US 3119613 A
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Jan. 28, 1964 w. ZBYSZKO 3,
EXERCISING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 13, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. 14/4 005% Z 5 ysz/ro Z ,Mr/MJMW Jan. 28, 1964 w. ZBYSZKO 3,119,513
EXERCISING APPARATUS Filed Nov. 15, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR W1. HOEA Z a rszx 0 lpwmw r Z'ORNE vs United States Patent 3,119,613 EXERQISING APPARATUS Wladelr Zhyszko, R0. Box 9, Savannah, Mo. Filed Nov. 13, 1962, Ser- No. 237,244 5 Claims. (Cl. 272-58) The present invention relates to apparatus for assisting in the exercise of the human body.
It has been said that the need for exercise increases as society becomes mechanized. As more and more laborsaving devices are developed and sold, exercise is virtually eliminated from daily life. It becomes the height of ambition to spend leisure time sitting in an easy chair with a cigar or cigarette, a drink and television. Walkng is replaced by riding and standing is replaced by sitting. The number of people employed in sedentary occupations increases.
As a result of this lack of exercise, persons living in a mechanized society fall into a state of poor physical conditioning. Their ability to withstand fatigue decreases. They cannot run and they are overweight. They develop muscular aches and pains. Their occupations expose them to extreme nervous tension which applies actual strain to their muscles, but, because of poor physical conditioning, their muscles are unable to withstand the stress. This further weakens the muscles and a vicious cycle sets in. The ache and pain of sore muscles, and associated physical weaknesses generate added frustration and nervous tension which in turn provide additional stress to the already weak muscles. Gradually, severe physical disorders develop.
Indeed, this lack of physical conditioning has been shown to be a major contributing factor to premature degenerative heart diseases. The heart of a person who is in poor physical condition works harder than that of an athlete. The body depends upon skeletal muscles to force blood through the veins in its return to the heart. If these muscles are weak or in poor condition, the heart must work harder to pump blood and the added strain can contribute to serious heart ailments.
Exercise can help. In addition to its effect on blood circulation, exercise helps to combat nervous tension which is another contributing factor to many degenerative diseases. Those Who exercise regularly generally sleep better. They usually have better digestion.
In short, it would seem clear that exercise is necessary for the human body and that avoidance of exercise which is characteristic of mechanized societies is harmful.
However, restoring exercise to daily routine is not easy. A person whose employment is sedentary cannot simply abandon his work for physical labor. He can, of course, engage in sports but it is difiicult to rely upon this for regular exercise. Regularity is an important aspect of exercise. A few minutes exercise each day is far more valuable than a much longer period once each week.
Another difficulty of sports is that they generally are too vigorous for a person who is in poor physical condition. Fast running or other taxing exercise is genuinely dangerous for a person who is not in good condition. In addition, sports require expensive facilities which are unavailable to most people, and arrangements must be made with other players which is often difiicult.
A regular daily program of calisthenics is very helpful but ordinary calisthenics are too taxing for a person who "'ice is in poor condition. For example, push-ups require considerable muscle strength. A person who attempts such exercises will be unable to perform them, and in addition to the risk of injury, will receive relatively little benefit and usually will become discouraged quickly.
Consequently, there is a need for exercise which can be performed regularly, preferably daily, which require relatively little time and expense. At the same time, there must be a program which helps at least the major body muscles and which provides increasingly difficult exercises as strength is increased.
The present inventor has through many years of his career found that an exercise program, to be successful, must include strengthening of abdominal muscles. He has developed an exerciser which permits performance of a variety of exercises to strengthen all of the major muscles of the body while concentrating on the abdominal muscles. The exerciser eases exercising in the early stages of redevelopment and permits gradual advancernent. It also permits advanced exercises not possible without specialized equipment. The exercise program which may be carried out with this single equipment helps in all aspects of physical fitness, i.e., endurance or resistance to fatigue, suppleness or flexibility, equilibrium or state of balance, strength, speed and skill or coordination.
The apparatus is simple and inexpensive. It is an assembly of three basic sections. The first section is a stand having a pivoted platform at its top and springs which urge the platform to a horizontal position. The second section is a sort of table or stretcher having two parallel rods joined by straps. The third section is another stand having two extensible vertical posts joined at their top by a horizontal bar. These sections are joined together by disengageable couplings between the ends of the rods of the table section and the respective stands so that the table is at about the same height as the platform of the first stand.
The apparatus 'will be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the invention in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the apparatus;
FIGURE 2 is a partial section along lines 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a partial section along lines 3-3 of FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective of a part of .the apparatus showing disengageable coupling;
FIGURES 59 show use of the apparatus in performing a few of the many possible exercises;
FIGURE 10 shows the apparatus collapsed for storage; and
FIGURE 11 is an enlarged partial view of the apparatus showing telescoping members.
The apparatus includes three sections, stands 1 and 2 joined by a table or stretcher 3. Stand 1 has four upright posts 4, 5, 6 and 7 at the corners of a rectangle which are bowed outwardly in an S-shaped curvature at their lower ends for added stability. Posts 5 and '6, which are separated by one of the long sides of the rectangle, are bent at their tops and extend forwardly in a horizontal direction as bars *8 and 9 across the top of posts 4 and 7, respectively, projecting a short distance beyond the latter. The four posts are held together by four lower braces ill,
11, .12 and 13 which are welded or otherwise secured to the posts directly above their curved lower portions. Bars 8 and 9 are similarly secured to the tops of posts 4 and 7. Additional bracing is provided by rods 14 and 15 connecting posts and 6 and 4 and 7, respectively, near but below the tops of the posts.
A platform 16 is provided at the .top of stand 1 at about the same height as bars 8 and 9 and between them. Pivotal connections between the platform and stand are provided by brackets 17 and 18 mounted on bars 8 and 9 which have depending flanges, and by rods and 20 which are fixed to the lower side of the platform and journaled in bearings 119 in the depending flanges of the brackets.
The platform 16 is urged to a horizontal position by torsion springs 21, 21 and 21 and 22, 22 and 22. Each is a coil with long uncoiled ends, the ends being attached by clips to the underside of the platform '16 and one of the horizontal bars 14- and 15. Hence, the platform may be tilted against resistance by the springs, and bars 14 and 15.
Stand 2 is an inverted U-shaped member having two vertical posts 23 and 24 joined at their tops by an integral horizontal bar 25. There is also a cross brace 26 connecting posts 23 and 24 near their lower ends. The posts 23 and 24 are extensible or telescoping so that bar may be raised and lowered as may be seen by comparison of its positions in FIGURES 5 and 6'.
The table 3 has two parallel long rods 27 and 28 and several straps 29, 29, etc. The ends of the straps have loops which are fitted around the rods 27 and 28. One end of each rod has a socket 30 or 39' and the opposite end has a prong 31 as seen in FIGURE 4. On stand 1, the ends of bars 8 and 9, beyond upright posts 4 and 7, respectively, are hollow to provide sockets 32 and 32 which mate with a prong 31. For safety, aligned holes may be provided in pin 31 and socket 3 2 for a locking pin 33 which passes through opposite sides of the wall of the socket and through the pin 32.
Similarly, pins 34 and 34 are provided extending perpendicularly from posts 23 and 24 which are received in sockets 30 and 3%. Additional support is provided by diagonal braces 35 and 35 joining pins 34 and 34' to the posts 23 and 24.
In some exercises, the table 3 may be removed, as shown in FIGURE 6. Also, the rods 27 and 28 may be telescoping or assembled from more than one section so that the length of the table may be adjusted. It is also possible to telescope these rods 27 and 28 into members 8 and 9, rather than removing them.
There are two general types of exercise which may be performed on the apparatus, which will be referred to as static and dynamic. In the former, a person assumes a position such as that shown in FIGURE 9 in which certain muscles are under tension and remains in that position for, say, one minute. Dynamic exercises include movement from one position to another. Both types of exercise may be performed on the apparatus.
Another classification of exercises divides them into active and passive types. In the former, the person does all of the work himself while in the latter, an external force is applied.
In many of the exercises, a person sits on the platform 16 or lies with his abdomen across it, as shown in FIG- URES 7 and 8. This leads to flexing and strengthening of muscles of the abdomen and lower back which is the most essential area. A person who sits during most of his working day particularly requires exercise of this part of the body.
In a number of exercises, the person rests his legs on the straps 29, 29', etc. and hooks his feet under bar 25. This provides an important convenience, since similar exercises performed without this apparatus require an other person to hold down the feet.
One important advantage for the straps 29, 29', etc.
A is that they permit the legs to lie below the center por tion of the body. This is more suitable than a fiat table or the floor since the exerciser assumes a more natural position.
The tilting table 16 also helps in this regard. That is, it provides proper support and, because of spring tension, it exerts a gentle lifting action on body parts extending below the platform. This applies a tension to abdominal or lower back muscles which strengthens them.
Another important aspect of the apparatus is its open ness. The braces 14 and 15 are below the platform 16 so that body members may extend below the platform and be lifted by spring action. This permits a combination of active and passive exercise.
Other exercises are possible. Horizontal bar 25 may be raised and used as a pull-up bar. It is also possible to use rods 27 and 28 as parallel bars for exercises conventionally performed on these. The construction is simple but sturdy; this exerciser resists tipping and can support a weight of 800 pounds. It can be used simultaneously by three people working with the major sections 1, 2 and 3.
In the above description, reference has been made to rods, bars and the like. However, it will be appreciated that any suitable structural elements may be employed. Tubing may be used for most of the parts of the exerciser provided its Walls are sufficiently thick. In the case of posts 23 and 24 which are extensible, there may be concentric tubes which telescope, provided adequate locking means are included to hold any given length, or the posts may be assembled from shorter lengths having interlocking joints. Members 27 and 28 also are extensible and may be similarly constructed. These also may telescope into members 3 and 9 rather than being removable for storage and to perform the exercise shown in FIG- URE 6.
Other changes are possible in the details of construction and mode of operation without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for assisting in the exercise of the human body comprising a first stand, a platform, means pivotally mounting the platform in a horizontal position at the top of the first stand for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis through the center of the platform, spring means on said first stand urging the platform to a horizontal position, a horizontal table, coupling means on said table adjacent one end and coupling means on said stand adjacent a free edge of the platform disengageably securing one end of the table to said first stand, a second stand, coupling means on the second stand at about the same height as the coupling means on the first stand and coupling means on the other end of the table disengageably securing the other end of said table to the coupling means on said second stand, a bar and means supporting said bar in a horizontal position on said second stand a short distance above the table and near said other end of the table so that a person may rest his legs on the table and engage his feet under the bar while seated on the pivoted platform.
2. Apparatus for exercise of the human body as set forth in claim 1 in which the means supporting the bar is vertically adjustable permitting the bar to be raised to a higher position and grasped by the hands of a person seated on the pivoted platform.
3. Apparatus for exercise of the human body as set forth in claim 1 in which the coupling means on the first stand and the coupling means on the second stand detachably coupled to each other to join the two stands when the table is removed.
4. Apparatus for exercise of the human body as set forth in claim 1 in which said table comprises a pair of parallel rod members extending from said first stand to said second stand and a plurality of straps extending transversely between said parallel rod members.
5. Apparatus for exercise of the human body as set forth in claim 1 in which the first stand comprises four substantially vertical posts at the corners of a rectangle, a first pair of substantially horizontal parallel bars joining opposing posts, said pivotal mounting means comprising a pair of bearing members fixed respectively to said horizontal bars, and a second pair of parallel bars perpendicular to said first pair and joining opposed pairs of posts, said second pair of parallel bars being below said platform so as not to interfere with free movement of body members of persons seated on said platform when the platform is tilted.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS
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