|Publication number||US20060166791 A1|
|Application number||US 11/040,378|
|Publication date||Jul 27, 2006|
|Filing date||Jan 21, 2005|
|Priority date||Jan 21, 2005|
|Publication number||040378, 11040378, US 2006/0166791 A1, US 2006/166791 A1, US 20060166791 A1, US 20060166791A1, US 2006166791 A1, US 2006166791A1, US-A1-20060166791, US-A1-2006166791, US2006/0166791A1, US2006/166791A1, US20060166791 A1, US20060166791A1, US2006166791 A1, US2006166791A1|
|Inventors||Hung-Mao Liao, Te-Chang Huang|
|Original Assignee||Hung-Mao Liao, Te-Chang Huang|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (36), Classifications (13), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an exercise machine, more particularly to an elliptical exercise machine which permits the user to exercise by moving his/her feet along an elliptical path.
2. Description of the Related Art
In such an exercise machine, the length of the elliptical path along a front-to-rear direction or the stroke of the foot platforms 15 is limited by the length of the cranks 13 and thus is not changeable or adjustable. Thus, the length of the stroke may be insufficient for a user who is tall and requires a longer stroke, and may be unduly long for a user who is short and needs a smaller stroke to avoid overstressing his feet. If the length of the stroke is to be increased, the length of the cranks 13 must be increased to enlarge the circular path along which the cranks move, thereby increasing the volume of the exercise machine. In addition, the lengthening of the cranks 13 increases not only the length of the elliptical path along the front-to-rear direction but also the height of the elliptical path along a top-to-bottom direction. The increase in height of the elliptical path can result in overstressing of the knees of the user as the user must lift his knees too much when making an ascending movement.
Furthermore, since the foot platforms 15 are mounted fixedly on the respective foot members 14, they are not changeable in angular position relative to the foot members 14. As the user's feet will incline upward and downward alternately during their ascend and descend movements, the foot platforms 15 which are fixed to the foot members 14 are ergonomically unfavorable to the user's feet.
An object of the present invention is to provide an elliptical exercise machine which permits foot plates to move along an elliptical path having a prolonged length along a front-to-rear direction without increasing the height of the elliptical path along a top-to-bottom direction.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an elliptical exercise machine with foot plates which are movable on respective reciprocating slide members so that the length of an elliptical path along which the foot plates move is adjustable.
Accordingly, the present invention provides an exercise machine which comprises: a support extending in a front-to-rear direction and having a rotating mechanism mounted thereon; a pair of slide members mounted on the support for reciprocating movement and each having a pivotal end connected to the rotating mechanism and a sliding end slidable on the support; a foot plate mounted movably on one of the slide members; a linkage unit connecting the foot plate to the rotating mechanism for reciprocating the foot plate on the one of the slide members; and a control mechanism associated with the linkage unit for actuating the foot plate to move forward when the one of the slide members moves forward and to move rearward when the one of the slide members moves rearward.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that same reference numerals have been used to denote like elements throughout the specification.
A pair of slide members 31 are mounted on the base 21 on two sides of the rotating mechanism 20. Each slide member 31 has a pivotal end 311 connected pivotally to one of the rotary members 24 and a sliding end 312 mounted slidably on the corresponding slide rail 23. A U-shaped seat 32 is attached to a top face 313 of each slide member 31.
A pair of foot support members 4 are pivoted respectively to the slide members 31 at front ends 411 thereof. Specifically, each foot support member 4 has a foot support seat 41 which has a front end 411 connected pivotally to the corresponding slime member 31. The front end 411 extends into the U-shaped seat 32 of the corresponding slide member 31. A pivot member 42 is inserted into the U-shaped seat 32 and the front end 411 to interconnect each foot support seat 41 to the corresponding slide member 31. A guide rail 414 is provided on each foot support seat 41 to extend in a direction from the front end 411 to the rear end 412 of each foot support seat 41 and to receive a plurality of rollers 431 as shown in
According to the present invention, the foot plates 43 are connected to the respective rotary members 24 through linkage units for reciprocating the foot plates 43 when the slide members 31 move forward and backward. Each linkage unit may be made up of two or more interconnected arms. Referring to
Referring once again to
The exercise machine (A) further includes a pair of swinging arms 61 mounted pivotally on the upstanding frame 22, a pair of handles 611 respectively connected to the swinging arms 61, and a pair of reciprocating rods 62. Each reciprocating rod 62 has a front end connected pivotally to a lower end of the corresponding swinging arm 61 and a rear part connected fixedly to the corresponding foot support seat 41 through first and second pins 63. The movement of the foot support seat 41 is therefore related to the movement of the corresponding reciprocating rod 62 in addition to the movement of the corresponding slide member 31.
Referring again to
When the user stands on the foot plates 43 and exercises by moving his/her legs, the pivotal ends 311 of the slide members 31 rotates about an axis (L) along with the rotary members 24, and the sliding ends 312 of the slide members 31 slide on the base 21. When the pivotal end 311 of one of the slide members 31 moves upward and forward from the position shown in
Due to the movements of the slide members 31 and the reciprocating rods 62, the foot support seats 41 can move along an elliptical path. In addition, because of the opposite direction rotation of the first arms 51 relative to the pivotal ends 311 of the slide members 31, each foot plate 43 moves forward when the corresponding slide member 31 moves forward and rearward when the corresponding slide member 31 moves rearward. When each slide member 31 reaches its rearmost position, the corresponding foot plate 43 arrives at its rearmost position. When each slide member 31 reaches its frontmost position, the corresponding foot plate 43 arrives at its frontmost position. As such, the length of the stroke of each foot plate 43 is prolonged or the length of the elliptical path along a front-to-rear direction of the exercise machine (A) is increased without increasing the height of the elliptical path in a bottom-to-top direction.
Note that, when one of the slide members 31 moves forward, the corresponding first arm 51 extends in a direction substantially the same as that of the slide member 31 and is moved forwardly of the slide member 31 as shown in
The rearmost and frontmost positions of the foot plates 43 may be varied by moving the adjustment pieces 521 along the respective first arms 51. Referring once again to
According to the present invention, the first and second gears 54 and 55 used in the first embodiment may be replaced by a belt-and-pulley assembly as shown in
Foot support seats 41′ of the foot support members 4′ are mounted fixedly on the respective slide members 31′ to support foot plates 43′, respectively. Each foot plate 43′ is slidable forward and rearward along rails 411′ provided on the corresponding foot support seat 41′. A pair of reciprocating members 64′ are connected respectively to the slide members 31′ and to two swinging arms 61′ that are in turn mounted on an upstanding frame 22′ of the support 2′.
Each foot plate 43′ is connected pivotally to a second arm 53 which in turn is pivoted to a first arm 51. The first arm 51 is connected pivotally to a pivotal end 311′ of the corresponding slide member 31′. First and second gears 54 and 55 are connected respectively to the first arm 51 and the pivotal end 311′ of the slide member 31′. Since the operation of the exercise machine of this embodiment is similar to that of the previous embodiment, it will not be described herein.
Due to the provision of the foot plates 43, 43′ which are slidable relative to the slide members 31, 31′, the length of the stroke of the foot plates 43, 43′ or the length of the elliptical path along the front-to-rear direction can be adjusted or enlarged according to the need of the user.
Therefore, the exercise machine provides a wide range of stroke lengths and can accommodate ergonomically different users having varying heights and body structures. In addition, although the length of the elliptical path along the front-to-rear direction is prolonged, the height of the elliptical path along the top-to-bottom direction is not increased, thus eliminating the problem of overstressing or hurting the user's feet.
While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretations and equivalent arrangements.
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|U.S. Classification||482/52, 482/57|
|International Classification||A63B22/04, A63B22/06|
|Cooperative Classification||A63B22/0015, A63B22/0664, A63B22/203, A63B2022/067, A63B2022/0676, A63B22/001|
|European Classification||A63B22/00A6, A63B22/06E, A63B22/00B|
|Jan 21, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: JOHNSON TECH, CO., LTD., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LIAO, HUNG-MAO;HUANG, TE-CHANG;REEL/FRAME:016205/0288
Effective date: 20050103