Lumbar Stretching Machine v1-4
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A simple method and apparatus for exercising the lumbar muscles by providing movement about a vertical axis, in one position of the support the movement table is moveable about a vertical axis with the person positioned on his/her back.

Bishop, Daniel J. (Winthrop, MA, US)
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International Classes:
A63B26/00; A63B23/00
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What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for exercising the lumbar muscles comprising of a means for supporting a person on his or her back in a horizontal plane for movement of the person's spine about a generally vertical axis in response to forces generated by the lumbar muscles, means for securing the pelvis of the person against movement, resistance means opposing movement of the spine in one direction about said axis, a stationary support table and means for pivotally mounting said support means to the stationary support for movement between a first position wherein the person is supported on his/her back for movement of the spine about a generally horizontal axis, and wherein said resistance means includes a movement by the person's back and a table pivotally mounted on the movement base and by the person's back at the lumbar muscles. This invention relates to equipment for exercising the muscles of the lumbar region of the back.

2. Clinical medical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of mechanically-aided exercise in situations where the pelvis is fixed in a position which allows the person's back or spine to be exercised from flexion to extension. Devices for such purposes include lumbar extension machines and torso rotation machine. Such machines are extremely complex. In general, their complexity, size, expense and the need for a technician's assistance to use the equipment does not render them readily susceptible to individual purchase and use. Additionally, some of these units do not isolate the lumbar paraspinal or lateral flexor musculature because they lack pelvic stabilization or do not provide progressive resistance. While all of the referenced prior art relates, in some respect, to exercise of certain muscle groups by providing a means of resistance to movement through a certain range of motion, such inventions are directed primarily toward one particular muscle group and are further directed to resistance to either a pushing type of muscle motion or a pulling resistance mechanism which seems to have found particular favor in devices relating to abdominal muscle groups. Exercise of the lower back muscle group has become particularly important in the rehabilitation of back injuries and in physical therapy designed to promote recovery and to prevent recurrence. Machines typically utilized for these purposes are, for the most part, extremely expensive, do not stabilize the pelvis or isolate the lumbar paraspinals or lateral flexors, and usually are available only in rehabilitation centers, medical facilities and health clubs. The expense of such machines does not often render them economically feasible for individual use outside of those settings.

3. Accordingly, a need exists for a device for exercising with progressive resistance the lower back muscle group of the human torso while the pelvis is stabilized, with such a device being easily used without a technician's assistance and being relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain. Specifically, what is needed is a device which may be used to exercise, with progressive resistance and without assistance, the lower back muscles, with the device not being expensive and utilizing a minimum number of moving parts for safety considerations and ease of maintenance. The present invention is directed to an exercise apparatus that is specifically directed to the human torso and exercise of the lumbar (extensor) paraspinal and lateral flexor (quadratus lumborum) muscles of the lower back. More specifically, this invention is directed to a torso exercising apparatus which one utilizes to exercise his or her lower back muscles.


Two cushioned oval tables each mounted on its own pivoting base with resistance. By positioning the pelvis on (FIG. 1) Table 2 and resting the upper body on Table 1, a twisting motion is achieved which stretches and provides resistance to the lower lumbar muscle groups. During exercise, the position of the persons head is fixed relative to the movement table, and the pelvis is also fixed against movement. The person would position their buttocks on Table 2 and rest back onto Table 1. The person breathes in and out normally and creates a light stretching action in the lower back area. The person can swing their knees slowly and lightly from side to side to create a mild twisting motion to the spinal area.

This has the added benefit of stretching out muscle fibers in a rotational manner. The person lies in this position for five to ten minutes (+ or −) as enjoyed or tolerated. The person then rolls onto their side and carefully gets up from that position.


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