Title:
EXERCISING MACHINE
United States Patent 3712613


Abstract:
An exercising machine having a frame with a chair mounted therein. the chair includes a seating portion with back rest and front leg rest portions pivotably mounted with respect thereto and means carried within the frame for independently pivoting the back rest and leg rest portions between raised and lowered portions.



Inventors:
Feather, Jack Vincent (Oakland, CA)
Walker, John W. (Arroyo Grande, CA)
Application Number:
05/140427
Publication Date:
01/23/1973
Filing Date:
05/05/1971
Assignee:
FEATHER J,US
WALKER J,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/57, 601/26
International Classes:
A61H1/02; A63B23/00; A63B21/00; A63B23/04; (IPC1-7): A63B21/02; A63B21/10; A63B21/24
Field of Search:
272/57R,58,72 128
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3641995EXERCISING CHAIR1972-02-15Brandt
3596654MACHINE FOR EXERCISING THE WHOLE BODY1971-08-03Tamura
3116062Exercising apparatus1963-12-31Zinkin
2893380Massage and exercise machine1959-07-07Walker
2688323Portable exerciser1954-09-07Miller
2550841Exercising device1951-05-01Martinez



Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Strappello, Harry
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. An exercising machine, comprising

2. The exercising machine of claim 1, wherein said separate leg press arms are pivotably held in said frame at the ends thereof, removed from said seating portion, and said means for pivoting said back rest and leg rest portions comprise motor means capable of independently raising and lowering said back rest, said central section, and said separate leg press arms.

3. The exercising machine of claim 2, wherein said leg press arms include pedals pivotably mounted at the ends thereof adjacent said seat, whereby, upon pivoting of said leg press arms to the raised position, a person situated in said chair can operate said pedals with his feet.

4. The exercising machine of claim 3, wherein said pivoting leg press arms include mechanical linkages interconnected to a sprocket means by cable and chain means, whereby actuation of said leg press arm by the foot of the user turns said sprocket against the action of an adjustable biassing means.

5. The exercising machine of claim 4, wherein said leg press arms are capable of being raised and held in the raised position by a motor acting through a chain and sprocket drive means attached to said pedal arm by a mechanical linkage.

6. The exercising machine of claim 1, wherein said central section is pivotably attached to said seat and is moved between the raised and lowered positions with respect to said seat and said leg press arms by the operation of a mechanical linkage coacting with said central section and gear means operated by a motor.

7. The exercising machine of claim 1, wherein said means for pivoting said back rest comprises a bracket arm connected between said back rest and a driven sprocket, a motor mounted on said bracket arm between said back rest and said sprocket, a drive sprocket held by said motor, and a drive means interconnected between said motor and said driven sprocket, a further sprocket secured to said driven sprocket, said further sprocket being supported on a chain, whereby, upon actuation of said motor, said sprockets will be rotated and said further sprocket will move along its chain to move said back rest between said raised and lowered positions with respect to said seat portion.

8. The exercising machine of claim 1, further including leg extension exercise means comprising leg hooks mounted within said frame adjacent said leg press arms, said leg hooks being interconnected with an adjustable spring tension means by a cable and drive means.

9. The exercising machine of claim 1, including a console mounted on said frame forwardly of said chair,

10. The exercising machine of claim 9, wherein said pivoting arms are further connected to adjustable spring tension means operative by the extension of a cable connected therewith through a drive means.

11. The exercising machine of claim 1, wherein a console is mounted on said frame forwardly of said chair, said console having a viewing screen capable of flashing visual instructions to a user of said chair and said chair including an audio unit mounted therein for giving verbal instructions to the user.

12. The exercising machine of claim 11, wherein said verbal and visual instructions are controlled by a tape inserted into said console, whereby a programed series of exercises may be performed by a user of said chair.

13. The exercising machine of claim 1, wherein said chair includes arm rests fixed to said frame on either side of said seat, said arm rests including control means whereby said back rest, and said leg rest portions, may be independently or simultaneously actuated between raised and lowered positions.

14. An exercising machine, comprising

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to exercising devices and, more particularly, to exercising machines in which a user may lie or sit and perform a series of different exercises.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The closest known prior art devices in the field of exercising devices and which relate to the present invention are those devices which simulate a bicycle but which are stationary. As a person rides the simulated bicycle, by pumping the pedals a wheel is turned and an adjustable brake is applied to the wheel to increase the pedalling resistance. It is further known to provide a simulated bicycle with motor means acting against or turning the pedals for the user thereof.

The present invention is entirely different from simulated bicycles, in that a series of exercises may be performed on the device, including leg presses, which may be considered similar to a form of simulated pedalling of a bicycle. However, the known prior art fails to disclose the specific details and operation of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an exercising machine which comprises a frame having a chair mounted therein. The chain includes a seating portion, a back rest portion, and a leg rest portion. The back rest and leg rest portions are pivotably mounted within the frame and movable between fully raised and lowered positions with respect to the seating portion. The leg rest portion is composed of a central section pivoted at its end adjacent the seating portion and two elongated separate leg press arms pivotably attached to the frame at the ends thereof removed from the seating portion. Means are carried within the frame for independently pivoting the back rest and the separate leg rest portions between raised and lowered positions.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine in which a series of different exercises may be performed by a user thereof.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine which can be used by a person to perform a series of exercises in any position between the lying down and sitting up positions.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine having a series of attachments whereby different exercises may be performed thereon by simple adjustments to the machine.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine having a control console with a viewing screen and which includes an audio portion mounted in the seat back rest, whereby a user thereof may be given audio instructions and/or may follow a series of visual instructions flashed on the viewing screen.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine which is capable of being operated by a magnetic tape to allow the user thereof to follow a series of programmed exercises without the aid of an instructor.

And it is still another object of the present invention to provide an exercising machine having movable side rollers whereby a person resting in the exercising machine may be massaged thereby.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the exercising machine of the instant invention showing a user in the seated position utilizing the arm exercising devices;

FIG. 4 is a partial side elevation of the operating mechanism for raising and lowering the arm exercising devices;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the chain and sprocket operating mechanism used to extend and contract the spring in the inoperative position;

FIG. 6 shows the chain and sprocket mechanism of FIG. 5 in the fully extended position;

FIG. 7 shows the exercising machine of the instant invention in the operating position for performing back arch exercises, together with the operating mechanism for raising the central section of the leg rest;

FIG. 8 shows the chair of FIG. 7 with the leg press arms in the raised position and showing details of the operating mechanism for raising and lowering the leg press arms;

FIG. 9 is similar to FIG. 8, showing in more detail the adjustable spring tension system for the leg press arms and the operating mechanism for raising and lowering the back rest;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing further details of the back rest operating mechanism;

FIG. 11 shows details of the leg extension exercising mechanism;

FIG. 12 shows the operating mechanism for the massage rollers mounted on the end of the elongated pivoting side arms; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view, partly in cross-section, of the exercising machine of the present invention, showing the operating mechanism for pivoting the elongated arms and massage rollers into and out of contact with a person situated in the chair.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A preferred design for the overall external configuration of the exercising machine of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The machine includes a frame 21 FIG. 10 which supports the operative machine elements and which is preferably covered by panelling 23 for aesthetic purposes. A chair is provided in the frame and has a seat portion 25, a back rest portion 27 and a sectional leg rest portion, including a central section 29 and two elongated leg press arms 31 resting on either side of the central section. As shown, the central section is pivotably attached to the frame at the end thereof adjacent to the seating portion, while the leg press arms, having pedals 33 pivotably mounted on the ends thereof adjacent the seating portion, are pivotably attached, by the ends thereof removed from the seating portion, to a block 35 secured to the frame. In this manner, it can be seen that the central section 29 and the leg press arms 31 may be separately raised, by means more clearly explained hereinafter, whereby the central section may be considered to be a continuation of the seating portion. The leg press arms are raised away from the seating portion and may therefore be considered to be separate elements capable of being contacted by the feet of a user of the machine when it is desired to perform leg presses.

Seat 25 may be fixed to the frame, or may be slidably mounted therein, in any suitable manner, to enable the user of the machine to adjust his position with respect to the leg press arms and the other elements of the machine. A pair of arm rests 37 are disposed on either side of the chair to enable the user of the machine to steady himself while the machine is operating. If desired, either or both of the arms may be provided with push button controls or switches 39 whereby a user of the chair may control the operation of the different elements of the machine.

A console 41 is provided on the frame forwardly thereof and spaced from the pivoting ends of the leg press arms. This forward console may take any desired shape, but, as shown, is preferably in the form of an enlarged rectangular box having a viewing screen 43 mounted in the front panel 45 thereof facing towards the user of the exercising machine. The viewing screen is so disposed that the user of the machine may easily read the screen in any position taken on the chair. The front panel 45 of the console is provided with a slot 47, such as the slot for a stereo system in a car, whereby a magnetic tape 49 may be inserted therein to control the operation of the different elements of the machine. The tape controls a digital computer 51 or, if desired, a pneumatic system. That is, the tape is provided with a series of pre-arranged instructions which act to operate relays and the like, whereby the different components or elements of the exercising machine are operated in the pre-arranged order. Therefore, the different elements thereof are operated in sequence to enable the user of the machine to be in a position to perform the various exercises capable of being performed therewith. At the same time, the console is also provided with a projector and film strip (not shown), operated by the tape, to flash a series of visual instructions on the viewing screen. This enables the user of the machine to determine what exercise is to be performed and to follow the visual instructions without the necessity of an instructor being present.

As shown in FIG. 2, the back rest portion of the chair is provided with an audio portion or unit 52, such as an ear phone or a speaker, whereby verbal instructions, also provided on the magnetic tape, may be given to the user of the exercising machine. These instructions may, of course, be programed so as to be given simultaneously with the visual instructions flashed on the viewing screen, or may be given before the exercise to be performed is flashed on the screen.

The console pivotably carries a pair of arms 53 which may be pivotably journalled to a shaft supported within the console or may be held in links supported on either side of the console. The arms are preferably hollow to allow a cable 55 to be slidably mounted therein, in any suitable manner. The outer end 57 of each cable is attached to a handhold 59 whereby the user of the exercising machine may grasp the handhold in the raised or operative position over the exercising machine. FIG. 3 shows the adjustable spring tension system attached to the inner end of each cable, whereby, upon the pulling of the handholds, either independently or simultaneously, a person situated in the chair may exercise his arms. The tension system includes a series of pulleys 61 over which the cable rides after having passed through the hollow arm. The inner end 63 of the cable is attached to a chain 65. The chain passes around an enlarged sprocket 67 and is fixed thereto at point 69. A second, smaller sprocket 71 is secured to the large sprocket 67 so as to be turnable therewith, and a further chain 73 is attached to point 75 on the periphery of the small sprocket. The further chain 73 extends upwardly therefrom, passes over a further small idler sprocket 77 of substantially the same size as the first small sprocket, and is then attached to one end of a spring 79 having its other end attached to an eccentric link 81. Link 81 is pivotably attached to the frame of the console to enable the tension of the spring to be adjusted by turning the same.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate more clearly the operation of the chain and sprocket exercising mechanism used in the arm exercising devices and throughout the invention. In particular, FIG. 5 shows the mechanism in the inoperative or rest position with line 83 indicating the start of chain travel as the cable is pulled by a user in the direction of the arrow 84. Line 87 indicates the start of the spring travel at the same moment of time. FIG. 6 shows the position of the respective elements after the chain and spring have been moved to their maximum extent by a user. Line 85 indicates the end of chain travel at this position and line 89 indicates the end of spring travel after the sprockets have been turned in the direction of arrow 91. When the user releases the handhold, or stops pulling thereon, the force of the stretched spring 79 will cause the sprockets 67, 71 and chain to return to the starting or initial positions shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 4 shows the preferred embodiment of the mechanism for rotating the arms 53 from the inoperative position, against the console, to the operative or raised position. As shown, the inner end of each arm 53 is provided with an elongated arm 93 extending therefrom at an angle slightly removed from normal. Two separate chains are fixed to the outer end 95 of the arm at point 97. The first chain 99 passes over an idler sprocket 101, around a second, driven, sprocket 103, and is then deadended at a stabilizer spring 105. The second chain 107 passes over an idler sprocket 109 and is deadended against the other end of the stabilizer spring 105. The driven sprocket 103 has a smaller sprocket 111 secured thereto which is driven by a reversible motor 113, through a speed reducer 115 and chain drive 117, or the like. Therefore, it can be seen that by operating the reversible motor 113 through speed reducer 115 in the direction whereby the sprocket 103 will be driven in the counterclockwise direction, the chain 99 will be moved so as to pivot the arm 53 to the raised position shown. Reversing the direction of rotation of the motor through the speed reducer will drive the sprocket 103 in the clockwise direction, thereby pulling the chain 107 downwardly to swing the arm 93 upwardly, thereby pivoting the arm 53 to any of the lowered positions shown in phantom line in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 illustrates the mechanism for raising, lowering and holding the central section 29. The central section is preferably provided with a track 119 secured to the bottom thereof. An offset arm or linkage 121 has a roller 123 mounted on one end thereof which is carried in track 119 for movement of the central section 29. The other end of linkage 121 is offset and carries a gear 125 thereon. Gear 125 is preferably driven to raise and lower the central section by a worm 127 driven in either direction by a reversible motor 129 through a speed reducer 131 connected to worm 127 by a collar or the like 133. With the central section in the raised position and the back rest in the horizontal position shown, a user may perform back arch exercises or the like without having to leave the chair.

The operation of the pivotable leg press arms 31 is shown more clearly in FIGS. 8 and 9. Each of the leg press arms includes a mechanical linkage 135 connected thereto and extending from the pivot at a predetermined angle. The ends of each linkage 135 are separately connected to the end of a chain drive 137 passing around an idler sprocket 139 supported in the frame and attached to a point 141 on a drive sprocket 143, rotated by a reversible motor 145 through a speed reducer 147. Each of the press arms is preferably independently raised and lowered in the direction of arrow 149 by separate motors and drive means, but, if suitable, a common motor and common speed reducer may be connected to a single driven sprocket attached to a shaft supported by the ends of both pivotable arms, whereby both leg press arms may be lifted and lowered in unison.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 9, when the leg press arms 31 are in their raised position, a user of the machine may either lie or sit in the chair, depending on the position of the back rest, with his feet against the swivel action foot pedals 33. Upon stretching and unstretching of the legs of the user in the direction of the arrow 151, the leg press arms will also travel in the same direction. An adjustable tension is applied by the user's legs through the spring tensioning system, similar to that set forth above in connection with the arm exercisers 53. That is, each of the leg press arms is provided with a linkage 153 connected thereto. The outer end of the mechanical linkage is connected to a cable 155, which in turn is connected to a chain 157 passing over sprocket 159 and fixed thereto at a point (not shown). A smaller sprocket 161 is secured to sprocket 159 and a chain 163 is also fixed at a point on the sprocket 161. Chain 163 is connected to a spring 165, and the spring is connected to one end of an adjustable pivot 167 supported in the console. Since each of the leg press arms is connected to separate assemblies, the swivel action foot pedals may be operated by the user, independently or in unison, by merely controlling the stretching and contracting of each leg.

As seen in FIG. 10, the back rest 26 is provided with a rigid frame 169 which is pivotable about a pair of arms 171 fixed to the frame 21. The rigid frame 169 has a pair of bracket arms 173 secured to the lower rear portion thereof, as by welding, extending into the frame. The bracket arms support a plate 175 therebetween, on which is mounted a reversible motor 177 and speed reducer 179. The motor preferably drives the speed reducer through a chain and sprocket drive, and the speed reducer drives a sprocket having a chain 181 extending therefrom to a driven sprocket 183. Sprocket 183 is secured to one end of a shaft 185 supported by and below the plate 175. A pair of enlarged sprockets 187 are fixed to the central portion of the shaft and ride over a pair of chains 189. Both chains are connected together at their ends and deadended by tension springs 191 fixed to the base of the frame, after having passed over a pair of identical idler sprockets 193. The idler sprockets are mounted on shafts 195 supported in frame 21. Therefore, upon actuation of the reversible motor 177, in either direction, the drive sprocket, driven sprocket, and enlarged sprockets secured to the driven sprocket will be rotated in the same direction. Upon rotation, the coaction of the pair of enlarged sprockets 187 with the portion of the double chain 189 held between the idler sprockets 193, will cause the double sprockets to travel along the double chain substantially following a path shown by phantom line 195 in FIG. 9. This travel of the sprockets 187 over the chains 189 will pivot the seat back rest between the horizontal position, shown in phantom line in FIG. 9, and the vertical position. Furthermore, when the motor is stopped, the back rest will remain in the stopped position anywhere between the horizontal and vertical positions.

Turning to FIG. 11, it is seen that the frame of the machine is further provided with leg extension hooks 197 slidably mounted in holders 199 fixed to the frame, adjacent each of the leg press arms 31. The leg extension hooks are connected to a cable 201 passing over a pair of pulleys 203, after which it is connected to a chain 205 passing over a sprocket 207, to which it is attached at point 209. A further sprocket 211 is secured to the first sprocket 207 so as to rotate therewith. A further chain 213 is secured to a point on sprocket 211 and passes around an idler sprocket 215. The chain 213 is then secured to one end of a spring 217 which has its other end connected to a pivotable eccentric link 219 supported in the console. The leg extension hook means may be raised and lowered by the user of the chair with the back rest and central section of the leg rest in the horizontal positions shown. The user thereof lies on one of his sides with his leg secured in one of the leg hooks for extension and contraction of his leg in the direction of arrow 221 to thereby expand and contract spring 217.

A further important feature of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, wherein a pair of rollers 223 are mounted on the ends of elongated pivotal arms 225 mounted on each side of the frame adjacent the seat 25. The arms 225 are pivotable in two directions. The first direction, indicated by arrow 229, is about point 227 adjacent to the base of the frame. The arms are further capable of being reciprocated in the direction of arrow 231 about the pivot 233 for the massaging of the thigh or other portion of a user contacted by the rollers 223. The roller massagers are preferably used by a person in the seated position shown, after a programed series of exercises have been performed.

Each of the pivotal arms 225 is normally biased outwardly by a compression spring 235 acting against a plate 237 to which the end of the arm is pivotably attached at point 227. A cable 239 is attached to a point on the pivotable arm, extends centrally of the compression spring 235 and passes through the plate 237 and an elongated tube 241 mounted within the frame. The tubes 241 are actually the points about which the arms are reciprocated in the direction of arrow 231. The cable then passes over a pulley 243 and is attached to one end of an extension spring 245. The other end of the extension spring is attached by cable 247 to the free end of a linkage 249. The linkages 249 on both sides of the machine are secured to a common shaft 251, having a driven sprocket 253 secured centrally thereof. The driven sprocket 253 is attached to a drive sprocket 255 by chain 257 and rotated thereby through a gear reducer 259 driven by a reversible motor 261 within the frame. In this manner, the pivotable arms 225 and rollers 223 attached to the ends thereof, are simultaneously actuated, in the direction of the arrow 227 toward and away from the seat portion by the operation of the single reversible motor 261. When in contact with the thighs or other portion of a user situated in the chair, the arms are then reciprocated in the direction of arrow 231 by the operation of a further motor 263 connected to a speed reducer 265 having a pair of drive sprockets 267 fixed to shafts extending from each side. A chain 269 rides over each drive sprocket and drives a driven sprocket 271 rotating on a shaft support in the frame. An eccentric 273 is secured to the driven sprocket 271 and has one end of a Pitman arm 275 attached thereto. The other end of the Pitman arm is attached to a connecting arm or link 277 attached to the elongated tube 241, whereby, upon actuation of the motor, the arms and rollers will be rocked or reciprocated in the direction of the arrow 231 around the point 233 to massage the portion of the user's body in contact with the rollers.

If desired, the chain and sprocket combination shown in connection with each of the devices set forth above may be replaced by cables and pulleys or other suitable power transmission components, whereby a user thereof may also exercise his limbs in the same fashion.

It is also to be understood that, if desired, a vibration unit may be attached to the chair and/or frame, whereby either the chair or the frame may be vibrated during any of the above-set-forth operations, and in particular the massaging operation, to further relax a user.

An important advantage of the exercising machine of the present invention is the provision of a multi-purpose chair, whereby a user thereof may exercise, be massaged, and relax in any of a series of positions between sitting, reclining, and completely lying down.

Furthermore, the mechanisms used all fit within a single frame and console unit and provide a long travel stroke of the chain or cable in a small operating space with a short extension of a coil spring, thereby allowing the minimum of space to be occupied by the exercising machine. The cable, chain, and coil spring means used provide a smooth, live pulling action, due to the sprocket or pulley size ratio or differential, and allow use of large wire size springs for a medium or light pull. Moreover, with the pivoting adjusting means, an infinitely variable choice of spring tensions and travel of the chain and cable may be arrived at by arranging sprocket and/or pulley ratios in accordance with the characteristics of a given spring. This provides a safer mode than the cumbersome weights now used on many types of exercising equipment.

It will be apparent from the foregoing description of the invention in its preferred form that it will fulfill all the objects attributable thereto and, while it is illustrated and described in detail, the invention is not to be limited to such details, except as may be necessitated by the appended claims.