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United States Patent 3,858,873
Jones January 7, 1975

WEIGHT LIFTING EXERCISING DEVICES

Abstract

An apparatus for the development of body parts and muscles effecting the movement of a user's body parts. The apparatus includes a frame on which is pivotally mounted a force applying member against which a body part may be placed and urged for purposes of developing said body part and muscles. The user is positioned on the front side of the frame during an exercise program. The apparatus also includes a weight pivotally mounted on the rear side of the frame and a force resolving spiral means rigidly connected to the force applying member for rotation therewith whereby the pull on the weight mass is continuously varied over the full range of rotation of said force applying member to produce a varying resistance force in direct opposition to the force applied to the force applying member by a body part and thereby to stress and develop said body part and muscles. The resolving spiral is in the form of one or more pulleys which continuously resolves the force of the weight mass to thereby provide optimum stress for developing the muscles. The effort of continuously exposing the body part undergoing an exercise to a varying force over the full range of movement will cause the muscle effecting movement of said body part to be subjected to optimum development conditions.


Inventors: Jones; Arthur A. (Swartz Creek, MI)
Appl. No.: 05/360,590
Filed: May 15, 1973


Current U.S. Class: 482/97 ; 482/137; 482/99
Current International Class: A63B 23/035 (20060101); A63B 23/12 (20060101); A63B 21/00 (20060101); A63B 21/06 (20060101); A63b 021/00 ()
Field of Search: 272/81,83R,82,80,79R,DIG.4

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3116062 December 1963 Zinkin
Foreign Patent Documents
215,774 ., 1968 SU
12,636 May., 1910 FR
Primary Examiner: Pinkham; Richard C.
Assistant Examiner: Browne; William R.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Flocks; Karl W.

Parent Case Text



This is a continuation application of applicant's pending application Ser. No. 172,478 filed Aug. 17, 1971, now abandoned.
Claims



What is claimed is:

1. A machine capable of high muscle fiber involvement exercise of at least one prime body part connected to a prime body joint;

said machine including a frame having a front side, a rear side, and a body receiving area for an exerciser in which the complete body of such an exerciser can be completely received therein, said area being disposed on the front side which is opposite to said rear side;

structural means, located on said front side and rotatably supported by said frame, for receiving force from a prime body part of an exerciser positioned in said body receiving area;

resistance means adapted to act in opposition to movement of said force receiving means by a user, which said resistance means may be variable;

resistance resolving means for resolving gravity pull of said resistance means into varying force components that are resisted by a user during rotation of said resistance resolving means, said resistance resolving means being operably connected to said force receiving means, said resistance resolving means being located on said front side and being rotatable with said force receiving means;

said resistance resolving means having a variable moment arm whereby the product of said variable moment arm and said resistance means determines the torque applied to said force receiving means;

the axis of rotation of said resolving means and,

the axis of the joint about which a prime body part to be exercised is rotated

are essentially coaxial and the distance from said body joint to a place where the prime body part is applied to said force receiving means is practically the same as

the distance from the axis of rotation of said resolving means to the place of application of said prime body part on the structural means for receiving a force from a prime body part.

2. Machine according to claim 1, wherein said resistance resolving means comprises generally spiral pulley members.

3. Machine according to claim 2, wherein said spiral pulley members are rigidly connected to said force receiving means for rotation therewith.

4. Machine according to claim 3 wherein said resistance means includes a re-directional pulley system, said system comprising a plurality of rotatable pulleys, cable means for transmitting the pull of said resistance means to said spiral pulleys while being reeved about said rotatable pulleys with the opposite ends of said cable means being fixedly secured respectively to lack of said spiral pulley members, and portions of said cable means immeidately adjacent to lack of said respective ends thereof, during operation of said machine, being adaptable to wind or unwind around the circumference of said spiral pulley members, the tension in said cable means constitutes a component of said resistance means which is continuously resolved by said resolving means into a force which acts in opposition to any force applied to said force receiving means when acted upon by a user.

5. Machine according to claim 3, wherein a re-directional pulley system comprises a first pair of spaced apart pulleys rotatably mounted on said resistance means, the pulleys of said first pair of pulleys have parallel axes and, a second pair of spaced apart pulleys rotatably mounted on said frame the pulleys of said second pair of pulleys have parallel axes, cable means for transmitting the pull of the resistance means wrapped around said first pair of pulleys by which a force applied to said force receiving means tends to raise said resistance means, and cable means extending from under said first pair of pulleys and over said second pair of pulleys to redirects said cable means to said spiral pulley members to which the respective ends of said cable means ar fixedly secured.

6. Machine according to claim 5, including treadle means disposed adjacent the lower portion of said frame are provided for independently raising the resistance means thereby relieving the tension in said cable means on said spiral pulley members prior to the beginning of an exercise program.

7. Machine according to claim 6, wherein each of said spiral pulley members includes a hub member from which said force receiving means extends radially therefrom and is integral and rotatable therewith.

8. Machine according to claim 7, wherein counterweight means for rotating the force receiving means to a position to be engaged by a user's limbs when no pull is exerted by the resistance means, integral with said hub member and extending radially therefrom.

9. Machine according to claim 8, wherein said force receiving means comprises a pair of generally L-shaped levers each of which has one leg integral with and extending from said hub member and a second leg at the free end of which extends an inwardly directed angled portion and a transversely directed stabilizing bar connecting said angled portions, said stabilizing bar and said angled portions defining a generally U-shaped constraction.

10. Machine according to claim 9, further including means for seating an exerciser, said last mentioned means being mounted on said frame.

11. Machine according to claim 6, in which said treadle means is pivotally secured on said frame and includes a resistance means lifting end and an end actuated by the force receiving means.

12. Machine capable of high muscle fiber involvement exercise of at least one prime body connected to a prime body joint; said machine including a frame, resistance weight means for resisting a user's movement during an exercise program, resolving means rotatably supported on said frame for varying a user's force necessary to lift and lower said resistance weight means, force receiving means for permitting engagement by a prime body part during rotation of said force resolving means, said force receiving means being supported for rotation about a first axis on the frame, said resistance weight means being independently pivotally mounted on a second axis, said second axis being spaced from and not in alignment with the first axis on said frame, said resistance weight means being operatively connected to, and resisting the movement of the force receiving means about the first axis, said resolving means adapted to resolve the gravity pull of said load or resistance weight means into a continuously variable balanced resistance force in opposition to any force applied to said force receiving means over the full range of rotation of said force receiving means.

13. A machine capable of high muscle fiber involvement exercise of at least one prime body part connected to a prime body joint;

said machine including a frame having a front side, a rear side, and a body receiving area for an exerciser in which the complete body of such an exerciser can be completely received therein, said area being disposed on the front side which is opposite to said rear side; resistance means for resisting movement of a prime body part of a user during an exercise program; structural means, located on said front side and rotatably supported by said frame, for receiving force from said prime body part; resistance resolving means for resolving gravity pull of said resistance means into varying force conponents that are acted on by user's prime body parts engaging said structural means, said resistance resolving means being located on said front side and being rotatable in unison with said structural means; said resistance means acting in opposition to a force applied to said structural means, which resistance means may be variable;

said resistance resolving means having a variable moment arm whereby the product of said variable moment arm and said resistance means determines the torque acting on said force receiving means;

said force receiving means and said resolving means both including portions disposed on opposite sides a user while a user is in the body receiving area;

the axis of rotation of said resolving means and

the axis of the joint about which a prime body part to be exercised is rotated are essentially coaxial and

the distance from said body joint to a place where the prime body part is applied to said force receiving means is practically the same as

the distance from the axis of rotation of said resolving means to the place of application of said prime body part on the structural means which receives a force from prime body parts.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is the outgrowth of applicant's many years of experience and research in the field of body building with emphasis being placed upon considerations of muscle and body physiology and basic physics of exercise methods and the realization of the need for tailored machinery for specific structure and function of individual muscles. While existing exercises and machines may be competent in developing the body, it is not clear that they are necessarily the ultimate in point of efficiency. In this connection most, if not all, conventional exercising machines are based upon the effect of gravity providing a linear resistance or force against which the individual works to build his body. Spring machines are comparable to the effect of gravity in that the resistance thereof are linear or unidirectional. Even in machines having pulleys the pulleys serve only to re-direct the direction of the resistance to a single linear direction.

The fact that in conventional exercises resistance to body movement is linear is a significant drawback particularly when the body parts involved are rotating. In other words the rotary motion of body parts is countered by reciprocatory motion which is linear. The benefits to be derived therefrom, because of the relatively low efficiency of such system or exercise, is forthcoming only after prolonged and unnecessary effort as will be seen from the machine and method disclosed and claimed herein by applicant.

DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART

A simple and well known form of body building exercise is the curl, the movement of which is rotational throughout a range of movement of approximately 160.degree.. At the start of a curl, the movement is almost perfectly horizontal, straight forward; approximately midway through this exercise the movement is vertical, straight up; and at the end of the exercise the movement is approximately horizontal again, but in the opposite direction. During the entire movement of this exercise, the resistance is always vertical in a straight down direction. From this it is seen that although the resistance remains constant, it would seem to become heavier as the movement progresses from the starting position to the midpoint and seem to become lighter thereafter. In the normal finishing position of the curl, there is literally no resistance. At this point it is possible to hold that position almost indefinitely, with absolutely no work being demanded on the part of the bending muscles of the upper arms. This occurs because during a curl the moment arm of the weight is constantly changing as the movement progresses with direct resistance being provided only at the infinitely small point where resistance is being moved vertically. A close study of conventional exercising machines will clearly show that in almost every case direct resistance is provided only within an extremely limited range of movement, literally an infinitely small range of movement, and that in many conventional machines there is no direct resistance at any point.

If the normal strength generated by human muscles involved exactly match the apparently changing resistance provided by an exercise such as the curl, then the movement would feel perfectly even, that is, the resistance at no point over the range of movement would appear to be any heavier than that at any other point. However, since in fact the strength generated by the muscles does not match a change in resistance, the resistance at some points does feel heavier than at other points; so-called "sticking points" are encountered, where the weights feel very heavy. Along with this there will be points where there is little or no resistance to the movement of the resistance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a new exercising machine based upon the concept that the greatest rate of development of body parts and muscles effecting the movement thereof is achieved by providing the body part and muscle involved in a particular exercise with a balanced resistance over the full range of motion of the involved body part and muscle.

It is also an object of this invention to provide an exercising machine in which a body part that is moved by the muscles to be developed may be rotated on a common axis with the force applying member, but in a direction opposite to the resistance of weight means whereby the body parts and muscles will be stressed and developed.

It is further an object of this invention to provide an exercising machine in which the direction of resistance in the machine will continuously change automatically, simultaneously and in exact accord with the direction of movement of the involved body parts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIGS. 1A-E show a sequence of arm positions in a curl exercise;

FIG. 2 shows a front elevational view of the machine according to this invention with an exerciser outlined in phantom as being seated on and strapped to the machine in an initial position prior to using the machine;

FIG. 3 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser preparing to adjust the force applying lever to the position in which the body part to be exercised may be applied thereagainst;

FIG. 4 shows a side elevational view of the machine acdording to this invention with the exerciser having adjusted the force applying lever to the position in which the body part to be exercised may be applied thereagainst by lowering the forward end of a treadle;

FIG. 5 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser having placed the body parts to be exercised against the force applying lever;

FIG. 6 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser having removed his feet from the adjustment treadle;

FIG. 7 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser allowing his arms to move back to initiate a cycle of exercise;

FIG. 8 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser having moved his arms forward to about the midpoint of a cycle of exercise;

FIG. 9 shows a side elevational view of the machine according to this invention with the exerciser having brought his arms forward to the other end of the exercise cycle and;

FIG. 10 shows a view in perspective generally from the rear of the force applying lever, resolving spiral pulley and counterweight assembly.

BASIC EXERCISING CONCEPT

Looking at FIGS. 1 A-E which show a sequence of arm positions during a curling exercise, it is seen in FIG. 1A, which shows the initial position of the exercise, that the lower arm is in line with the upper arm and therefore produces zero moment about X which marks the pivot point between the upper and the lower arms. As the arms progress to the positions as shown in FIGS. 1B-D moment arms of eight inches, twelve inches, and six inches, respectively, are effected about the pivot point X. Finally, when the arms are at the end of the exercise as shown in FIG. 1E, there is again zero moment arm about the pivot point X since the weight at the end of the lower arm is once again in vertical alignment with the pivot point X.

It is important to note in the curl exercise that it is the muscle in the upper arm attached to the lower arm which provides the motive power to move the lower arm and raise the weight carried at the end of the lower arm. Looking again at FIG. 1A it is obvious that there is literally no resistance at the start of a curl, because there is zero distance between the two vertical lines and thus zero moment arm. As the lower arm proceeds to the 45.degree. position as shown in FIG. 1B, the moment arm has increased from zero to approximately 8 inches. Assuming that the exerciser is using a 100 lb. barbell, the torque has increased from zero to 800 inch-pounds about the pivot point X. When the arm has moved another 45.degree. in the exercise as shown in FIG. 1C, the moment arm has increased to approximately 12 inches and the torque has reached its highest point of 1,200 inch-pounds. As the lower arms move forward another 45.degree. as shown in FIG. 1D, the moment arm decreases to approximately 6 inches to provide a torque of 600 inch-pounds about the point X. Finally, when the lower arm moves to the vertical position as shown in FIG. 1E, there is once again zero moment arm about the point X which produces zero torque. It is noted in FIGS. 1D and 1E that the elbows have moved forward substantially from the position as shown in FIGS. 1A-C so that the upper arms are no longer in a vertical line, this is because during an actual barbell curl, the elbows do not remain fixed in one position and this further results in a quicker reduction of moment arm and therefore torque after the 90.degree. position shown in FIG. 1C has been reached.

From the above discussion it is clearly seen that much of the muscle fibers of the upper arms are not called upon to do any work during the curling exercise and that at certain points none of these muscles are called upon to do any work.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 2-10 of the drawings, the novel exercising machine according to this invention is in the form of a pull-over machine which comprises a frame 10 having a pair of parallel front legs 12 extending upwardly and to the rear. Each of the front legs 12 includes a rearwardly directed, angled extension 14. Extending transversely of the machine is a bar 15 which is integral with the ends of extensions 14 to provide rigidity to the frame 10 thereat. Approximately midway between the bottom of each of the front legs 12 and the intersection point of the extension 14 with the front legs 12 is a downwardly and rearwardly extending rear leg 16. A horizontal bar 18 connects each of the front legs 12 to a rear leg 16 to provide the frame with rigidity. A generally vertically extending bar 20 connects each of the angled extensions 14 to a rear leg 16 to provide additional rigidity to the frame 10. Extending generally parallel to and above each of the bars 18 is an upper bar 22 integral with a front leg 12 and a rear leg 16. Integral with each of the bars 18 is a transversely extending horizontal bar 24. Extending rearwardly from the midpoint of the transversely extending bar 24 to opposite bars 18 is a pair of diagonal bars 27.

Interposed within the frame 10 and secured thereto is a generally L-shaped seat supporting member 26 to which is fixedly secured a seat member 28 and a back rest 29. A load or resistance weight tray assembly 30 includes a pair of parallel arms 32 extending forwardly therefrom to each of the front legs 12 which are pivotally secured thereto by pins 34. The tray assembly 30 includes a pair of parallel weight retaining posts 36 which are adapted to pass through perforated load or resistance weight members 38 which are removably held thereby. Additional load or resistance weight members may be added thereto if desired. Fixed to the underside of the weight tray assembly 30 and midway between posts 36 is a generally U-shaped rail element 39. Extending rearwardly from the weight tray assembly 30 is a pair of brackets 40 each of which supports a bearing post assembly 42 for a pair of rotatable lifting pulleys 43 which are substantially in the same plane. A pair of parallel redirectional pulleys 44 are rotatably supported adjacent the free end of the extensions 14 by pins 46 and brackets 48. A pair of parallel spiral pulleys 50 each having a plurality of spokes 52 and a hub 54 integral therewith are rotatably supported at the top of front legs 12 and adapted to rotate about the axis of pins 56. A cable 58 having its opposite ends fixedly connected to the surface of the spiral pulleys 50 and adapted to be wound and unwound thereover extends over the re-directional pulleys 44 and under the pulleys 43. Integral with each hub 54 and extending radially therefrom is a connecting rod 55 having a counterweight 57 at the free end thereof. Also integral with each of the hubs 54 is a generally L-shaped force applying lever assembly 60 having one leg 62 extending radially from the hub 54 and a leg 64 having a free end. The free end of each leg 64 has a reversely extending angled portion 66 which ultimately extends transversely of the machine as a stabilizing bar 68 integrally connecting opposite angled portions 66 and providing a deformed clearance therebetween. Extending outwardly from and fixed to the free end of each of the legs 62 of the L-shaped lever adjacent the intersection of leg 62 with leg 64 is a bracket 70. An elbow pad 72 constituting force receiving means is secured to each bracket 70.

Integral with and extending down from the bottom of seat support 26 is a yoke 74 on which is pivotally secured a treadle 76 by pins 78. The treadle 76 has an angled front extension 80 through which extends a transverse bar 82. At the rear end of the treadle 76 is an abutment member 84 adapted to contact rail 39. A two-piece seat belt 86 is fixed to each bar 22 by pin 28.

To operate the machine 10 an exerciser first seats himself in the machine and straps himself thereto with twopiece belt 86 as shown in FIG. 2. At this time the force applying lever assembly 60 is up and behind the exerciser as best seen in FIG. 3. The exerciser then places his feet on the transverse bar 82 at the end of the front extension 80 of treadle 76 preparatory to raising the weight tray assembly 30. The exerciser then brings his feet to the ground to raise the load or resistance weight tray assembly 30 as the abutment member 84 at the rear end of treadle 76, which is pivoted at 78, is brought against the rail 39 at the underside of the weight tray assembly 30 as shown in FIG. 4. As the weight tray assembly 30 is raised to the position shown in FIG. 4, each counterweight 57 drops from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that shown in FIG. 4 thereby causing each spiral pulley 50 and force applying lever assembly 60, both of which are interconnected to the counterweight 57 by the hub 54 rotatably supported at the top of the front legs 12 by pins 56 to rotate in a clockwise direction to the position shown in FIG. 4. The exerciser may now place the elbow portion of his upper arms against the force receiving pads 72 as shown in FIG. 5. For purposes of this exercise the upper arms are regarded as prime body parts and the shoulder area of each arm is considered as a prime body joint. Next, the exerciser removes his feet from the transverse bar 82 to allow the rear end of the treadle 76 to drop to the ground. At this point, the weight tray assembly 30 is suspended in mid air by virtue of the cable 58 which passes under the pair of pulleys 43, over the pair of re-directional pulleys 44 and is secured to the surface of spiral pulleys 50. Various positions of the force applying lever assembly 60 are now determined by the force applied thereto by the exerciser's upper arms in opposition to gravity pull of the weight tray assembly 30 as resolved by the spiral pulleys 50 along portions of cable 58 emanating from the surface of pulleys 50 in tension. It is noted here that the only force applied to the lever assembly 60 by the exerciser is at the elbow pads 72. No force is applied to the leg 64 or at the angled portions 66 of the lever assembly 60 by the forearms and hands of the exerciser. The location of the forearms and hands are irrelevant as long as they do not interfere with the force applied by the upper arms. The principal function of the legs 64 is to provide a resting place for the forearms of the exerciser and to support the angled portions 66 which act as a handrest, which are interconnected by transversely extending stabilizer bar 68.

A complete cycle of exercise on the machine 10 is traversed by the exerciser as he allows his upper arms to swing back to the position shown in FIG. 7. The exerciser then brings his upper arms forward with FIG. 8 showing an intermediate position of the exercise and FIG. 9 the end of one cycle of the exercise. At the end of the exercise the stabilizing bar 68 extending from the angled portions 66 at the opposite ends thereof may be brought down over the exerciser's lap because of the deformed clearance provided thereby.

In each of FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 it is noted that the point of rotation 66 of each spiral pulley 50 is substantially in line with the shoulders of the exerciser at which the point of rotation of the exerciser's upper arms are located. Because of the configuration of each spiral pulley 50, the tension of the cable 58 with respect to the pulley is constantly changing as the pulley 50 is rotated between the position shown in FIG. 7 and that shown in FIG. 9. It is noted here that during an exercise the muscles are stronger in some positions thereof than in other positions. Because the strength of muscles varies as movement occurs during an exercise, resistance is correspondingly varied in accordance with this invention to provide a balanced resistance over the full range of the exercise. The exercising machine according to this invention thus provides an exerciser with a varying balanced resistance over the full range of a cycle of exercise, direct resistance to his efforts, and omnidirectional resistance to his efforts over the full range of the machine.

Although the machine as disclosed provides force applying lever assembly 60 for matching body parts, it is clear that an exerciser if he desires may exercise only a single body part.

It is to be understood that while one preferred embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, numerous variations or modifications therein may occur to those having skill in this art and what is intended to be covered herein is not only the illustrated form of the invention, but also any and all modified forms thereof as may come within the scope and spirit of this invention.

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