Title:
THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE DEVICE
United States Patent 3790164


Abstract:
An improved therapeutic exercise device combining three independently adjustable support means, specifically, independently adjustable foot supports, knee supports, and midriff support, so as to enable accommodation of exercisers of varying sizes. A broad support base is provided including means for engaging and receiving telescoping mast means. The telescoping mast includes a fixed mast portion rigidly engaging the base and a vertically movable mast portion which is vertically adjustable to selected fixed locations on the fixed mast portion. The vertically adjustable mast portion carries at the upper end thereof a horizontal midriff support bar adapted to abut the midriff of an exerciser. Spaced-apart foot support means are provided in the support base and are laterally adjustable to selected locations in said base. Knee support means are provided and are adapted to fixedly engage the fixed mast portion at selected varying vertical locations thereon. Exercisers of varying sizes may thus use the therapeutic exerciser with feet and knees properly supported while exercising by midriff bending about the vertically adjustable midriff support bar.



Inventors:
FLANIGAN C
Application Number:
05/334372
Publication Date:
02/05/1974
Filing Date:
02/21/1973
Assignee:
OVERLY MFG CO,US
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B23/00; A63B23/02; (IPC1-7): A63B23/02
Field of Search:
272/57R,58,57B,6R
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
1705745Exercising apparatus1929-03-19Anderson



Foreign References:
FR911939A
Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Taylor, Joseph R.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Parmelee, Miller, Welsh & Kratz
Claims:
1. A therapeutic exercising device able to accommodate exercisers of varying sizes, comprising:

2. The therapeutic exercising device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said midriff support means comprises a horizontal bar extending transversely of

3. The therapeutic exercising device as set forth in claim 1 wherein each of said pair of said spaced-apart foot support means is slidably located

4. The therapeutic exercising device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said device further includes an ornamental figurehead means for encouraging

5. The therapeutic exercising device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said device includes an optical or audible reward means, said reward means

6. The therapeutic exercising device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said knee support means includes a transverse member extending in a direction substantially parallel to said horizontal bar and wherein said transverse member carries a pair of opposedly adjustable individual knee supports.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to therapeutic exercise devices and, more particularly, to an improved therapeutic exercise device including three independently adjustable support means.

B. Description of the Prior Art

Therapeutic exercise devices are well-known in the art. Such devices are generally designed to exercise or strengthen a particular part or parts of the body. Where such devices are intended for use by people suffering from atrophy-type diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, it is ordinarily necessary that such devices are to be employed by the exerciser with the aid of another person, or that such devices include some additional support means for the exerciser so to enable him to use the equipment without the constant supervision of another person. This is especially so where the device is to be auto-operated as opposed to power-driven, as is the oscillating device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,580,244.

This invention provides an improved therapeutic exerciser suitable for use by patients varying in age from infant to adult. Moreover, the invention provides an auto-operated, portable therapeutic exerciser which may be employed without the constant aid of supervising personnel. Additionally, the invention provides a therapeutic exerciser of the type described which is especially suitable for exercising the back and leg muscles of a patient suffering from an atrophying disease such as muscular dystrophy and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides an improved lightweight, high-strength therapeutic exercise device combining three independently adjustable support means. More specifically, the invention provides an exercise device of the type described including independently adjustable foot supports, knee supports, and midriff support, so as to enable accommodation of exercisers of varying sizes. A broad support base, most preferably of square or rectangular configuration, is provided which includes means for engaging and receiving a telescoping mast means. The telescoping mast includes a fixed mast portion adapted to rigidly engage the base of the exercise device and a vertically movable mast portion which is vertically adjustable to selected fixed locations on the fixed mast portion. Preferably, the vertically movable mast portion is adapted to pass into and be received by the fixed mast portion and be selectively fixed at varying locations by means of a bolt, or the like passing through appropriate passageways provided in the fixed and movable mast portions. The vertically adjustable mast portion carries a protective, resilient padding. In most preferred instances of the invention, the horizontal midriff support bar bears an ornamental figurehead having therapeutic qualities so as to encourage the use of the device by children. Spaced-apart foot support means are provided, most preferably in the support base, and are opposedly adjustable to selected locations in said base. Most preferably, said foot support means are additionally adjustable longitudinally on said base. Knee support means are provided and are adapted to fixedly engage the fixed mast portion of said telescoping mast at selected varying vertical locations thereon. In one instance, the knee support means are adapted to fixedly engage the fixed mast portion of the apparatus by means of a yoke-type collar rigidly affixed to the knee support means and a simple bolt means adapted to pass through appropriate passageways provided in the collar and fixed mast portion. Exercisers of varying sizes may thus use the therapeutic exerciser of the invention with feet and knees properly supported while exercising by midriff bending about the vertically adjustable midriff support bar. Other advantages and details of the invention will become apparent by reference to the appended drawing as the following description thereof proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The FIGURE is an exploded perspective view of an exercise device according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference now to the FIGURE, a therapeutic exerciser according to the invention is there illustrated which includes a broad base 2. Base 2 preferably comprises a square or rectangular configuration so as to add stability to the exerciser. It is important that the device be very stable, essentially for the reason that exercisers employing the invention will ordinarily not have efficient muscular control and bending or twisting moments in varying directions and degrees will be placed upon the device. Base 2 most preferably comprises a lightweight, high-strength material such as aluminum. By use of the term aluminum herein, it is intended to designate the common aluminum alloys.

Base 2 of the exerciser carries a stud means rigidly affixed, and preferably permanently affixed, thereto. Stud 4 is adapted to receive and support in rigid fashion a fixed mast portion 6 of a telescoping mast means including fixed mast portion 6 and movable mast portion 8. In the embodiment shown, stud 4 includes both holes or passageways 5 which are adapted to align with cooperating bolt holes 7 at the base of fixed mast portion 6. In the embodiment shown, fixed mast portion 6 comprises a channel extrusion, preferably of an aluminum composition, and is adapted to pass over and be received by stud 4 whereby respective passageways 7 and 5 therein may align to receive a conventional fastening means, such as a nut and bolt fastener (not shown). In that fashion, fixed mast portion 6 of the exerciser may be rigidly affixed to base portion 2 of the exerciser illustrated. It should be understood, however, that in an exerciser according to the invention the fixed mast portion thereof may be rigidly affixed to the base by other means, for example as by welding the fixed mast directly to the base, providing fixed mast 6 with a bolt-hole-bearing base flange and bolting the mast to base 2, or by other conventional means.

The exerciser device further includes a pair of foot supports 10. Foot supports 10 per se are of conventional design, each including a heel support 11, ankle strap 12, and toe support 13. Foot supports 10, however, are adapted to be opposedly adjustable in the exerciser device of the invention. To that end, each foot support 10 includes means, such as a transverse channel means 14, rigidly affixed as by bolting or welding to the base thereof. Each channel 14 is adapted to pass into and be received by an accommodating groove 3 therefor selected from any one of several such grooves in base 2. Each foot support 10 is slidably movable to any selected location along groove or recess 3 which passes transversely of base 2 to thereby provide opposedly adjustable foot supports 10. Each foot support 10 may be fixedly located at a selected location in groove 3 by conventional fashion. In the embodiment illustrated in the FIGURE, a foot support guide bar 15 is provided which is adapted to pass through the bore in channels 14. Guide bar 15 may extend the length of groove 3 in base 2 and is adapted to be drawn into a groove 3 by tightening means such as screws 16 adapted to pass into appropriate holes (not shown) bored into groove 3 within base 2. Advancing and retracting screws 16 will, of course, tighten and loosen foot supports 10 within a groove.

Foot supports 10 may be fixed at selected laterally spaced locations in a groove 3, or in different grooves 3, by various means. For example, a bore directly through a foot support 10 and channel 14 may be provided for receiving a screw, which screw may be directly advanced and withdrawn from a plurality of holes provided in base 2 and extending transversely thereof.

The exerciser of the invention, as illustrated, additionally includes a knee support means designated generally 20. Knee support means 20 is adapted to fixedly engage the fixed mast portion 6 of the device as selected varying vertical locations thereon. The means of fixedly engaging knee support means 20 to fixed mast portion 6 of the device may be of conventional fashion. In the apparatus illustrated, a yoke-type collar 21 is provided fixedly attached to knee support means 20 as by welding. Yoke 21 bears holes or passageways 22 which are adapted to align with holes or passageways 7' in the upper portion of fixed mast 6. Thus, a conventional fastener, such as a nut and bolt fastener (not shown), may be employed to rigidly affix knee support means 20 to fixed mast 6 at varying selected vertical locations thereon whereby the exercise device may accommodate exercisers of varying heights.

Knee support means 20 includes a channel 24 extending transversely of base 2 in the apparatus. Channel 24 preferably comprises a conventional aluminum extrusion and has a pair of transverse slots 25 cut therein. Transverse channel 24 is adapted to receive and fixedly support at selected locations thereon a pair of knee support devices 26. Knee supports 26 are substantially of conventional design and include a flat angle 27 bearing a cushioning or padding material 28 and having affixed thereto a knee strap 29 in a conventional fashion. Each knee support 26 may be fixed at varying opposed locations along channel 24. In the apparatus illustrated, each support 26 bears a threaded stud 30 adapted to pass through groove or slot 25 in the channel. A suitable tightener, such as a wingnut 32 is provided for threadably engaging a stud 30, and, in that fashion, the apparatus illustrated is provided with a knee support vertically movable to selected locations on fixed mast 6, and bearing individual knee support cups 26 which are slidably movable on transverse channel 24 so as to accommodate an infinite variety of appropriate knee positions for an exerciser employing the device. It is evident, however, that the particular fastening means illustrated is not the exclusive means of providing a fixed attachment either for a connection between a knee support means 20 and a fixed mast 6, or between a knee support 26 and transverse channel 24. Rather, other conventional means of attaching the respective pieces may be employed.

In the therapeutic exercise device according to the invention illustrated in the FIGURE, movable mast portion 8 of the telescoping mast assembly is adapted to fixedly engage fixed mast portion 6 at selected vertical locations thereon. The means affixing the respective mast portions may be of conventional variety, but to that end a bore 9 is provided at the lowermost portion of movable mast 8. Bore 9 is adapted to be aligned with any one of the bores or passageways 7' provided in fixed mast 6. The thus aligned bores may thereby receive a conventional means such as a nut and bolt fastener (not shown) for affixedly engaging vertical mast 8 at a selected location within fixed mast 6.

Movable mast 8 is adapted to receive and hold a horizontal midriff support bar 40 at the upper end thereof and extending transversely of base 2 in a direction substantially parallel to knee support means 20. Support bar 40 may be carried by vertical mast 8 in a known or conventional fashion. In the apparatus illustrated, a threaded stud 42 is provided adapted to threadably engage a corresponding threaded portion (not shown) in movable mast 8. Stud 42 has a recess 44 therein substantially conforming to the surface configuration of horizontal bar 40. In the apparatus illustrated, midriff support bar 40 comprises a tube or cylinder and, hence, stud 42 is provided with an arcuate recess 44 therein. Midriff support bar 40 may be fixed to stud 42 in a conventional fashion as by bolting thereto by means of a bolt 45 passing through appropriate bores in support bar 40 and stud 42. Thus, it can be seen that raising and lowering movable mast portion 8 to selected vertical locations in fixed mast portion 6 will result in raising and lowering midriff support bar 40 whereby the apparatus illustrated may accommodate users of various heights.

It will be recalled that the exerciser of the invention is intended primarily for use as a midriff exerciser. Much of the time the exerciser will be employed by children, in which case it is helpful to encourage the child to use the exerciser properly. To that end, it is most preferred that the exerciser, according to the invention as thus far described, include a means for encouraging proper use thereof. To that end, it is most preferred to employ an ornamental, yet therapeutic, figurehead means in connection with the device. In the FIGURE, in phantom, an elephant's head 50 is shown bearing an elongated trunk portion 52. The elephant's head 50 is adapted to be affixed to midriff support bar 40 in a manner whereby a child may bend over exercise or midriff support bar 40 in an attempt to touch the tip of the elephant's trunk 52. As can be seen, additionally provided for this purpose are a pair of elephant legs 54 adapted to be bolted to base 2 of the exerciser. Legs 54 include a passageway 55 therebetween through which the elephant trunk may extend. As an additional reward for touching the tip of the elephant trunk and thereby properly exercising the child's back and leg muscles, a reward device may be provided. For example, in one instance, the touching of the tip of the elephant's trunk may result in the activation of conventional switch means of an electric recording device to provide the child exerciser with an audible reward. Similarly, the touching of the elephant's trunk may activate an optical reward device. In any event, it will be realized that a variety of attractive devices such as the elephant's head and trunk may be employed in connection with the device. For example, a giraffe likeness with its elongated neck would be especially suitable.

It may be noted here that to accommodate for the increase and decrease in height of midriff support bar 40 when used in connection with an ornamental device such as the elephant's head and trunk, an elongation means 56 for the trunk may be provided. In the figure, the elongation means includes a trunk extension 57 variably slidably mounted in a rigid tube or channel 58 which additionally serves as a mount for the elephant head device by means of a recess-bearing stud 59 appropriately bolted through or to midriff support bar 40 by means, for example, of bolt 60.

The foregoing has described the invention and certain preferred embodiments thereof. It should be especially understood, however, that the invention is not necessarily limited to the specific embodiments described therein, but may be variously practiced within the scope of the following claims.