Title:
PIVOTAL BODY-SUPPORTING EXERCISING APPARATUS
United States Patent 3782717


Abstract:
An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person and movable to a plurality of body supporting contours. The exercising apparatus includes a cloth covered support frame having at least two support frame elements which are movable with respect to each other. They are also rotationally connected to a base frame which acts as a support or stabilizing platform for the exercising apparatus. The support frame is mounted to the base frame through a plurality of generally Z-shaped linkage mechanisms which are pivotally mounted to both the support frame elements and the base frame.



Inventors:
BERLIN D
Application Number:
05/238044
Publication Date:
01/01/1974
Filing Date:
03/27/1972
Assignee:
GENERAL HOME PRODUCTS CORP,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/139
International Classes:
A63B23/02; (IPC1-7): A63B21/00
Field of Search:
272/58,57R,52,60,79R,85 5
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3561772RECLINING EXERCISING DEVICE1971-02-09Curtess
3491998COT EXERCISING DEVICE1970-01-27Lyon
2938572Exerciser device1960-05-31Solloway et al.
2667207Chair and table combination1954-01-26Magyar



Foreign References:
GB190822492A1909-09-16
Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Strappello, Harry G.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kimmelman, Nelson E.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person for exercise thereupon, comprising:

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains to the field of body supporting apparatus. In particular, this invention relates to the field of body supporting apparatus adapted to be moved to a number of positions for exercising a person supported thereon.

2. Prior Art

Exercising apparatus are known in the art. Additionally, movable support frames pivotally mounted to base frames are also known, but the mounting mechanisms in some of these apparatus are merely pivoted connecting elements. Where pivoted connecting elements are used, frictional wear is maximized between rotating rotating elements thus causing structural failure of the apparatus. Further, the frictional force between moving elements also requires the supported person to expend a large amount of energy in displacing the support frame with respect to the base frame. In many prior devices the connecting mechanisms are arm members which cannot take the structural loading over a period of many loading cycles without a degradation in structural integrity thus causing failure of the exercising apparatus.

Other prior apparatus include complex mechanical linkage systems for providing a compact package when the apparatus is stored. Such systems increase the manufacturing complexity and cost of the exercising apparatus while at the same time lowering the reliability of the entire unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An exercising apparatus adapted to support a person which includes a support frame having at least two support frame elements rotationally connected about an axis common to two adjacently positioned frame elements. A base frame includes a pair of base elements pivotally mounted each to the other. A linkage mechanism having a generally Z-shaped configuration is pivotally mounted to the base frame and to the support frame elements and displaces each of the support frame elements with respect to the base frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of the exercising apparatus;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional top view of the support frame showing the pivotal mount between adjacently positioned support frame elements and taken along the section line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view of the linkage mechanism connecting the base frame and the support frame, taken along the section line 3--3 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the pivotal mount between a pair of base frame elements taken along the section line 4--4 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an exercising apparatus 10 for supporting the human body in a variety of supporting contours. The apparatus 10 includes a substantially rectangular shaped supporting frame 13 which is divided into at least two rotatable support frame elements 11a, 11b, 11c and 13a, 13b, 13c. The frame arm members 11a, 11b, 11c taken in combination define one support frame element. The support frame elements are rotationally connected about an axis common to two adjacently positioned elements as shown. The rotational axis of frame elements 11a, 11b, 11c and 13a, 13b, 13c passes in a line perpendicular to the largest length dimension direction of the overall support frame 13. In this manner the aforementioned support frame elements may be inclined each with respect to the other while supporting a person lying on the apparatus 10. By exerting pressure on one or the other of the support frame elements, either or both of the frame elements may be caused to rotate about the common axis. This rotation produces a new support contour for the body causing distention and contraction of various body muscles, thereby providing exercise for the person supported thereon.

The apparatus 10 is supported on an external surface by a base frame having a pair of base elements 14 and 15 which are pivotally mounted to each other as is shown in FIG. 1 and 4. The base frame elements 14 and 15 are also pivotally mounted to the support frame 13 by the link mechanism 17 thus permitting displacement of each of the support elements with respect to the relatively stabilized base elements 14 and 15.

The support frame 13, as depicted in FIG. 1 is constructed of two one piece U-shaped support frame elements having extended arm members 13a, 13c rotationally connected to opposing frame element arms 11a, 11c respectively. The pivotal axis of the two support frame elements lies substantially midpoint between opposing frame arms 11b and 13b. In this manner, the support frame 13 forms a closed contour being substantially rectangular in shape.

As shown in FIG. 2, rotatively connected arm members 11a and 13a (as well as 11c and 13c) are flattened in the area of the rotational axis. The flattened areas of each of the arms 11a, 11c and 13a, 13c approximate a plane surface passing normal to the axis of rotation which provides for ease of rotation between the respective arms. The support frame elements which define the support frame 13 are preferably tubular members made of stainless steel aluminum, or some like material which can accept the force loading without losing structural integrity.

The internal area defined by the closed contour support frame 13 is partially covered by a fabric, material or other textile covering 12. The fabric 12 is attached to frame element arms 11a, 11b, 13a and 13c around their peripheral edges to allow the material 12 to move when the support frame elements are rotated with respect to each other. The fabric 12 includes openings 12a which are located around rotational support frame joints in order that the fabric 12 will not be worn through frictional contact. The fabric 12 may be sewn to itself around the arms 11a, 11c, 13a, 13c or otherwise mounted in order to form a body support within the support frame 13.

The base frame shown in FIG. 1 includes a pair of U-shaped elements 14 and 15 which are pivotaly mounted in cross-wise fashion and are constructed of tubular metal such as steel or aluminum. The base frame rests on an external surface and provides relatively stabilized support for support frame 13. The pivotal mount between the extended arms of the base elements 14 and 15 are shown in FIG. 4, and include a screw bolt 23 which passes through oepnings in base elements 14 and 15. The diameter of the openings in elements 14 and 15 are greater than that of the screw bolt 23 but less than the diameter of the head of bolt 23 and of washer 25 to hold elements 14 and 15 in a unitary structure while permitting free rotation between the elements 14 and 15. The screw bolt 23 threadedly engages a cap nut 18 in order to positionally fix the axis of rotation of base elements 14 and 15. Washer 27 encompasses the shaft portion of the screw bolt 23 between base elements 14 and 15 to separate these elements so that they do not rub and frictionally wear each other when they are rotated.

Stabilization of the exercising apparatus 10 on an external surface is accomplished by connecting bars 20 and 21. The connecting bars 20, 21 are pivotally connected to each other at a common rotational point and are likewise pivotally connected on opposing ends to the base elements 14 and 15 as is shown in FIG. 1. When a weight is added to the support frame 13, the connecting bars are tensilely loaded. This loading causes the bars 20, 21 to be aligned in substantially a straight line while holding the base elements 14 and 15 from moving outward with respect to each other. Further, when it is desired to store the apparatus 10, conecting bars 20 and 21 may be pivoted about their common axis in order to permit closed alignment between the base elements 14 and 15 thereby aiding in providing a compact unit for storage purposes.

The base frame elements 14, 15 are mounted to support frame 13 through four linkage mechanisms 17, one of which is clearly shown in FIG. 3. Each linkage mechanism 17 has a generally Z-shaped configuration and is pivotally mounted to the base frame elements 14 and 15 as well as the support elements 11a, 11c and 13a, 13c. The linkage mechanism 17 permits each of the support frame elements of the support frame 13 to be displaced with respect to the base frame elements 14, 15.

Each linkage mechanism 17 includes a generally Z-shaped connecting member 17a which has a double elbow section resulting in opposing arms passing abutting an intermediate section perpendicular thereto, the arms being in substantially parallel. Each of the opposing arms is threaded on its free end section for attachment to a cap nut 18. The connecting member 17a is preferably a rod member formed into the general Z-shape and is constructed of steel or some like material capable of withstanding the force loads imposed.

Each linkage mechanism includes two bushings 19 which are mounted within openings in the base frame elements 14, 15 and openings passing through the support elements 11a, 11c, 13a, 13c, of the support frame 13. The bushings 19 are cylindrical in nature and have an external diameter substantially equal to the openings formed in elements 14, 15, 11a, 11c, 13a and 13c. Each bushing 19 includes a shoulder portion at one end in order that the bushing 19 will not pass completely through the base frame or support frame element to which the bushing is attached. Additionally, each bushing 19 includes an internal through passage having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the opposing arms of connecting member 17. In construction, the bushings 19 are preferably formed of nylon or some like material in order to reduce the effects of frictional wear when rotation between moving elements occur.

The opposing arms of each connecting member 17 have a length greater than the cylindrical bushing 19 within which the arm is passed. Each arm is passed through a respective element 14, 15, 11a, 11c, 13a, or 13c and is mounted to that element by threadedly engaging a cap nut 18 as shown. A washer 22 having an external diameter greater than the through opening of the bushing 19 is interposed between the cap nut 18 and one of the support frame or base frame elements. In this manner each arm of the connecting member 17a is positionally fixed to a corresponding support frame or base frame element. The connecting member is free to rotate within the bushings 19 but are relatively fixed from moving in a direction defined by the extension of the arm members.

The brace member 16 is pivotally mounted to the support elements 11a, 13a and 11c, 13c at the common axis line joining the elements. The brace member 16 is U-shaped in configuration and constructed of tubular steel, aluminum or like material. This member 16 provides structural support for the support frame 13 when the elements 11a, 11b, 11c and 13a, 13b, 13c are subjected to a moving force load. As is shown in FIG. 2, the brace member 16 is pivotally mounted to the support elements 11a and 13a through the bolt 24 which threadedly engages a cap nut 18. Washers 26 are mounted between the elements 13a, 11a and 16 in order to reduce frictional wear between the rotating portions of each element.