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Publication numberUS20040147375 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/745,866
Publication dateJul 29, 2004
Filing dateDec 22, 2003
Priority dateJan 24, 2003
Publication number10745866, 745866, US 2004/0147375 A1, US 2004/147375 A1, US 20040147375 A1, US 20040147375A1, US 2004147375 A1, US 2004147375A1, US-A1-20040147375, US-A1-2004147375, US2004/0147375A1, US2004/147375A1, US20040147375 A1, US20040147375A1, US2004147375 A1, US2004147375A1
InventorsClive Stevens
Original AssigneeStevens Clive Graham
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Elliptical exerciser
US 20040147375 A1
Abstract
An exercise machine includes a frame with a first axle rotatably about a first axis thereof and a pair of drive systems engage the first axle on opposite sides of the frame. Each of the drive systems includes a crank arm connected to the first axle for rotation about the first axis and a second axle defining a second axis and connected to the crank arm for rotation about the first axle. A lever arm is connected to the second axle for rotation about the second axis. A first link is rotatably connected at opposite locations thereon to the frame and the lever arm. A second link is rotatably connected to the lever arm opposite the first link. A third link is rotatably connected to the second link opposite to the lever arm and slidably engages the second axle.
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Claims(50)
What is claimed:
1. An exercise machine comprising:
a frame;
a first axle supported by the frame and being rotatable about a first axis of the first axle; and
a pair of drive systems engaging the first axle on opposite sides of the frame, each of the drive systems having:
a crank arm connected to the first axle for rotation about the first axis;
a second axle defining a second axis and connected to the crank arm for rotation about the first axle;
a lever arm connected to the second axle for rotation about the second axis;
a first link rotatably connected at opposite locations thereon to the frame and the lever arm;
a second link rotatably connected to the lever arm opposite the first link; and
a third link rotatably connected to the second link opposite the lever arm and slidably engaging the second axle;
whereby the application of force by a user to the third link induces cyclic movement of the third link and rotates the crank arm to apply torque to the first axle, the cyclic movement being constrained by the second link and the second axle so that at least a portion of the third link moves in a substantially elliptical path.
2. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the cyclic movement of each third link is further constrained by a fourth link rotatably connected at opposing locations thereon to the frame and the third link.
3. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the fourth link is rotatably connected to the third link at respective ends of the fourth link and the third link.
4. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the fourth link has an upright handle opposite the rotatable connection with the third link for gripping by a hand of the user.
5. The exercise machine of claim 4, wherein the fourth link is rotatably connected to an upright portion of the frame intermediate the handle and the rotatable connection with the third link.
6. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the first axle is connected to a mechanism that resists rotation thereof, whereby the user's applied force must overcome the resistance of the mechanism to move the third link.
7. The exercise machine of claim 6, wherein the first axle is connected to a wheel for rotation thereof, and the rotation-resisting mechanism applies friction to the wheel.
8. The exercise machine of claim 6, wherein the rotation-resisting mechanism includes a gear assembly through which the torque applied to the first axle is at least partially consumed.
9. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the crank arms of the drive systems are connected to the first axle so as to be orientated 180 apart from each other, whereby the respective third link portions move through substantially elliptical paths 180 out of sync.
10. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the second axle is fixed to the crank arm for movement therewith.
11. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the second axle is rotatably connected to the crank arm for rotation about the second axis.
12. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the lever arm is fixed to the second axle for movement therewith and includes a roller mounted for rotation thereon, the roller being slidably engaged by the third link.
13. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the lever arm is rotatably connected to the second axle for rotation relative to the second axle.
14. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the first link has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the lever arm and frame, respectively.
15. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the second link has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the lever arm and the third link, respectively.
16. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the lever arm has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the first link and second link, respectively.
17. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising a foot pedal connected to each third link for engagement by a foot of a user so as to apply force to the third link, whereby the foot pedal moves in the substantially elliptical path.
18. The exercise machine of claim 17, wherein the foot pedal is fixed to the third link for movement therewith.
19. The exercise machine of claim 18, wherein the foot pedal is adjustably fixed to the third link so as to vary its position along the third link.
20. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein each drive system is configured such that the major axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially horizontal plane and the minor axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially vertical plane.
21. The exercise machine of claim 20, wherein the major axis is at least four times the length of the minor axis.
22. The exercise machine of claim 21, wherein the major axis is approximately six times the length of the minor axis.
23. An exercise machine, comprising:
a frame; and
a pair of drive systems disposed on opposite sides of the frame, each of the drive systems having:
a crank arm rotatably connected to the frame at a location defining a first axis;
a lever arm rotatably connected to the crank arm at a location defining a second axis, the second axis being opposite the first axis on the crank arm;
a support member rotatably connected to the crank arm at the second axis;
a first link rotatably connected at opposing locations thereon to the frame and the lever arm;
a second link rotatably connected to the lever arm opposite the first link; and
a third link rotatably connected to the second link opposite the lever arm and slidably supported by the support member;
whereby the application of force by a user to the third link induces cyclic movement of the third link and rotates the crank arm to apply torque to the first axle, the cyclic movement being constrained by the second link and the support member so that at least a portion of the third link moves in a substantially elliptical path.
24. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the cyclic movement of each third link is further constrained by a fourth link rotatably connected at opposing locations thereon to the frame and the third link.
25. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the fourth link is rotatably connected to the third link at respective ends of the fourth link and the third link.
26. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the fourth link has an upright handle opposite the rotatable connection with the third link for gripping by a hand of the user.
27. The exercise machine of claim 26, wherein the fourth link is rotatably connected to an upright portion of the frame intermediate the handle and the rotatable connection with the third link.
28. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the first axle is connected to a mechanism that resists rotation thereof, whereby the user's applied force must overcome the resistance of the mechanism to move the third link.
29. The exercise machine of claim 28, wherein the first axle is connected to a wheel for rotation thereof, and the rotation-resisting mechanism applies friction to the wheel.
30. The exercise machine of claim 28, wherein the rotation-resisting mechanism includes a gear assembly through which the torque applied to the first axle is at least partially consumed.
31. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the crank arms of the drive systems are connected to the first axle so as to be orientated 180 apart from each other, whereby the respective third link portions move through substantially elliptical paths 180 out of sync.
32. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the support member includes an axle fixed to the crank arm for movement therewith and a roller mounted for rotation about the axle.
33. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the support member includes a roller rotatably connected to the crank arm for rotation about the second axis.
34. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the lever arm is fixed to the support member for movement therewith.
35. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the lever arm is rotatably connected to the support member for rotation relative to the support member.
36. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the first link has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the lever arm and frame, respectively.
37. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the second link has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the lever arm and the third link, respectively.
38. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein the lever arm has first and second ends and is rotatably connected at its first and second ends to the first link and second link, respectively.
39. The exercise machine of claim 23, further comprising a foot pedal connected to each third link for engagement by a foot of a user so as to apply force to the third link, whereby the foot pedal moves in the substantially elliptical path.
40. The exercise machine of claim 39, wherein the foot pedal is fixed to the third link for movement therewith.
41. The exercise machine of claim 40, wherein the foot pedal is adjustably fixed to the third link so as to vary its position along the third link.
42. The exercise machine of claim 23, wherein each drive system is configured such that the major axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially horizontal plane and the minor axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially vertical plane.
43. The exercise machine of claim 42, wherein the major axis is at least four times the length of the minor axis.
44. The exercise machine of claim 43, wherein the major axis is approximately six times the length of the minor axis.
45. An exercise machine, comprising:
a load-bearing frame;
a first axle supported by the frame for rotation about a first axis;
a crank arm having first and second ends and being connected at its first end to the first axle such that the crank arm rotates about the first axis and applies torque to the first axle when rotated;
a second axle having a roller thereabout and being connected to the crank arm at the second end of the crank arm such that the second axle rotates in a circular pattern about the first axle when the crank arm is rotated;
a lever arm having first and second ends and being rotatably mounted about one of the second axles and the roller at a location on the lever arm intermediate its first and second ends;
a first link having first and second ends and being rotatably connected at its first end to the first end of the lever arm and rotatably connected at its second end to a fixed location on the frame such that the first link rotates about the fixed location;
a second link having first and second ends and being rotatably connected at its first end to the second end of the lever arm;
a third link having first and second ends and being rotatably connected at a position intermediate its first and second ends to the second end of the lever arm, the third link also engaging the roller for sliding movement thereover; and
whereby the application of force by a user to the third link induces rotation of the third link in a substantially elliptical path due to constraints on the motion of the third link imposed by second link, the fourth link, and the roller.
46. The exercise machine of claim 45, further comprising a fourth link having first and second ends and being rotatably connected at its first end to the second end of the third link and rotatably connected at its second end to a elevated position on the frame such that the fourth link supports the third link and rotates about the elevated position.
47. The exercise machine of claim 45, further comprising a pedal fixed to the third link for engagement by a foot of a user.
48. The exercise machine of claim 45, wherein the first axle is connected to a resistance mechanism connected to the frame.
49. The exercise machine of claim 45, wherein the second axle is fixed to the crank arm for movement therewith.
50. The exercise machine of claim 45, wherein the second axle is rotatably connected to the crank arm for rotation about the second axis.
Description

[0001] The present invention relates to an elliptical exerciser wherein the trace of the users' feet is close to an ellipse and prevents injury of muscles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A conventional elliptical exerciser generally includes two hand arms which are pivotably connected to a frame and a free wheel is connected to the frame. Two pedals are connected to the two hand arms and the free wheel so that the pedals are moved in an ellipse trace. The user holds and swings the hand arms and the feet on the pedals move in an ellipse trace. By operation the elliptical exerciser, both of the hands and feet are exercised in a gentle and mild way. Nevertheless, the trace of the movement of the feet is actually not a perfect ellipse so that the user has to pull the pedals in an opposite direction when the pedals are moved to their extreme positions and this could injure the muscles of the feet.

[0003] The present invention intends to provide an elliptical exerciser that includes a crank connected to the free wheel and a connection bar is pivotably connected to the crank. Two connection members are respectively connected to two ends of the connection bar to provide backward force to the connection arm. Each hand arm has a guide rod which rolls on a roller on the connection bar.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to an exercise machine which comprises a frame and a first axle is supported by the frame and rotatable about a first axis of the first axle. A pair of drive systems engage the first axle on opposite sides of the frame and each of the drive systems includes a crank arm connected to the first axle for rotation about the first axis. A second axle defining a second axis is connected to the crank arm for rotation about the first axle. A lever arm is connected to the second axle for rotation about the second axis. A first link is rotatably connected at opposite locations thereon to the frame and the lever arm. A second link is rotatably connected to the lever arm opposite the first link. A third link is rotatably connected to the second link opposite the lever arm and slidably engaging the second axle. The application of force by a user to the third link induces cyclic movement of the third link and rotates the crank arm to apply torque to the first axle, the cyclic movement being constrained by the second link and the second axle so that at least a portion of the third link moves in a substantially elliptical path.

[0005] The present invention will become more obvious from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which show, for purposes of illustration only, a preferred embodiment in accordance with the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006]FIG. 1 is a perspective view to show the elliptical exerciser of the present invention;

[0007] FIGS. 2 to 5 show the four positions of the cranks and the connection bars when the elliptical exerciser is in use;

[0008]FIG. 6 is a top view to show the elliptical exerciser of the present invention;

[0009]FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of the elliptical exerciser of the present invention;

[0010]FIG. 8 shows yet another embodiment of the elliptical exerciser of the present invention, and

[0011]FIG. 9 shows a further embodiment of the elliptical exerciser of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0012] Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, the elliptical exerciser 1 of the present invention comprises an H-shaped frame which includes an upright post 10 extending therefrom. A first axle 3 to which a wheel is connected thereto is supported by the frame and rotatable about a first axis of the first axle 3.

[0013] A pair of drive systems engaging the first axle 3 on opposite sides of the frame, and each of the drive systems has a crank arm 2 connected to the first axle 3 for rotation about the first axis. A second axle 5 to which a roller is connected defines a second axis and is connected to the crank arm 2 for rotation about the first axle 3. A lever arm 4 is connected to the second axle 5 for rotation about the second axis. The second axle 5 can be fixed to or rotatably connected to the crank arm 2 for movement therewith. The lever arm 4 can be fixed to or rotatably connected to the second axle 5 for movement therewith or for rotation relative to the second axle 5. In this embodiment, the crank arm 2 has one end connected to the first axle 3 and the other end of the crank arm 2 is connected to an intermediate point of the lever arm 4.

[0014] A first link 6 is rotatably connected at opposite locations or ends thereon to the frame and the lever arm 4. A second link 7 has one end thereof rotatably connected to the lever arm 4 opposite the first link 6. A third link 80 is rotatably connected to the second link 7 opposite the lever arm 4 and slidably engaging the roller on the second axle 5. The other end of the second link 7 is pivotably connected to the third link 80. A foot pedal is fixed to the third link 80 or adjustably fixed to the third link 80 so as to vary its position along the third link 80.

[0015] Each third link 80 has one end thereof pivotably connected to an end of a fourth link 81 which is rotatably connected at opposing locations thereon to the frame and the third link 80. The fourth link 81 is rotatably connected to the upright post 10 of the frame and a handle 810 is connected to the other end of the fourth link 81. The crank arms 2 of the drive systems are connected to the first axle 3 so as to be orientated 180 apart from each other, whereby the respective third links 80 move through substantially elliptical paths 180 out of sync. Further referring to FIGS. 2 to 5, these drawings show four positions of the crank arm 2 at six, nine, twelve and three o'clock positions.

[0016] The first axle 3 is connected to a mechanism (not shown) that resists rotation thereof, whereby the user's applied force must overcome the resistance of the mechanism to move the third link 80. In other words, the rotation-resisting mechanism applies friction to the wheel on the first axle 3. The user applies a force to the third link 80 and induces cyclic movement of the third link 80 and rotates the crank arm 2 to apply torque to the first axle 3. The rotation-resisting mechanism may include a gear assembly through which the torque applied to the first axle 3 is at least partially consumed. The cyclic movement is constrained by the second link 7 and the second axle 5 so that at least a portion of the third link 80 moves in a substantially elliptical path. Each drive system is configured such that the major axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially horizontal plane and the minor axis of the substantially elliptical path lies in substantially vertical plane. The major axis can be designed to be at least four or six times the length of the minor axis

[0017] Referring to FIG. 7 which shows anther embodiment of the present invention, wherein two rails 11 each have two points respectively pivotably connected to the upright post 10 and a horizontal portion of the frame such that the rails 11 are inclined relative to the floor. Each of the third link 80 has a roller 84 rotatably connected to a distal end thereof and the roller 84 slidably moves on the rail 11.

[0018] Referring to FIG. 8 which shows yet another embodiment of the present invention, wherein a support member which can be a roller 5 is connected to the lever arm 4 at a position other than the connection of the crank arm 2 and the lever arm 4. This allows the third links 80 to be moved at a larger scale.

[0019] Referring to FIG. 9 which shows a further embodiment of the present invention, wherein the lever arm 4 is connected to one of two ends of the crank arm 2 and an end of the first link 6 is connected to the crank arm 2 at an intermediate point of the crank arm 2. The second axle 5 is connected to the lever arm 4 and located between the two positions where the first link 6 and the second link 7 are respectively connected to the lever arm 4. The roller can also be connected directly to the lever arm 4.

[0020] While we have shown and described the embodiment in accordance with the present invention, it should be clear to those skilled in the art that further embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7618346Feb 26, 2004Nov 17, 2009Nautilus, Inc.System and method for controlling an exercise apparatus
US7736278Jun 21, 2005Jun 15, 2010Nautilus, Inc.Releasable connection mechanism for variable stride exercise devices
US8419598 *Jan 30, 2006Apr 16, 2013Precor IncorporatedAdjustable total body cross-training exercise device
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/57, 482/52
International ClassificationA63B23/035, A63B23/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B22/0664, A63B22/001, A63B2022/067
European ClassificationA63B22/00A6, A63B22/06E