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Therapeutic exercise device with adjustable frame for wheelchair users and standard four legged chair users

Abstract
A leg exerciser for the wheelchair user or standard four legged chair user that includes an adjustable frame to suit the users size. The frame includes a two section longitudinal center member which can be elongated or shortened then locked in a selected position by a detent pin inserted into holes formed in the sides of both sections of the center member. The adjustable frame supports at least one radius arm with foot pedals attached by a connecting rod. A shock absorbing damper and elastic bands are provided for leg exercise resistance arid return force. The adjustable frame has a square tubular end member attached horizontally for retaining tire leg exerciser to the wheelchair or chair. Retaining plates are provided at opposing ends of the horizontal end member preventing separation of tire exerciser from the chairs. Retaining plates may have bracing and contouring.

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Inventors: Giglio, Joseph; (Long Branch, NJ)
Correspondence Name and Address: Joseph Giglio
46 Morrell St.
Long Branch
NJ
07740
US


Serial No.: 042535
Series Code: 10
Filed: January 9, 2002

U.S. Current Class: 482/51
U.S. Class at Publication: 482/51
Intern'l Class: A63B 071/00; A63B 022/00

 

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Claims

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I claim:

1. A frame for a leg exerciser for the wheelchair bound comprising a two section longitudinal center member and two end members. Said two section longitudinal center member is adjustable to be legnthened or shortened to suit the users leg legnth. First section of said two sectiion longitudinal center member has a series of longitudinally spaced transvers circular holes formed through the opposing verticle side portions its square tube shape is narrower than the second section and is inserted into the second section of the two section center member in a sleeve like manner both said sections of the two section longitudinal are locked in a fixed position of desired legnth by a detent pin inserted into a circular hole in the verticle side portion of the frame. The said frame from a top view has the form of an elongated I, the two end members are parallel opposing each other and the two section center member is centered between the two end members. When positioned with a wheelchair for exercising the end member at the near end of the wheelchair fits behind the front wheels of the said wheelchair and in front of the large rear wheels, the said end member that fits behind the front wheels has retaining plates attached at opposing ends of said end member. These said retaining plates are proportionately spaced to make contact with the two small front wheels of the wheelchair and serve as retaining means for the exercise apparatus with the wheelchair. The said frame is designed to serve as a supporting entity for a leg exercise apparatus for the wheelchair user.

2. A leg exerciser for the wheelchair user comprising a frame leaving a two section longitudinal center member and two end members. The said two section longitudinal center member is adjustabe to be legnthened or shortened to suit the uses leg legnth. The first section of the said two section longitudinal center member has a series of longitudinally spaced transverse circular holes formed through the opposing verticle side portions its square tube outside shape is narrower than the second section and is inserted into the second section of the two section longitudinal center member in a sleve-like manner, both said sections of the two section longitudinal center member are locked in a fixed position of desired legnth by a detent pin inserted into a circular hole in the verticle side portion of the frame. The said frame from a top view has the form of an elongated I, the two end members are parrellel opposing each other and the two section centers member is centered between the two end members. When position with a wheelchair for exercising the end member at the near end of the wheelchair fits behind the front wheels of the said wheelchair and in front of the large rear wheels, the said end member the fits behind the front wheels has retaining plates attached at opposing ends of said end member. These retaining plates are proportionately spaced to make contact with the two small front wheels of the wheelchair and serve as retaining means for the exercise apparatus with the wheelchair; A radius arm pivotally mounted respective section of said two section longitudinal center member; foot pedal means attached to said radius arm by a connecting rod, attached to top of said radius arm at the center point of said connecting rod; a shock absorber attached between said radius arm and respective section of the two section longitudinal frame member for causing resistance against the compression caused by pressure on said foot pedals; and elastic bands connected between said frame and said radius arm for generating a return force and exercise resistance against said foot pedal means; a longitudinal center section frame member that is moveable which supports said foot pedal means.

3. The exerciser of claim 2 whereas the elastic bands are removeable and replaceable with elastic bands of varying degrees of resistance and return force.

4. The exerciser of claim 2 whereas the exerciser may include a handle for positioning the exerciser.

4. The exerciser of claim 2 whereas the retaining plates may include triangular bracing

5. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein the foot pedals may include heal-braces and straps.

6. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein section 3 of the two section longitudinal may include more than six transverse circular holes for increase longitudinal elongation.

7. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein the exerciser may include two radius arms and two shock absorbers.

8. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein foot pedals are pivotally attached

9. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein the force exerted on said footpedals causes a portion of the front wheels of wheelchair to securely engage said retaining plates

10. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein the exerciser used during a recovery prosess may be used with a basic four legged chair.

11. The exerciser of claim 2 wherein the force exerted on said foot pedals causes the two front legs of a basic four legged chair to securely engage said end member 4

12. A leg exerciser for the disabled that may be used with a wheelchair or basic four legged chair comprising: frame means for supporting a leg exerciser; said frame means including an end member utilized as a retaining means attached to said frame means for retaining a portion of the front wheels of a wheelchair or the two front legs of a basic four legged chair to be retained therein, resistance means attached to said frame means for providing resistance to the legs of a person; return force means attached to said resistance means and to said frame means for generating a return force to return said resistance means to an initial position and foot pedal means attached to said frame means and to said resistance means and said return force means for supporting the feet of a person; and adjustment means integrated into sais frame means to suit the various legnths of different users legs.

13. The exerciser of claim 12 wherein an end member includes a moveable section or sections for positioning the apparatus for exercising.
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Description

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a wheelchair users leg exercise device which is designed to be used at home while the user remains in the wheelchair also during a recovery process the said invention may be used with a standard four legged chair. The invention includes a frame having a portion which fits behind the front wheels of a wheelchair. The said frame is unique because it may be adjusted to suit the users legs of different lengths from children to adult size. The present invention has a single radius arm and a single shock absorbing damper for leg exercise resistance and is lightweight. Foot pedals are provided conected by a connecting rod attached to said single radius arm. Elastic bands of varius degrees of exercise resistance are provided for exercise resistance and return force for the foot pedals. The frame alone is also claimed as it may be used as a supporting device for other types of leg exercise apparatus such as bicycle type pedals that should normally be free-standing and tend to slide away from the wheelchair or chair user during use. This can be acheived with minor adaptation

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] The prior art recognizes the value of exercise for all persons including the wheelchair bound. Some of the relevant prior art teachings are described in the folling United States patent documents.

[0005] Walker, U.S. Pat. No. 3,754547, covers an exercise device for the disabled. FIG. 3 shows a connection of the device to a wheelchair, while the detail of ho the chair is connect to the device is discussed at collumn 5. The proposed structure for the connection is much more complex than that employed in the present invention.

[0006] Dixon, U.S. Pat. No. 4,550,908, provides an exercise apparatus for stroke victims. This is a powered device designed to be used at a rehabilitation center, rather than at home.

[0007] Lambert U.S. Pat. No. 4,869,494, connects a powered exerciser to the chair via a shaft 19 so that the chair is caused to move by the motor 18.

[0008] Salkind U.S. Pat. No. 4,883,268 is as rowing machine for wheelchair exercisers. The device relies on rubber friction gripping members to inhibit shifting along the floor and employs a shock absorber type device 52 for the arm rower.

[0009] Kynast, U.S. Pat. No. 4,911,425 supports the entire chair in parallel ramps which serve to lock the chair in a position, than the ramps can be adjusted from full tilt, to level.

[0010] Miller, U.S. Pat. No. 4,936,573 discloses a foot exerciser which does not connect to the seating of the user.

[0011] Lubie, U.S. Pat. No. 4,946,162 uses inter-connected hydrolic cylinders so that when one leg is extended, the other is contracted in a step by step fashion.

[0012] Hix, U.S. Pat. No. 4,949,954 interconnects movement of the arms and legs of the user.

[0013] Hess, U.S. Pat. No. 5,279,530 uses a plurality of elastic chords to provide the resistance in a leg exerciser. Straps 70 connect the exerciser to a pad on which the person lies. Miller, U.S. Pat. No. 5,368,302 is similar to Miller, U.S. Pat. No. 4,936,573 and adds a channel on the exerciser for supporting the chair of the user.

[0014] Giglio, U.S. Pat. No. 6,334,624, is an exercise device for the wheelchair user, though from a side view it looks some-what similar to the present invention, however it has a multitude of welds and complex angle cuts and abutments, it is far costlier and more difficult to manufacture than the present invention and it cannot be adjusted to suit the needs of the user. Also it was not designed to use a single radius arm and single shock absorber which would eliminate a considerable amount of weight, which would be advantageous for a disabled person to position the exercise device with the wheelchair as with the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] The present invention is a leg exerciser for the wheelchair bound. The exerciser includes a main frame that is placed on the floor. The main frame consists of a two-section longitudinal center member and two end members. The two section longitudinal center member of the main frame is designed so that it can be elongated or contracted in a telescoping manner to suit the varied legnths of users legs, and set in a fixed position by a detent pin inserted into the side of the main frame. The end member at the near end of the wheelchair fits behind the front wheels of the wheelchair and in front of the large wheels and has two retaining plates proportionately spaced for each front wheel of the chair and would touch the wheels while the user exercises. This arrangement serves to fix the position of the wheelchair relative to the exerciser and prevents separation of the exerciser from the wheelchair while in use.

[0016] The main frame has a single radius arm attached, foot pedals are provided attached to the top of the radius arm by a connecting rod, a single shock absorber is attached between the radius arm and main frame for exercise resistance. Elastic bands are also attached between the radius arm and main frame for exercise resistance and return force for the foot pedals and radius arm.

[0017] The main frame can be a separate entitity alone which can be utilized as a supporting device for pre-existing exercise apparatus that normally be free-standing.

[0018] A principal object of the present invention is the provision of a leg exerciser for the wheelchair bound. Another object and advantage of the present invention is the provision of leg exerciser which easily attaches to a wheelchair for use. A still further object and advantage of the invention is the provision of a device to exercise the users legs safely without kick-back while the user remains seated in the wheelchair. Another object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a connection between a leg exerciser and a wheelchair which employs the front wheels of a wheelchair by securely retaining the the exerciser to the wheelchair utilizing the exercisers end members retaining plates specifically designed for that purpose.

[0019] Another object and advantage of the invention is the provision of a leg exerciser for the wheelchair bound which gives exercise resistance to the legs of a user and eliminates kick-back by utilizing dampers. A still further object and advantage of my invention is the provision of a leg exerciser that may also be used with a basic four legged chair as the user advances in a recovery process whereas the two front legs of the basic four legged chair may be utilized for retaining the exercise device in the same manner as the front wheels of the wheel chair would be utilized. An important object and advantage of my invention is the provision of a leg exerciser which provides foot pedals attached to a single radius arm. Another object and advantage of my invention is the provision of a leg exerciser where the foot pedals exert force against the restance of a single shock absorber type element. A still further object and advantage of my invention is the provision of a leg exerciser for the disabled that is light in weight.

[0020] Another important object and advantage of my invention is the provion of a leg exerciser for the disabled that may be adjusted to suit the legnth of the users legs. An important object and advantage of my invention is the provision of a leg exerciser where elastic bands of varied degrees of resistance are provided for exercise resistance and return force for foot pedals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] These as well as further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a review of the following detailed description of my invention, reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0022] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of my invention;

[0023] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus in FIG. 1 with a wheelchair and wheelchair user in place;

[0024] FIG. 3 is a side view of the apparatus in FIG. 1;

[0025] FIG. 4 is a side view of a portion of the apparatus in FIG. 3 showing a front portion of the two section longitudinal center member as it is seperated;

[0026] FIG. 5. is an enlarged scale cross-sectional view through the device taken along line 1-1 of FIG. 3;

[0027] FIG. 6 is a top vies showing how the apparatus is set into position for exercing in relation to the front wheels of the wheelchair;

[0028] FIG. 7 is a side vies of the apparatus of FIG. 3 shown with a scaled down basic four legged chair in position with exercise apparatus

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] As shown in FIG. 2, the wheelchair user sits in the wheelchair in the normal manner. The front wheels 23 are positioned in front of the end member 4 mounted horizontally with respect to the floor. retaining plates 10 and 11 make contact with the wheelchairs front wheels 23 this arrangement serves to securely retain the exerciser to the wheelchair 1 whereas preventing the exercise device from seperating from the wheelchair while the user exerts force on the foot pedals 16 and 17. End member 4 supports retaining plates 10 and 11 which are attached virtically at opposing ends of end member 4 as shown in FIG. 1. A two section center member 2 and 3 is placed longitudinally between end members 4 and 5.

[0030] As shown in FIG. 1 the two section longitudinal center member 2 and 3 supports a single radius arm 6 radius arm 6 is pivotally attached by attaching pin 25 at pin support members 26 and 27. The radius arm 6 is also connected to shock absorber 18. Elastic bands 13 and 14 are provided the elastic bands 13 and 14 are interchangeable with elastic bands 13 and 14 of varying degrees of exercise resistance and return force for the radius arm 6. Foot pedals 16 and 17 are provided to support the users feet the foot pedals 16 and 17 are attached to connecting rod 15 at opposing ends of connecting rod 15. Connecting rod 15 is attached to the top of radius arm 6 at the center point of connecting rod 15. as shown in FIG. 1.

[0031] Also as shown in FIG. 1. the invention includes a supporting main frame consisting of end member 4 a two section longitudinal center member 2 and 3 and end member 5 The radius arm 6 is pivotally attached to center section 2 The radius arm 6 is also connected Lo shock absorber 18 at attachment member 28. Elastic band posts 19 and 20 is a single rod that goes straight through attachment member 28 this arrangement serves to pivotally connect shock absorber 18 with radius arm 6. Elastic band posts 19 and 20 support elastic bands 13 and 14 which in turn elastic bands 13 and 14 are also support at the frame by support post tower 7 and support posts 8 and 9.

[0032] As is further shown in FIG. 1, the two section center member 2 and 3 is a supporting member that may be adjusted to suit the users leg legnth, this is achieved utilizing a longitudinally spaced series of transverse circular holes 21 formed through the side of section 3 of the two section longitudinal center member 2 and 3 and a detent pin 12 operatively inserted into hole 22 in FIG. 1 and a selected one of the hole 21 as shown in FIG. 5. All the holes 21 and 22 are formed clear through both opposing verticle side walls of the two section longitudinal center member 2 and 3 also as shown in FIG. 5. All the sections 2, 3, 4, and 5, are constructed of light-weight thin wall square tubing of ridgid material, section 3 of the two section longitudinal center member 2 and 3 is narrower than section 2 so that it may slide inward or outward in a sleeve-like manner as shown in FIG. 4, whereas then longitudinal sections 2 and 3 are locked in a fixed position of selected legnth the foot pedals 16 and 17 will be at a chosen distance relative to the wheelchair to suit the users leg legnth.

[0033] As shown in FIG. 7, this illustrates how the exercise device may be used with a basic four legged chair, whereas the front legs of the four legged chair 24 are utilized to retain the exercize apparatus in the same manner the front wheels of the wheelchair 23 as shown in FIG. 3 are utilized to retain the exercise device to the wheelchair.

[0034] Accordingly what is sought to be protected is set forth in the appended claims.

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