Title:
Foot tendon exercising apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foot tendon exercising apparatus includes a base, a footplate pivoted to the base, a driving mechanism installed in the base and adapted to turn the footplate relative to the base to a desired tilted position, an upright support upwardly extended from a front side of the base, and a control switch mounted on the upright support and adapted to control the operation of the driving mechanism.



Inventors:
Hsu, Hank (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
09/973880
Publication Date:
04/17/2003
Filing Date:
10/11/2001
Assignee:
HSU HANK
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
601/28, 601/30, 601/70
International Classes:
A61H1/02; A63B23/08; A61H23/02; A63B23/00; (IPC1-7): A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Browdy and Neimark, PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A foot tendon exercising apparatus comprising: a base; a footplate mounted on said base, said footplate having a rear side pivoted to a rear side of said base and a top sidewall for the positioning of the user's feet; a driving mechanism installed in said base and adapted to turn said footplate relative to said base to a desired tilted position; an upright support upwardly extended from a front side of said base, said upright support having a handle at a top side thereof; and a control switch mounted on said upright support and adapted to control the operation of said driving mechanism.

2. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said footplate has an upward stop flange upwardly extended along the rear side of said footplate and adapted to support the user's feet on the top sidewall of said footplate.

3. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said upward stop flange has two recessed portions adapted to receive the user's heel when the user positioned the feet on the top sidewall of said footplate.

4. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said driving mechanism comprises an actuating device pivoted to said base near a front side of said base, a screw rod coupled to said actuating device, a coupling tube adapted to turn said footplate relative to said base upon rotary motion of said screw rod, said coupling tube having a front thereof threaded onto said screw rod and a rear end thereof pivoted to said footplate, and a reversible motor coupled to said actuating device and controlled by said control switch to rotate said screw rod.

5. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said footplate comprises two bottom lugs bilaterally disposed near the rear side thereof, and the rear end of said coupling tube is pivoted to the bottom lugs of said footplate.

6. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said actuating device is a gear box adapted to transmit rotary driving force from said reversible motor to said screw rod.

7. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said footplate comprises a massaging device adapted to massage and stimulate the sole of the user's feet.

8. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said massaging device comprises a vibration plate supported on the top sidewall of said footplate, said vibration plate having raised massaging elements, and a driving mechanism installed in said footplate and adapted to vibrate said vibration plate.

9. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein said upright support comprises a back cushion.

10. The foot tendon exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said massaging device comprises a pad that releases far-infrared rays.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to a foot exercising apparatus, and more particularly to a foot tendon exercising apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] FIG. 1 shows a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to the prior art. According to this design, the foot tendon exercising apparatus comprises a base 81′ defining a plurality of locating grooves 84′, a footplate 83′ having a rear side pivoted to the base 81′ and a plurality of bottom positioning grooves 85′ transversely disposed at the bottom side of the footplate 83′, and a support plate 82′ coupled between the locating grooves 84′ of the base 81′ and the bottom positioning grooves 85′ of the footplate 83′ to support the footplate 83′ in one of a series of tilted positions.

[0003] FIG. 2 shows another structure of foot tendon exercising apparatus according to the prior art. According to this design, the foot tendon exercising apparatus comprises a box-like base 91, a footplate 92, the footplate 92 having a rear side pivoted to the base 91, a balance block 94 mounted inside the base 91, two links 95 bilaterally coupled between the balance block 94 and the footplate 92, and an adjustment screw 93 mounted in the front side of the base 91 and coupled to the balance block 94. When rotating the adjustment screw 93, the balance block 94 is moved forwards/backwards, thereby causing the links 95 to lift/lower the footplate 92.

[0004] The aforesaid two prior art designs are still not satisfactory in function. The drawbacks of the aforesaid prior art designs are numerous as outlined hereinafter.

[0005] 1. It is complicated to adjust the tilted angular position of the footplate manually, and the user must stop the exercise and get off the footplate when making an adjustment.

[0006] 2. When exercising, the user must keep the body in balance, and the user cannot concentrate one's efforts on the exercise if the body is not kept in balance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention has been accomplished to provide a foot tendon exercising apparatus, which eliminates the aforesaid drawbacks. It is therefore the primary objective of the present invention to provide a foot tendon exercising apparatus, which enables the user to adjust the tilted angular position of the footplate without stop the exercise.

[0008] It is another objective of the present invention to provide a foot tendon exercising apparatus, which has means for the holding of the hands so that the user can keep the body in balance during exercising.

[0009] It is still another objective of the present invention to provide a foot tendon exercising apparatus, which is programmably controlled to fit different exercise requirements.

[0010] In keeping with the principle of the present invention, the foregoing objectives of the present invention are attained by a foot tendon exercising apparatus which is comprised of a base, a footplate pivoted to the base, a driving mechanism installed in the base and adapted to turn the footplate relative to the base to the desired tilted position, an upright support upwardly extended from a front side of the base, and a programmable control switch mounted on the upright support and adapted to control the operation of the driving mechanism.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to the prior art.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to another prior art.

[0013] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 4 is a side view of the first embodiment of the present invention showing an application example of the foot tendon exercising apparatus.

[0015] FIG. 5 is another side view of the first embodiment of the present invention showing the tilted position of the footplate adjusted.

[0016] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a foot tendon exercising apparatus according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a foot tendon exercising apparatus 10 is shown constructed according to a first embodiment of the present invention. The foot exercising apparatus 10 comprises a base 20, a footplate 30, a driving mechanism 40, an upright support 50, and a control switch 60.

[0019] The base 20 is a hollow rectangular frame shell for positioning on the floor, having two posts 21 bilaterally disposed near the rear side, and a U-shaped coupling plate 22 disposed near the front side and extended in direction toward the posts 21.

[0020] The footplate 30 is a rectangular plate pivoted with one side (the rear side) to the posts 21 of the base 20. The top sidewall of the footplate 30 is a flat sidewall for the positioning of the user's feet. The footplate 30 comprises two bottom lugs 31 bilaterally disposed near the rear side, and an upward stop flange 32 upwardly extended along the rear side and adapted to support the user's feet on the flat top sidewall of the footplate 30. The upward stop flange 32 has two recessed portions 321 adapted to receive the heels when the user positioned the feet on the footplate 30.

[0021] The driving mechanism 40 is adapted to tilt the footplate 30, comprising an actuating device, for example, a gear box 41, the gear box 41 having a coupling plate 45 pivoted to the U-shaped coupling plate 22 of the base 20, a screw rod 43 coupled to output side of the gear box 41, a coupling tube 44, the coupling tube 44 having one end threaded onto the screw rod 43 and the other end pivoted to the bottom lugs 31 of the footplate 30, and a reversible motor 42 coupled to the input side of the gear box 41 (at the right side of the gear box 41) and adapted to rotate the screw rod 43 through the transmission gear set (not shown) in the gear box 41. When rotating the screw rod 43 in one direction, the coupling tube 44 is moved forwards toward the gear box 41 to lower the footplate 30. On the contrary, when rotating the screw rod 43 in the reversed direction, the coupling tube 44 is moved backwards to lift the footplate 30.

[0022] The upright support 50 comprises a main rod member 51 upwardly extended from the center area of the front side of the base 20, a tubular member 52 upwardly extended from the top of the main rod member 51 and terminating in a loop-shaped handle 53.

[0023] The control switch 60 is mounted on the loop-shaped handle 53, and electrically connected to the reversible motor 42 of the driving mechanism 40 through a circuit board and an electric line (not shown). The electric line extends through a hole in the upright post 50 to the reversible motor 42. Through the control switch 60, the user can control the direction of rotation and number of turns of the reversible motor 42.

[0024] Referring to FIG. 4, when in use, the user position the feet on the footplate 30 with the heels supported in the recessed portions 321 of the upward stop flange 32 and the toes facing the upright support 50, and then hold the handle 53 with the hands. Because the footplate 30 is supported on the posts 21 of the base 20 and the coupling tube 44 of the driving mechanism 40 in an upwardly tilted position, the tendons of the feet are stretched. Because the feet are supported on the upward stop flange 32 of the footplate 30 and the user can hold the handles 53 with the hands when exercising, the foot tendon exercising apparatus is safe in use.

[0025] When changing the tilting angle of the footplate 30, the user can operate the control switch 60 to control the reversible motor 42 to rotate the screw rod 43 clockwise or counter-clockwise, so as to move the coupling tube 44 forwards or backwards and to further tilt the footplate 30 downwards or upwards. FIG. 5 shows the footplate 30 tilted upwards to a relatively higher angular position than the position shown in FIG. 4. Therefore, it is not necessary to adjust the angular position of the footplate 30 manually, and the user can adjust the angular position of the footplate 30 during exercising.

[0026] In actual practice, the control switch 60 can be made having a set of buttons adapted to turn the footplate 30 to different tilted positions (for example, 10°, 20°, 30°, and etc.). Alternatively the control switch 60 can be made having two buttons that control clockwise rotation and counter-clockwise rotation of the reversible motor 42.

[0027] A sophisticated programmable control circuit may be used to control the operation of the reversible motor 42. For example, the control circuit can be set to turn the footplate 30 to a 10°-tilted position at the first minute, and then to turn the footplate 30 to a 20°-tilted position at the second minute, and then to turn the footplate 30 to a 30°-tilted position. Alternatively, the control circuit can be set to turn the footplate 30 up and down slowly at a constant speed. In general, the foot tendon exercising apparatus can be an intelligent exercising apparatus.

[0028] FIG. 6 shows a foot tendon exercising apparatus constructed according to a second embodiment of the present invention. According to this embodiment, the foot tendon exercising apparatus 70 comprises a massaging device 72 installed in the footplate 71, and a back cushion 73 at the upright support. The massaging device 72 comprises a vibration plate 74 and a driving mechanism 75 adapted to vibrate the vibration plate 74. The vibration plate 74 has raised massaging elements 76 adapted to massage the sole of the feet. When the footplate 30 adjusted to a horizontal position, the user can sit on the footplate 30 with the back supported on the back cushion 73, enabling the massaging device 72 to massage the user's hips and thighs.

[0029] FIG. 7 shows a foot tendon exercising apparatus constructed according to a third embodiment of the present invention. According to this embodiment, the foot tendon exercising apparatus 80 comprises a massaging device 82 installed in the footplate 81. The massaging device 82 is a flexible pad injection molded from a plastic mixture containing mineral powder that releases far-infrared rays to stimulate the circulation of blood.

[0030] A prototype of foot tendon exercising apparatus has been constructed with the features of FIGS. 3˜7. The foot tendon exercising apparatus functions smoothly to provide all of the features discussed earlier.

[0031] Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications and enhancements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited except as by the appended claims.





 
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