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Publication numberUS20040209740 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/833,529
Publication dateOct 21, 2004
Filing dateApr 28, 2004
Priority dateOct 9, 2002
Publication number10833529, 833529, US 2004/0209740 A1, US 2004/209740 A1, US 20040209740 A1, US 20040209740A1, US 2004209740 A1, US 2004209740A1, US-A1-20040209740, US-A1-2004209740, US2004/0209740A1, US2004/209740A1, US20040209740 A1, US20040209740A1, US2004209740 A1, US2004209740A1
InventorsJase Graber
Original AssigneeJase Graber
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spontaneous symmetrical weight shifting trainer device
US 20040209740 A1
Abstract
A stationary exercise device, comprising a frame member having a transverse pivot axis. A first and a second foot tread member are operatively associated with a coupling member for pivotally coupling the front end of each foot tread member to the pivot axis at a predetermined distance from the pivot axis, so that each foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the pivot axis. Each foot tread member moves independently of the other foot tread member. Each foot tread member rear end is operatively associated with a glide member for moveable coupling of the rear end of each foot tread member to a support surface. The glide members direct each foot tread member rear end along a reciprocating path of travel, as each foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path.
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Claims(23)
I claim:
1. A stationary exercise device comprising;
(a) a frame member having a transverse pivot axis defined relative to the frame member;
(b) a first foot tread member and a second foot tread member, each first foot tread member and second foot tread member having a front end, a rear end, and two sides, each first and second foot tread member front end operatively associated with a coupling member for pivotally coupling the front end of each first and second foot tread member to the transverse pivot axis at a predetermined distance from the transverse pivot axis, so that each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the transverse pivot axis, each first and second foot tread member moving independently of the other of the first and second foot tread member, each first and second foot tread member moving along a line between the tread member front end and rear end, each first and second foot tread member rear end moving in a reciprocating path of travel as each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path;
(c) whereby when the exercise device is in use, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
2. The stationary exercise device of claim 1, wherein each first and second foot tread member rear end is operatively associated with a glide member for moveable coupling of the rear end of each first and second foot tread member to a support surface, to direct each first and second foot tread member rear end along a reciprocating path of travel as each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path.
3. The stationary exercise device of claim 1, wherein the coupling member comprises a first bell crank and a second bell crank, each bell crank having a bell crank first end operative to pivotally engage the front end of a respective one of the foot tread members and a bell crank second end pivotally affixed to the transverse pivot axis.
4. The stationary exercise device of claim 1, further including a pair of wheel members independently disposed for rotation about the transverse pivot axis.
5. The stationary exercise device of claim 4, wherein each wheel member comprising a coupling member, with the front end of each first and second foot tread member pivotally affixed to at least one wheel member.
6. The stationary exercise device of claim 1, wherein at least one of said coupling members comprises a bell crank, each bell crank disposed so as to rotate with one wheel member, a first end of each bell crank pivotally connected to the front end of a respective one of the first and second foot tread members.
7. The stationary exercise device of claim 1 further including a braking mechanism operative to impose a drag upon the first and second foot tread members as the front ends thereof travel in the arcuate path.
8. The stationary exercise device of claim 2, wherein the support surface coupled to the glide members includes the frame member.
9. The stationary exercise device of claim 2, wherein the frame member includes a linear track for each glide member.
10. The stationary exercise device of claim 1 further including a support member secured to the frame member.
11. A stationary exercise device comprising;
(a) a frame member having a transverse pivot axis defined relative to the frame member;
(b) a first foot tread member and a second foot tread member, each first and second foot tread member having a front end, a rear end, and two sides, each first and second foot tread member front end operatively associated with a coupling member for pivotally coupling the front end of each first and second foot tread member to the transverse pivot axis at a predetermined distance from the transverse pivot axis, so that each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the transverse pivot axis, each first and second foot tread member moving independently of the other of said first and second foot tread member, each first and second foot tread member moving along a line between the tread member front end and rear end, each first and second foot tread member rear end operatively associated with a glide member for moveable coupling of the rear end of each first and second foot tread member to a support surface, to direct each first and second foot tread member rear end along a reciprocating path of travel as each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path; and
(c) whereby when the exercise device is in use, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
12. The stationary exercise device of claim 11, wherein the coupling member comprises a first bell crank and a second bell crank, each bell crank having a bell crank first end operative to pivotally engage the front end of a respective one of the first and second foot tread members and a bell crank second end pivotally affixed to the transverse pivot axis.
13. The stationary exercise device of claim 11 further including a pair of wheels independently disposed for rotation about the transverse pivot axis.
14. The stationary exercise device of claim 13, wherein each wheel of the pair of wheels comprises a coupling member and the front end of each first and second foot tread member is pivotally affixed to at least one wheel.
15. The stationary exercise device of claim 13, wherein each coupling member comprises a bell crank, each disposed so as to rotate with one wheel member, a first end of each bell crank being pivotally connected to the front end of a respective one of the first foot tread member and second foot tread member.
16. The stationary exercise device of claim 11 further including a braking mechanism operative to impose a drag upon at least one of the first and second foot tread members as the front ends thereof travel in the arcuate path.
17. The stationary exercise device of claim 11, wherein the support surface coupled to the glide members includes the frame member.
18. The stationary exercise device of claim 11, wherein the frame member includes a linear track for each glide member, and the glide member comprises a wheeled member.
19. The stationary exercise device of claim 11 further including a support member secured to the frame member.
20. A stationary exercise device comprising;
(a) a frame member having a transverse pivot axis defined relative to the frame member;
(b) a first foot tread member and a second foot tread member, each first and second fot tread member having a front end, a rear end, and two sides, each first and second foot tread member front end operatively associated with a coupling member for pivotally coupling the front end of each first and second foot tread member to the transverse pivot axis at a predetermined distance from the transverse pivot axis, so that each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the transverse pivot axis, a pair of wheel members disposed for rotation about the transverse pivot axis, each coupling member comprising a bell crank, each bell crank disposed so as to rotate with at least one wheel of said pair of wheels, a first end of each bell crank pivotally connected to the front end of a respective one of the first and second foot tread members, each first and second foot tread member moving independently of the other of said first and second foot tread member, each first and second foot tread member moving along a line between the tread member front end and rear end, each first and second foot tread member rear end operatively associated with a glide member for moveable coupling of the rear end of each first and second foot tread member to the frame member, to direct each first and second foot tread member rear end along a reciprocating path of travel as each first and second foot tread member first end travels in an arcuate path; and
(c) whereby when the exercise device is in use, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot, and when the rear end of each first foot tread member and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
21. The stationary exercise device of claim 20, wherein the frame member includes a linear track for each glide member.
22. The stationary exercise device of claim 20 wherein at least one of the first foot tread member and the second foot tread member comprises a frame with a pad removeably inserted and secured into the pad, the pad having a surface providing friction to a foot of a user of the exercise device, the pad being replaceable within the frame without destruction of the pad or the frame.
23. A foot tread member for an exercise device comprising a frame with a pad removeably inserted and secured into the pad, the pad having a surface providing friction to a foot of a user of the exercise device, the pad being replaceable within the frame without destruction of the pad or the frame.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS, IF ANY
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending utility application Ser. No. 10/637,972, filed 11 August, 2003, which claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119 (e) of provisional application Serial No. 60/418,394, filed 9 October, 2002. Application Ser. Nos. 10/637,972 and 60/418,394 are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [0002]
    Not applicable.
  • REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX, IF ANY
  • [0003]
    Not applicable.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0005]
    The present invention relates to a device for performing an exercise and, more particularly, to a training device for improving a person's ability to shift their weight from one foot to the other, especially where the training is to assist in spontaneous weight transfer. Also disclosed is a method for operating the exercise device.
  • [0006]
    2. Background of the Art
  • [0007]
    Many exercise devices are presently available for a wide variety of exercise and conditioning movements for individuals. An exercise device to assist in training an individual to spontaneously shift weight from one foot to the other is not available. To address this need, the present invention was developed. The device of the present invention improves balance and coordination and provides improved cardiovascular health.
  • [0008]
    A number of patents concerned with various exercise devices have been granted. These patents include the following:
  • [0009]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 4,185,622, Swenson discloses a foot and leg exerciser with an inclinable base, at least one foot pad for supporting and moving the foot of the user, and means for moving the foot pads in a pattern to provide mild exercise which simulates normal walking. The heel ends of the foot pads are moved in a vertical plane by revolving cranks driven by an electric motor through reduction gears, while the toe ends of the foot pads are supported on adjustable rocker arms. Starting, stopping and speed of the motor are controllable by the user through a remote control box.
  • [0010]
    Easley et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 5,199,931, describe an improved exercise machine for simulating stair climbing, and is particularly adapted for in-home use. The device includes a generally upright frame with a base. Right and left foot pedals are pivotally mounted to the base on both sides of the upstanding portion of the frame, respectively, and a handlebar is provided adjacent to the upper end of the frame. The foot pedals are linked to a mechanical resistance element, namely a flywheel. The linkage includes a strap connecting each pedal to a single drive shaft, in turn connected by a belt transmission to the flywheel. A resistance adjustment feature is included in the invention.
  • [0011]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 5,242,343, Miller discloses an exercise device that includes a pair of foot engaging links. The first end of each link is supported for rotational motion about a pivot axis and a second end of each foot link is guided in a reciprocal path of travel. The combination of these foot link motions permits the user's foot to move in an inclined, oval path of travel. This natural foot action exercises a large number of muscles through a wide range of motion. Only a single fly wheel is connected to both foot pads.
  • [0012]
    Metcalf et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 5,338,273, describe a synchronous/asynchronous exercise machine that is changeable between a synchronous exercise mode wherein a user's limbs, such as his legs, oppositely reciprocate, and an asynchronous exercise mode wherein the user's limbs move independently. The synchronous/asynchronous exercise machine comprises a first movable element for accepting a user's limb, and a second movable element for accepting another limb. A load source against which the user can exercise may also be provided. A first drive belt operatively connects the first movable element to the load source, and a second drive belt operatively connects the second movable element to the load source. A quick change mechanism, which may be connected to the first movable element, is releasably engagable with the second drive belt for changing the synchronous/asynchronous exercise machine between the synchronous exercise mode and the asynchronous exercise mode.
  • [0013]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 5,423,729, Eschenback discloses an exercise apparatus having a collapsible frame that simulates running and climbing, depending upon where the foot is positioned along the elongated pedal. The user is able to maintain a standing posture while elongated pedals supporting each foot moves through an exercise cycle having a different mode for each foot position that includes translating and nonparallel angular motion generated by a linkage mechanism. Arm exercise is provided by rocker extensions which are phased with the crank to use arm force for moving the crank through dead center positions.
  • [0014]
    Rogers, Jr., in U.S. Pat. No. 5,529,555, describes a crank assembly for use within an exercising device which promotes cardiovascular exercise yet minimizes impact on critical joints, particularly the ankles and knees. The crank assembly employs a dual coupler system which is interconnected for synchronized rotation. Linkage assemblies are provided which define a predetermined path having a preferred anatomical pattern for foot movement of the user. The crank assembly can be used in an exercising device which promotes leg exercise primarily, or can be combined with two additional linkage assemblies to provide a combined hand motion with leg movement. In this manner, an enhanced cardiovascular workout is provided which minimizes stress on key joints, particularly the ankles and knees.
  • [0015]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 5,833,583, Chuang discloses an exerciser having a base, two gears secured on the base, and two plates rotatably secured to the base at an axle. Two pinions are rotatably secured to the plates and engaged with the gears. Two foot supports are slidably secured to and movable radially relative to the plates and each foot support has a foot pedal and each has one end secured to the pinions at an eccentric shaft, for allowing the foot pedals to be moved toward and away from the axle and for allowing the foot pedals to be moved along an elliptic moving path when the foot supports are moved radially relative to the plates.
  • [0016]
    Maresh, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,895,339, discloses an exercise apparatus having a linkage assembly which links rotation of a crank to generally elliptical movement of a foot supporting member. The linkage assembly includes a first link having a first end rotatably connected to a first rocker link, an intermediate portion rotatably connected to the crank, and a second end rotatably connected to a rearward end of the foot supporting member. An opposite, forward end of the foot supporting member is rotatably connected to a second rocker link. An upper distal portion of the second rocker link is sized and configured for grasping by a person standing on the foot supporting member.
  • [0017]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,874, by Dougherty, discloses an exercise device for simulating elliptical motion of stair climbing, including a frame having a front support and a rear support, and with upper and lower exercise units. The front support and rear support meet at an apex where they form an acute angle. The exercise units each include a pair of elliptical guide tracks which each form a closed loop. A pair of actuating levers is each attached onto the guide tracks by a partial sleeve which is capable of travel around the loop. Each exercise unit also includes a flywheel assembly which has two pairs of flywheels mounted to the rear support. Each flywheel is attached to one of the actuating levers by a connecting lever. The flywheels are shaped and the connecting levers are connected to the flywheels so as to permit elliptical motion of the actuating levers around the guide track.
  • [0018]
    Sterns et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 6,030,320, describe an exercise apparatus having a linkage assembly which links rotation of a crank to the generally elliptical movement of a force receiving member. The apparatus may be folded into a storage configuration having an overall height which is less than the greater of the diameter of the crank and the diameter of a flywheel which rotates together with the crank.
  • [0019]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 6,080,086, Maresh et al. disclose an exercise apparatus that links rotation of a crank to the generally elliptical motion of a foot supporting member. In particular, both a foot supporting linkage and a draw bar linkage are movably connected between a rocker link and the crank in such a manner that the foot supporting member is constrained to move through an elliptical path of motion. The configuration of the elliptical path may be selectively altered by adjusting the draw bar linkage relative to the rocker link.
  • [0020]
    Birrell, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,123,650, describes an exerciser including a floor engaging frame and a forward upright post structure. Toward the rear of the frame are attached left and right axle mount supports, which house a transverse axle. The axle is bifurcated allowing the two halves to rotate independently of one another and connect to left and right drive wheels, respectively. Left and right foot link members rollably engage the drive wheels at the link member's rear end portions. The forward end portions of the foot link members rollably engage left and right inclinable guide ramps. The inclinable guide ramps are biased rotationally upwardly, to resist downward forces, by biasing members, such as springs. Left and right foot support portions are mounted on the foot link members. As the foot link members reciprocate forwardly and rearwardly along the inclinable guide ramps, the interaction of the oscillating weight of a running or walking user, together with the independently upwardly biased inclinable guide ramps, causes the foot support portions to travel along an elliptical path.
  • [0021]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,165,107 by Birrell describes an exerciser that includes a floor engaging frame. Toward the rear of the frame are attached left and right axle mount supports that house a transverse axle. The axle connects the left and right drive wheels. Rear portions of left and right foot link members rollably engage the drive wheels. Front portions of the foot link members rollably engage left and right inclinable guide ramps. The inclinable guide ramps are biased rotationally upwardly by a ramp return assembly that causes one ramp to pivot downwardly as the other ramp pivots upwardly. Forward and rearward pulley and belt systems are connected to the foot links and provide flexibly coordinated motion which substantially relates the movement of the first and second foot links to each other, while permitting some degree of uncoordinated motion between the foot links. When the foot link members reciprocate along the inclinable guide ramps, the interaction between the oscillating weight of a user and the upwardly biased guide ramps causes the foot support portions to travel along elliptical paths.
  • [0022]
    Maresh et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 6,248,046, describe an exercise apparatus that links rotation of a crank to generally elliptical motion of a foot supporting member. In particular, both a foot supporting linkage and a draw bar linkage are movably connected between a rocker link and the crank in such a manner that the foot supporting member is constrained to move through an elliptical path of motion. The configuration of the elliptical path may be selectively altered by adjusting the draw bar linkage relative to the rocker link.
  • [0023]
    In U.S. Pat. No. 6,277,055, Birrell et al. disclose a flexibly coordinated stationary exercise device that includes a frame which has a forward upright member. The axle mounts are attached to the rear region of the frame and support a transverse axle which is preferably operatively connected to a flywheel. The ends of the transverse axle rotatably engage left and right crank arm assemblies that are coupled to the left and right foot links, so that the foot links travel in an arcuate reciprocal path as the transverse axle rotates. The foot links are operatively connected to swing arm mechanisms, which in turn are rotatably connected to the forward upright member at separate pivot points. The swing arm mechanisms further contain hand-gripping portions, and the foot links further contain foot support portions. Flexibly coordinating members are incorporated in the linkage between each respective hand-gripping portion and foot support portion to substantially and resiliently link the movement of the foot support portions to the movement of the hand-gripping portions, while permitting some degree of uncoordinated motion between the foot support portions and the hand-gripping portions.
  • [0024]
    Stearns et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 6,340,340, describe an exercise apparatus that includes a crank rotatably mounted on a frame and an axially extending support connected to the crank at a radially displaced location. A foot supporting member is movably interconnected between the axially extending support and the frame. A linkage assembly links rotation of the crank to movement of a foot platform through a generally elliptical path.
  • [0025]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,416,442 by Stearns et al. disclose an exercise apparatus having a linkage assembly which links rotation of a crank to generally elliptical movement of a foot supporting member. The crank rotates about a crank axis relative to a frame and a distal portion of a link moves relative to a connection point on the frame. An intermediate portion of the link is rotatably connected to the crank, and an opposite distal portion of the link is rotatably connected to a rearward end of the foot supporting member. An opposite, forward end of the foot supporting member is movably connected to the frame.
  • [0026]
    While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0027]
    A stationary exercise device comprises a frame member which has a transverse pivot axis defined relative to the frame member. A first foot tread member and a second foot tread member are present, each foot tread member respectively having a front end, a rear end, and two sides, with each first foot tread member and second foot tread member front end operatively associated with a coupling member or coupler for pivotally coupling the front end of each first and second foot tread member to the transverse pivot axis at a predetermined distance there from, so that each first foot tread member and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the transverse pivot axis. Each first foot tread member and second foot tread member moves independently of the other of the first and second foot tread member at both the front end and the rear end. Each first foot tread member and second foot tread member moves along a line between the tread member front end and rear end. Each first and second foot tread member rear end moves in a reciprocating path of travel, as each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path. When the exercise device is in use, and when the rear end of each first foot tread member and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot. When the rear end of each first foot tread member and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
  • [0028]
    In one embodiment, the stationary exercise device comprises a frame member having a transverse pivot axis defined relative to the frame member. A first foot tread member and a second foot tread member are present, each first and second foot tread member having a front end, a rear end, and two sides. Each first foot tread member and second foot tread member front end is operatively associated with a coupling member for pivotally coupling the front end of each first and second foot tread member to the transverse pivot axis at a predetermined distance from the transverse pivot axis, so that each first and second foot tread member front end travels in an arcuate path about the transverse pivot axis. Each first foot tread member and second foot tread member moves independently of the other of the first foot tread member and second foot tread member, each first and second foot tread member moving along a line between the tread member front end and rear end. Each first and second foot tread member rear end is operatively associated with a glide member for moveable coupling of the rear end of each first and second foot tread member to the frame member. The glide members direct each first and second foot tread member rear end along a reciprocating path of travel, as each first and second foot tread member front end of the same foot tread member travels in an arcuate path. When the exercise device is in use, and when the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot. When the rear end of each first and second foot tread member travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the exercise device of present invention.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the exercise device of present invention.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the FIG. 2 embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the FIG. 2 embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention when it is folded for storage.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the foot pad member of the exercise device of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 6 is a side view of the foot pad member connected to the wheeled glide member and fly wheel mechanism of one embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0035]
    Nomenclature of the Elements in the Figures:
  • [0036]
    [0036]10 Exercise Device
  • [0037]
    [0037]15 Frame Member
  • [0038]
    [0038]16 Frame Housings
  • [0039]
    [0039]17 Rigid Connector Member
  • [0040]
    [0040]18 Planar Plate Member
  • [0041]
    [0041]20 Axial Shaft
  • [0042]
    [0042]25 Rotating Wheel Member
  • [0043]
    [0043]30 Bell Crank
  • [0044]
    [0044]35 Bell Crank
  • [0045]
    [0045]40 Foot Tread Member
  • [0046]
    [0046]40 a Front End of Foot Tread Member
  • [0047]
    [0047]40 b Rear End of Foot Tread Member
  • [0048]
    [0048]40 c Sides of Foot Tread Member
  • [0049]
    [0049]41 Foot Pad Portion
  • [0050]
    [0050]45 Foot Tread Member
  • [0051]
    [0051]45 a Front End of Foot Tread Member
  • [0052]
    [0052]45 b Rear End of Foot Tread Member
  • [0053]
    [0053]40 c Sides of Foot Tread Member
  • [0054]
    [0054]46 Foot Pad Portion
  • [0055]
    [0055]48 Glide Members
  • [0056]
    [0056]50 Wheeled Glide Member
  • [0057]
    [0057]55 Wheeled Glide Member
  • [0058]
    [0058]57 Wheels
  • [0059]
    [0059]60 Linear Track Portion
  • [0060]
    [0060]65 Linear Track Portion
  • [0061]
    [0061]70 Friction Brake Member
  • [0062]
    [0062]75 Brake Adjustment Knob
  • [0063]
    [0063]85 User Support Member
  • [0064]
    [0064]90 U-Shaped Portion of Support Member
  • [0065]
    [0065]95 Legs of Support Member
  • [0066]
    [0066]125 Fly Wheel Member
  • [0067]
    [0067]130 Spindle Member
  • [0068]
    [0068]135 Spindle Member
  • [0069]
    [0069]140 Fly Wheel Belt Member
  • [0070]
    A Transverse Pivot Axis
  • [0071]
    Examples of Construction
  • [0072]
    Referring to the FIG. 1, one non-limiting embodiment of the exercise device 10, is shown as a structure in accord with some principles of the present invention illustrated. The exercise device 10 includes a frame member 15 adapted for being supported on a floor or other such surface. The frame member 15 has a pivot axis, A, defined therein, for example, by one or more shafts 20 passing through and supported by the frame member 15. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the shafts 20 each have a rotating wheel member 25 supported thereupon for rotation about the pivot axis A. The frame member 15 includes housings 16 supporting the shafts 20 and rotating wheel members 25, with the housings 16 joined by a rigid connector member 17 for holding the housings 16, shafts 20 and rotating wheel members 25 in a constant orientation. The frame member 15 also includes a planar plate member 18 described below. The exercise device 10 further includes a first and a second bell crank 30, 35, pivotally mounted for rotation about the axis A. The exercise device 10 further includes a first and a second foot tread member, 40, 45, respectively. The second bell crank 35 is shown in phantom in FIG. 1. The foot tread members 40, 45 are generally elongated members having a front end 40 a, 45 a, a rear end 40 b, 45 b, and two sides 40 c, 45 c, respectively. The foot tread member front ends 40 a, 45 a, are pivotally connected to the coupling member, (in this instance the bell cranks 30, 35) in such a manner so as to permit travel of the front ends 40 a, 45 a of the foot tread members 40 and 45 in an arcuate path of travel about the pivot axis A at a predetermined length corresponding to the length of the bell cranks 30, 35. Within the context of this application, “arcuate” will refer to a circular, oval, elliptical or other such closed, curved path of travel.
  • [0073]
    A rear end 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40 and 45, moves in a reciprocating path of travel as each foot track member 40, 45 travels in an arcuate path. The rear ends 40 b, 45 b of the foot track members 40, 45 may be suspended by cables, rods, straps, belts or similar suspension means, or may simply ride directly on a suitable support surface associated with the planar plate member 18. Preferably, the rear end 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40 and 45, respectively, terminate in glide members 48 that ride on a suitable support surface. Within the context of this application, a “glide member” is defined as an element having a sliding, gliding, rolling or otherwise friction reducing function, yet including a support and guiding function for the foot tread member rear ends 40 b, 45 b. In the present embodiment of FIG. 1, the glide members 48 comprises wheeled member 50, 55, best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. Other embodiments of the glide members 48 secured to the foot tread member rear ends 40 b, 45 b, includes TeflonŽ glides, pin glides, ball glides, belt glides, hydraulic supports and other equivalent elements that provide a function of reducing friction. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, most preferably, the wheeled members 50, 55 engage linear tracks 60, 65. The tracks 60, 65 direct the wheeled members 50, 55 and, consequently, the rear end 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40, 45 in a reciprocal path of travel, as the front ends 40 a, 45 a of the tread members 40, 45 travel about the transverse pivot axis A. Preferably, the linear tracks 60, 65 are located on the surface of the planar plate member 18 of the frame member 15. Within the context of this application, a “reciprocal” path of travel is meant to define any back and forth path of travel which is repetitively traversed by the rear ends 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40, 45, and includes a generally linear path of travel as is provided by the tracks 60, 65 of the FIG. 1 embodiment shown herein. It is important to note that each foot track member 40, 45 moves independently of each other. The force applied to one foot track member by a user in no way influences the movement of the other foot track member. This configuration allows the foot track members 40, 45 to move in tandem or in unison. Additionally, the independence of each foot track member 40, 45 allows each to move in the same direction, i.e., clockwise or counter clockwise, or one to move clockwise and the other to move counter clockwise. This feature of the present invention provides for greater versatility in the number and complexity of exercises and movements available to the user.
  • [0074]
    The apparatus of the FIG. 1 embodiment may further include friction brakes 70 associated with each rotating wheel member 25 for purposes of imposing drag on the wheel 25 so as to increase the amount of exercise provided by the exercise apparatus 10, as illustrated in FIG. 6. The friction brakes 70 are enclosed within the frame housings 16 and may be adjusted by an adjustment knob 75 operating upon the friction pad of the brake assembly, as is well known to those of skill in the art. Other types of braking devices such as a magnetic brake, a hydraulic brake link, or any other physical braking system, may be similarly employed. In the illustrated embodiment, the frame member 15 includes a user support member 85 mounted upright to the frame member 15. Preferably, the user support member 85 includes a U-shaped portion 90 with a pair of vertical legs 95, each leg 95 adjustably secured to one of the two housings 16 of the frame member 15.
  • [0075]
    The FIG. 1 embodiment of the exercise device 10 further includes foot pads 41, 46, which preferably comprise pads formed at least partially of a relatively soft, high coefficient of friction material, such as rubber, polymer, natural padding, or synthetic material. Each foot pad 41, 46 rests atop the lower foot tread 40, 45, and either end of each foot pad 41, 46 can be elevated relative to the lower foot tread 40, 45, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The foot pads 41, 46 are sufficiently rigid so as to support the weight of the user, with one end of the foot pads 41, 46 elevated relative to the foot tread 40, 45. The lower foot treads 40, 45 remains pivotally attached to the wheeled members 50, 55 when one end of the foot pads 41, 46 is elevated relative to the foot treads 40, 45. That is, because of a hinge or flexure between each lower foot tread 40, 45 and each wheeled member 50, 55, the angle of elevation of a foot tread 40, 45 may change with respect to the angle of elevation of an attached wheeled member 50, 55. The feature of changing the orientation of the foot pads 41, 46 with respect to the wheeled members 50, 55 provides greater versatility in the configuration of the exercise apparatus 10 of the present invention.
  • [0076]
    Another feature of the present invention is the variable path of travel that the user's feet experience, depending upon the location of each foot on the elongated foot treads 40, 45. When positioned near the foot tread front ends 40 a, 45 a, the user's feet travel in a nearly circular path. When positioned near the foot tread rear end 40 b, 45 b, the user's feet travel in an elliptical path. Thus, greater versatility in exercise is available, depending upon the location of the user's feet on the elongated foot tread 40, 45.
  • [0077]
    In addition, the user can operate the exercise device 10 facing toward the pivot axis A, by positioning the user's feet, one on each foot pad 41, 46, with the toe portion of the user's foot nearer the pivot axis A than the heel portion of the user's foot. Alternatively, the user can operate the exercise device 10 facing away from the pivot axis A, with the heel portion of the user's foot nearer the pivot axis A than the toe portion of the user's foot.
  • [0078]
    With the toe portion of the user's feet nearer the pivot axis A, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis A, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis A, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
  • [0079]
    Conversely, with the heel portion of the user's feet nearer the pivot axis A, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis A, the heel portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the toe portion, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis A, the heel portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the toe portion.
  • [0080]
    Referring now to FIGS. 2-4 and 6, another embodiment of the exercise device 10 of the present invention is shown. The exercise device 10 includes a frame member 15 adapted for being supported on a floor or other such surface. The frame member 15 has a pivot axis, A, defined therein, as for example by one or more shafts 20 passing through and supported by the frame member 15. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the shafts 20 each have a rotating wheel member 25 supported thereupon for rotation about the pivot axis A. The frame member 15 includes housings 16 which support the shafts 20 and rotating wheel members 25, with the housings 16 joined by a rigid connector member 17 for holding the housings 16, shafts 20 and rotating wheel members 25 in a constant orientation. The frame member also includes a planar plate member 18 described below. The exercise device 10 further includes a first and a second spindle 130, 135, pivotally mounted to each rotating wheel member 25 for rotation about the axis A. The exercise device 10 further includes a first and a second foot tread member, 40, 45, respectively. The foot tread members 40, 45 are generally elongated members having a front end 40 a, 45 a, a rear end 40 b, 45 b, and two sides 40 c, 45 c, respectively. The foot tread member front ends 40 a, 45 a, are pivotally connected to the coupling member (in this instance the spindles 130, 135) in such a manner so as to permit travel of the front ends 40 a, 45 a of the foot tread members 40 and 45 in an arcuate path of travel about the pivot axis A at a predetermined length, corresponding to the distance of the spindles 130, 135 from the axis of the rotating wheel members 25. Within the context of this application, “arcuate” will refer to a circular, oval, elliptical or other such closed, curved path of travel.
  • [0081]
    A rear end 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40 and 45, moves in a reciprocating path of travel as each foot track member 40, 45 travels in an arcuate path. The rear ends 40 b, 45 b of the foot track members 40, 45 may be suspended by cables, rods, straps, belts or similar suspension means, or may simply ride directly on a suitable support surface associated with the planar plate member 18. Preferably, the rear end 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40 and 45, respectively, terminates in a glide member 48 having a sliding, gliding, rolling or otherwise friction reducing function, yet including a support and guiding function for the foot tread member rear ends 40 b, 45 b. In the present embodiment of FIGS. 2-6, the glide members 48 comprises wheeled member 50, 55 best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. Other embodiments of the glide members 48 secured to the foot tread member rear ends 40 b, 45 b, includes TeflonŽ glides, pin glides, ball glides, belt glides, hydraulic supports and other equivalent elements that provide a function of reducing friction. In the embodiment of FIGS. 2-6, the wheeled members 50, 55 engage linear tracks 60, 65. The tracks 60, 65 direct the rear ends 40 b, 45 b of the foot tread members 40, 45 in a reciprocal path of travel as the front ends 40 a, 45 a of the tread members 40, 45 travel about the pivot axis A. Preferably, the linear tracks 60, 65 are located on the surface of the planar plate member 18 of the frame member 15. Within the context of this application, a “reciprocal” path of travel is meant to define any back and forth path of travel which is repetitively traversed by the end of the foot tread members 40, 45 and includes a generally linear path of travel, as is provided by the tracks 60, 65 of the FIGS. 2-4 embodiment shown herein. It is important to note that each foot track member 40, 45 moves independently of the other foot track member. The force applied to one foot track member by a user in no way influences the movement of the other foot track member. This configuration allows the foot track members 40, 45 to move in tandem or in unison. Additionally, the independence of each foot track member 40, 45 allows each to move in the same direction, i.e., clockwise or counter clockwise, or one to move clockwise and the other to move counter clockwise. This feature of the present invention provides for greater versatility in the number and complexity of exercises and movements available to the user.
  • [0082]
    The apparatus of the FIGS. 2-4 embodiment may further include friction brakes 70, associated with each rotating wheel member 25, for purposes of imposing drag on the wheel 25 so as to increase the amount of exercise provided by the exercise apparatus 10, as illustrated in FIG. 6. The friction brakes 70 are enclosed within the frame housing 16 and may be adjusted by an adjustment knob 75 operating upon the friction pad of the brake assembly, as is well known to those of skill in the art. Other types of physical, mechanical or electrical braking devices such as a magnetic brake, hydraulic brake, friction brake, and the like, may be similarly employed. In the illustrated embodiment, the frame member 15 includes a user support member 85 mounted upright to the frame member 15. Preferably, the user support member 85 includes a U-shaped portion 90 with a pair of vertical legs 95, each leg 95 adjustably secured to one of the two housings 16 of the frame member 15.
  • [0083]
    The FIGS. 2-4 embodiment of the exercise device 10 further includes foot pads 41, 46 which preferably comprise pads formed at least partially of a relatively soft, high coefficient of friction natural or synthetic material, such as rubber. Each foot pad 41, 46 rests atop the lower foot tread 40, 45, and one end of each foot pad 41, 46 can be elevated relative to the lower foot tread 40, 45, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The foot pads 41, 46 are sufficiently rigid so as to support the weight of the user with one end of the foot pads 41, 46 elevated relative to the foot tread 40, 45. The lower foot treads 40, 45 remains pivotally attached to the wheeled members 50, 55 when one end of the foot pads 41, 46 are elevated relative to the foot treads 40, 45. The feature of changing the orientation of the foot pads 41, 46 provides greater versatility in the configuration of the exercise apparatus 10 of the present invention.
  • [0084]
    Another feature of the present invention is the variable path of travel that the user's feet experience, depending upon the location of each foot on the elongated foot treads 40, 45. When positioned near the foot tread front ends 40 a, 45 a, the user's feet travel in a nearly circular path. When positioned near the foot tread rear end 40 b, 45 b, the user's feet travel in an elliptical path. Thus, greater versatility in exercise is available, depending upon the location of the user's feet on the elongated foot tread 40, 45.
  • [0085]
    In addition, when the exercise device 10 is in use, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction away from the pivot axis A, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially lowers at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot, and when the rear end 40 b, 45 b of each foot tread member 40, 45 travels along the reciprocating path of travel in a direction toward the pivot axis A, the toe portion of the user's foot associated therewith initially rises at a rate faster than the heel portion of the user's foot.
  • [0086]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, the planar plate member 18 of the frame member 15 containing the linear track portions 60, 65, as well as the foot tread members 40, 45, with attached wheeled members 50, 55, pivot to a near vertical orientation to allow for non-obstructive storage of the exercise device 10.
  • [0087]
    A foot tread member 45 and attached wheeled member 55 are shown in greater detail in FIG. 5. The rear end 45 b of the foot tread member 45 is pivotally attached to the wheeled member 55, allowing the wheeled member 55 to remain essentially horizontal as the front end 45 a of the foot tread member 45 travels in an arcuate path, attached to either the bell crank member 35 or the rotating wheel member 25, as described above. Preferably, the wheels 57 of the wheeled members 50, 55 are in a linear configuration and aligned with the long axis of the foot tread members 40, 45. The wheels 57 of the wheeled members 50, 55 preferably travel in the linear track portions 60, 65 of the planar plate member 18.
  • [0088]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, a detailed view of one rotating wheel member 25, the fly wheel member 125, the attached foot tread member 40 and the wheeled member 50 is shown. The fly wheel member 125 is mounted on a shaft interior the frame housing 16 and operatively connected to the rotating wheel member 25 by a belt member 140. The friction brake member 70 is positioned to apply force to the fly wheel member 125, which transfers resistance to rotation to the rotating wheel member 25 via the belt member 140. The friction brake member 70 is adjusted with the brake adjustment knob 75 mounted on the surface of the frame housing 16. Alternatively, resistance to rotation of the wheel member 25 can be achieved by a magnet brake assembly (not shown) acting on the fly wheel member 125.
  • [0089]
    While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • [0090]
    [0090]FIG. 2 shows that the glide member 48 may have two distinct areas of contact in the foot pad portion 46 and the foot tread member 40. There may be a flexible joint 42 between the foot pad portion 46 and the foot tread member 40. The flexible joint may be a hinge, a pin, a swivel, cu0p and socket, or any other known physical structure that allows the foot pad portion 46 and the foot tread member 40 to bend and not break at the joint 42. It is also of interest to note in this embodiment (which is not required, but offers some additional unique capability) that the foot pad portion 46 covers a majority of the surface area in the foot tread member 40. This allows a user's foot to be placed along a substantial length of the pad portion 46 of the foot tread member 40. By placing the foot in different areas, the motion and range of motion and style of motion can be varied. By placing a foot with the heel closest to the wheel glide member 50, a foot motion closest to a glide is effected. By moving the foot farther away from the wheel glide member, the motion becomes more arcuate. The motion makes a transition from glide to elliptical to circular motion as the foot is placed farther from the wheel glide member 50, and closer to the U-shaped support member 90. This offers much greater flexibility in motion and exercise control, even to the point where different legs are doing different training patterns at one time. As different training programs require different motions to be available, this system provides the various motions without having to modify the construction.
  • [0091]
    It is also to be noted that it is not necessary to use straps to secure feet into position and that the friction provided by the long foot pad portion 46 can be used to provide secure foot positioning. A strap may be added, or a simple belt that slips over the foot and the foot tread member 45 for additional security. A strap or belt that secures to the sides 40 c of the foot tread member 45 may also be provided.
  • [0092]
    As the foot pad portion 46 is likely to be subject to uneven wear in use, the foot pad portions should be replaceable easily. Having foot pad portions that slip into, snap into, fit into, or are secured into the frame of the foot tread portion 45 are desirable. A non-limiting example of such a construction is shown in FIG. 5. Note the tongue 142 that extends as part of the foot pad member 46 into the frame portion 144 of the rear end of the foot tread member 45 b. Alternative engaging systems such as hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., VelcroŽ fasteners), snaps, tongue and groove fasteners, adhesive sheets, peg and holes, slide and groove systems, and any other engaging system may be used at one, two, three or four sides of the foot pad member 46. These members should be easily removeable and easily insertable. More permanent (yet still removeable systems such as staples, screws, bolts and the like may be used, but each has its own characteristics that a designer may or may not choose.
  • [0093]
    The foot pad member covers the substantial surface of the foot tread member (e.g., most of the available surface area except for frames, printed instruction which may or may not have a friction surface, lighting, clips for shoes, belts, etc.) so that a significant area can be used by the user. The coverage of 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% up to nearly or exactly to 100% of the surface area for frictional surface or pad replacement with critical areas having friction material on or added to the pad can be used. Lower amounts of pad area could also be used.
  • [0094]
    Although specific examples of materials, components, subcomponents, and elements have been used, one skilled in the art would appreciate the use of other materials, components, subcomponents, and elements that would still work in providing a device as taught herein. For example, although an exercise device has been shown with two frame housings 16, a more modular unit with a single frame housing and a single foot tread member can be provided. This could enable single arm exercising or single leg exercising and could then be expanded into a two foot tread device as described elsewhere.
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Referenced by
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US7883451 *Mar 29, 2007Feb 8, 2011Treadwell CorporationMethods of applying treadle stimulus
US20070243979 *Mar 29, 2007Oct 18, 2007Hand Richard AFoot and leg exercising device providing passive motion benefits
US20120108397 *May 3, 2012Jao-Hsing TsaiLeg Stretching Device
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/51, 482/57
International ClassificationA63B21/015, A63B22/18, A63B21/22, A63B23/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/225, A63B22/0664, A63B2022/0038, A63B22/0015, A63B2022/0676, A63B2210/50, A63B2022/0647, A63B21/015
European ClassificationA63B22/06E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 28, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: THE SHIFTER, INC., MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRABER, JASE;REEL/FRAME:019904/0134
Effective date: 20070921