 by post 39. Thus, rotation of spool 18 will result in a rotational force being applied to second disc 24, and the rotation of disc 24 will be limited by the spiral spring 38 such that disc 24 will only rotate a few degrees, depending on the compressive strength of spring 38.
Extending from the top of disc 24 is a second protuberance 40, which extends through a slot formed by arms 41 and 42 (FIG. 4) extending horizontally from the depending arm portion 43 of an indicator needle 44 pivotally secured to the top of housing 11 by a bearing 45. It will be seen that as spool 18 is rotated the second disc 24 will be urged against the spiral spring 38 and will move slightly, with a resultant movement of needle 44 which is proportional to the force exerted on handle 13. A scale 46 (FIG. 1) calibrated in appropriate units of force indicates to the exerciser how much force he is exerting throughout the range of movement of handle 13. Upon relaxation of the force on handle 13, the braking force is released or reduced, and the rewind spring 27 returns the device to its starting position. During rewinding, the balls 34 withdraw to the deepest part of the indentations 35 (FIG. 6) such that first disc 23 is not pressed against friction plates 25 and 26. The rewind spring 27 allows for rapid, repetitive exercise.
A device in accordance with the above described preferred embodiment may have a carrying handle 47 for convenience in transporting the device. The base 12 could be foldable to increase compactness, if desired.
The operation of the device 10 is quite apparent from the above description, but will be outlined briefly. An operator first positions his feet on the portions of base 12 extending outward of the housing 11. The operator then grips the handle 13 and pulls upwardly, tending to unwind the line 14 from spool 18. A guide means 48 (FIG. 2) serves to keep the windings of line 14 within the groove 20 of spool 18. As line 14 unwinds from spool 18, first disc 23 is spread apart from spool 18 by the action of balls 34 in indentations 35 between disc 23 and spool 18. First disc 23 then presses against friction plates 25 and 26, which in turn press against second disc 24, resulting in a radial force being applied to second disc 24. Second disc 24 rotates only slightly due to the restraining action of spring 38, and the slight rotation is reflected in movement of indicating needle 44, which indicates to the operator by means of scale 46 how much force is being applied to the handle 13. Upon completion of the movement, the handle is allowed to return to the starting position by action of rewind spring 27, and the action is repeated as desired.
A more general aspect of the invention is the provision of a torque-responsive clutch or braking device which is effective or engaged during rotation of a first member in one direction, and which is ineffective or disengaged during rotation of the member in the other direction. This aspect of the invention is best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, which show a first member or spool 18 having a plurality of indentations 35 spaced arcuately on a surface thereof. A second member or disc 23 also has a plurality of indentations 35 spaced thereon, the indentations 35 on spool 18 being spaced to be opposite matching indentations on disc 23 when the two elements are placed in a facing relationship (FIG. 5). The indentations on both members increase in depth along an arc, and when the spool 18 and disc 23 are in a facing relationship, the indentations on the two elements increase in depth in opposite directions, such that limited relative rotation of the two will result in an axial spreading apart of the two as best illustrated in FIG. 6. This spreading apart can be utilized to produce a braking or clutching action in any of a number of ways, and limited relative rotation of the two elements in the other direction will be seen to allow for moving together of the two elements, with resultant release of the braking or clutch action. The particular assembly described could be utilized in numerous situations where a releasable action is desired.
The above description-of the preferred embodiments of the invention is intended to illustrate the best known versions of the invention, and such description is intended to be exemplary, rather than limiting. It will be apparent that design variations could be made within the true scope of the invention. For example, instead of the spreading means being positioned between opposed faces of a disc and spool, the spreading means could be positioned between circumferential elements of the members and adapted to spread a brake band against a drum. Also, instead of indentations with balls therebetween, a similar action could be obtained by utilizing projections from one or more members which would provide a resistive force through a camming action, for example. The invention could be readily adapted for use in a bench press device or other type of exercise apparatus, in addition to the hand operated version illustrated. Numerous other equivalent means could be designed within the true scope of the invention, which is to be defined by the appended claims.
1. In an exercising device, the combination of, a support, first and second members disposed in face-toface relation on said support and mounted to rotate about a common axis, said members being supported for relative rotation and for relative axial movement, means connected to said first member and operable to rotate said first member in one direction when moved manually during the performance of an exercising operation, a series of angularly spaced raceways formed in the opposing inboard faces of said members and positioned such that the raceways of one member are substantially alined with the raceways of the other member, substantially spherical balls captivated within the alined raceways and operable to rotate said second member in said one direction while spreading said members axially during rotation of said first member in said one direction, and a braking element mounted on said support and frictionally engageable with the outboard face of one member as an incident to such spreading thereby to retard rotation of said members and resist movement of said manually operable means.
2. An exercising device as defined in claim 1 in which the raceways in said first member are curved substantially arcuately about said axis and increase in depth upon progressing in said one direction, the raceways in said second member also being curved substantially arcuately about said axis but decreasing in depth in said one direction whereby said balls spread said members axially only when said first member is rotated in said one direction.
3. In an exercising device, the combination of, a support, first and second members disposed in face-to- 6 face relation on said support and mounted to rotate about a common axis, means captivating said first member from shifting axially away from said second member, said second member being free to rotate relative to said first member and also being free to shift axially away from said first member, means connected to said first member and operable to rotate said first member in one direction when moved manually during the performance of an exercising operation, means for rotating said second member in said one direction in response to rotation of said first member in said one direction while permitting limited relative rotation of said members and while shifting said second member axially away from said first member as an incident to such relative rotation, said last-mentioned means leaving said members free to rotate in the opposite direction without substantial axial shifting of said second member away from said first member and comprising:
a. a series of raceways spaced angularly around the inboard face of said first member, said raceways being curved substantially arcuately about said axis and increasing in depth upon progressing in said one direction,
b. a series of raceways spaced angularly around the inboard face of said second member and disposed in substantial alinement with the raceways in said first member, the raceways in said second member also being curved substantially arcuately about said axis but decreasing in depth upon progressing in said one direction, and
substantially spherical balls captivated within the alined raceways, and said exercising device further comprising a braking element captivated on said support against axial movement away from said second member and frictionally engageable with the outboard face of said second member during axial shifting of the second member thereby to retard rotation of said members in said one direction.
4. In an exercising device, the combination of, first and second members disposed in facing relation, said members being supported for relative turning about a predetermined axis and also being supported for relative bodily shifting, means operable to turn said first member in one direction relative to said second member when said means are moved manually during the performance of an exercising operation, a series of raceways formed in the opposing faces of said members and positioned such that the raceways of one member are substantially alined with the raceways of the other member, spreading devices captivated within the alined raceways and operable to force said members apart when said first member is turned relative to said second member in said one direction, and braking means operable to automatically retard movement of said manually movable means when said members are forced apart by said spreading devices.
5. An exercising device as defined in claim 4 in which said spreading devices comprise substantially spherical balls, the raceways in said first member extending substantially arcuately about said axis and increasing in depth upon progressing in said one direction, the raceways in said second member also extending substantially arcuately about said axis but decreasing in depth in said one direction whereby said balls force said members apart only when said first member is turned in said one direction relative to said second member.