Exercise apparatus
United States Patent 3892403

An exercise device of the flexible bed type having a rigid frame and a bed formed of flexible fabric which is yielding supported on the frame in a tightly stretched condition. The bed is supported by yieldable elements connecting the marginal portion of the bed to the sides of the frame and which are arranged to provide a maximum of tension in a central region of the bed to allow the user to perform a bouncing action on the bed with a minimum of flexing of the bed. This is provided by coil springs which are connected so that the springs to the right of the center of the frame are connected to the frame at a point to the right of an imaginary line perpendicular to the frame through the point where the spring is connected to the bed and the springs to the left of center of the fraame are connected to the frame at a point to the left of an imaginary line perpendicular to the frame through a point where the spring is connected to the bed. The apparatus may be supported on legs which are removable for convenience in transportation and storage or may be supported on an enclosing frame to enable the device to be used as an article of furniture when not being used for exercising.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/230, 5/233, 182/139
International Classes:
A63B5/11; (IPC1-7): A63B5/08
Field of Search:
272/57R,65 5
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3233895Trampolines1966-02-08Grelle et al.
3004623Bounding bed1961-10-17Nissen
2721338Bed frames1955-10-25Resnick
2370990Tumbling device1945-03-06Nissen
2294509Lifesaving net1942-09-01Moeller
1948130Spring structure1934-02-20Reed
1820284Animal bed1931-08-25Mills

Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Apley, Richard J.
Parent Case Data:

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 9643 filed on Feb. 9, 1970, of Victor J. Green for "Exercise Apparatus," now abandoned.
What is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent is

1. Exercising apparatus comprising:

2. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said coil springs are of equal size.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein an equal number of springs are connected to the right of center of said side and end frame as to the left of center.

4. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein at each corner of said bed one of said coil springs is connected at its inner end to said corner of said bed and is connected at its outer end to said frame at a location spaced from the adjacent corner of said frame.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein two of said coil springs are located centrally of the length of each side of the bed and are connected to the adjacent side of said frame at points spaced apart at a greater distance than the points of connection to said bed.

6. An apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the springs are connected to said bed and frame along each side thereof from the two centrally located springs at increasingly greater distances.


Various types of exercising apparatus have been proposed heretofore which are intended to be used as in-place jogging, jumping or bouncing devices, such as flexible bed devices of the trampoline type, and endless belt devices designed to be operated by running or walking.

Exercise apparatus of the kind mentioned as heretofore commonly provided is of relatively massive construction to withstand the extreme conditons of wear and hard usage to which such equipment is usually subjected, so that the apparatus is not readily carried about from place to place or easily dismantled for purposes of storage when not in use.

Because of the rugged construction which must be maintained in equipment of this character, no satisfactory way has been found heretofore for making the same easily portable and capable of being readily dismantled, which at the same time having the requisite characteristics of strength and durability which must be possessed by equipment of this kind.

In apparatus of the trampoline type, a flexible bed is stretched on a rigid frame by the use of coil springs, which are usually positioned on axis normal to the sides of the frame and bed at spaced location along the sides of the apparatus, the bed being of relatively large area and resiliently supported to allow relatively great sagging movement under the weight of the user, so that a relatively rebounding movement of large magnitude may be obtained in use. Such a structure does not lend itself well for use in the performance of gentle bouncing or jogging exercises intended to promote relaxing of the muscles throughout the entire body but calls for vigorous action such as is required by athletes or persons accustomed to strenuous activities intended to harden the muscles and build up high resistance to fatigue.


Briefly described the exercising apparatus of the present invention comprises a generally rectanguler, rigid, supporting frame upon which a flexible bed is carried in a tightly stretched condition by resilient connecting elements, whereby the sagging of the bed under the weight of the user is relatively slight, permitting a bouncing or rebounding movement to be performed with but little effort, tending to cause relaxing of the muscles throughout the user's body.

The resilient connecting elements may take for form of coil springs, all of the same size, whose inner and outer ends are connected to the sides of the flexible bed and to the sides of the frame, respectively, at locations to permit substantial bodily vertical movement of the bed in a tightly stretched condition, whereby a stiff rebounding action is accomplished with but slight sagging or flexing of the bed.

In order to obtain a tight and substantially uniform tension of the bed the coil springs may be positioned with their ends located at increasingly greater distances apart along the sides of the bed and frame from a location centrally of each side toward the ends of each side, such that the axes of the springs extend in angular relation to the sides of the frame and bed at angles other than right angles. By this arrangement the tension or pull of the springs on the bed is distributed in a desired manner to distribute the tension in a predetermined manner over the entire area of the bed, such as to provide a maximum of tension in a central area of the bed upon which the user usually stands.

By this construction the apparatus may have a relatively small area, such as in the neighborhood of from 9 to 16 square feet, while providing sufficient strength and flexibility to amply support a person of greater than average weight to enable the user to perform a bouncing or jogging movement conductive to relaxation of the muscles.

In making use of the apparatus the user may stand on the bed generally centrally thereof and perform a gentle bouncing movement which requires very little effort and by which a rebounding movement of substantial magnetude, completely under the control of the user may be obtained. The apparatus may be also used in a number of other ways to secure a desired degree of exercise, such as by performing a jogging action on the bed.

The frame of the apparatus may be mounted on detachable legs which may be relatively shoft since the flexing or sagging of the bed is relatively slight.

The frame may, if desired, be incorporated in a supporting structure which may also serve as an article of furniture, such as a stool or hassock when the apparatus is not in use.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the exercise apparatus of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the same;

FIG. 3 is a detail view on an enlarged scale showing details of construction of one corner of the frame of the apparatus and manner in which supporting legs are detachably secured thereto; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a somewhat different support structure for the apparatus for use without the detachable legs.



The exercise apparatus, as shown in the present illustration comprises a rigid frame, generally designated 10, of generally rectangular shape, having side and end frame elements 12 and 14, respectively, formed of suitable material, such as steel and of angular or other suitable shape in cross-section. The frame may be constructed of separate frame elements, suitably mitered at the ends and welded or otherwise secured together, or the frame may be formed in one piece by cutting away triangular pieces of the horizontal flange of the angle member at the locations of the corners and bending the vertical flange of the member at such locations to form the corners of the frame, the member being then welded or otherwise secured at its ends to complete the frame.

At the corners of the frame, downwardly opening socket elements 16 are suitably attached beneath the horizontal flanges of the side and end elements 12 and 14, as by means of welding, as shown at 18, which socket elements are internally threaded to receive the upper, externally threaded ends 20 of supporting legs 22, to detachably secure the legs to the frame.

Each of the legs 22 may be provided with a suitable tip or foot 24 at its lower end to prevent marring or scratching the floor or other surface upon which the apparatus rests in use. The legs 22 are all of the same length to support the frame in a substantially horizontal, level position, and may be of relatively short length.

Within the rectangle of the frame a flexible bed 26 of suitable fabric, such as woven plastic mesh is resiliently supported from the side and end elements of the frame by means of yieldable elements of springs, the bed being shaped to conform to the shape of the frame with its side margins spaced evenly inwardly therefrom. The bed is preferably of a type having a folded or otherwise reinforced margin 28 extending entirely about the bed, conveniently formed by folding the fabric over upon itself to form a margin having a plurality of layers which may, if desired be cemented or otherwise adhered together. The sides of the bed are provided with grommets 30 in the reinforced marginal portion 28 the two grommets which are adjacent each other midway of the length of each side being located relatively close together and the grommets along each side being spaced increasingly farther apart toward each end thereof, there being one such grommet located at each corner of the bed.

The bed is yieldingly connected to the frame by yieldable elements, such as the coil springs 32, which are preferably of relatively stiff construction, to support the bed in a very tightly stretched condition, so that the bed will yield only slightly under the weight of a person using the apparatus, thus greatly reducing the downward flexing of the bed in use, so that the legs 22 may be relatively short without allowing the bed to be engaged with the floor when the user jumps up and down on the bed.

For the purpose of connecting the bed to the frame to secure a very tightly stretched condition of the bed, particularly at the location of the generally central portion of the bed, the springs 32 are connected at their outer ends to the frame in openings formed in the horizontal flanges of the side and end frame elements at spaced locations therealong. Along two opposite sides of the frame, such as along the side elements 12 thereof the endmost openings 34 are positioned at locations spaced somewhat away from the ends of the elements. Thus, the endmost openings 34 are not located at the corners of the frame, but spaced inwardly longitudinally of the side elements from the corners.

The openings 36 are spaced at the same distance from the corresponding endmost openings 34, while the openings 38 are equally spaced from the openings 36, preferably somewhat closer to the openings 36 than are the openings 34. The openings 38 are also spaced from each other at a substantially greater distance than the other openings.

The openings 40 and 42 are positioned at spaced locations along the end elements 14 of the frame in the same manner as are the openings 36 and 38 along the side elements 12, except that the openings 40 will be spaced somewhat farther from the openings 34 than are the openings 36.

The springs 32 are preferably all of the same length and size, so that by this arrangement a very tightly stretched bed is obtained, in which the maximum pull or tautness is located centrally of the bed, causing the bed to yield downwardly in a more evenly stretched or planar manner than in a trampoline or other flexible bed device of conventional construction in which the bed sags or bows downwardly at locations where the user is supported thereon.

It will be evident that by this arrangement the springs are disposed on axes which are positioned in angular relation to the sides of the frame and bed between wich they extend at angles other than right angles whereby a desired distribution of the tension throughout the area of the bed may be obtained, whether the tension is to be uniformly distributed throughout such area or is to be maintained at a maximum in predetermined portions thereof, such as generally centrally where the user usually stands.

The fabric of the bed is preferably one having great strength and a maximum resistance to stretching, such as woven plastic.

For the purpose of making the exercise device more attractive as an article of furniture, the frame 10 may be supported on the support structure shown in FIG. 4, which is of generally box-like construction, formed of wood or other ornamental material. The support is provided at the corners with internal legs 44, of angle shape, whose upper end faces 46 and disposed at the same level below the upper edges of the sides 48 of the support in position for engagement with the frame 10 to support the frame at or somewhat below the upper edges of the sides 48. The lower end portions of the legs 44 may be levelled or tapered downwardly, as seen at 50 if desired and preferably extend downwardly somewhat below the lower edges of the sides 48 to support the same above the floor.

The open, box-like support may be provided with a cover, of any convenient kind, not shown, which is removable, and which enables the support to be used as an article of furniture, such as a stool or hassock with the frame 10 enclosed therein when the exercise device is not being used.

In making use of the invention, constructed as described above, the user stands on the flexible bed 26 by performing a slight jumping or bouncing movement may move up and down in a more or less relaxed condition which is very conducive to relieving tensions and relaxing the muscles, or, if preferred, the user may perform an in-place jogging action on the bed with his feet. While using the apparatus it is preferable for the user to maintain his body in a condition of relaxation or looseness as much as possible so that the muscles will be somewhat extended and contracted by the bouncing action of the bed, whereby the muscles are exercised without apparent effort on the part of the user apart from the slight effort needed to cause flexing of the tightly stretched bed.

it will thus be seen that the invention provides an exercising device which is of simple design and rugged construction, which may be easily carried about, and which requires little effort in use.