Title:
Training apparatus, in particular an elliptical trainer or cross trainer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A training apparatus, in particular an elliptical trainer or cross trainer with two pedals which are fitted on a respective pedal bar, rear ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal crank, the pedal cranks being arranged rotatably about an axis (A), the pedals being mounted displaceably on the pedal bars.



Inventors:
Kettler, Joachim (Ense, DE)
Kettler, Karin (Ense, DE)
Rocholl, Reinhard (Soest, DE)
Application Number:
11/292307
Publication Date:
06/29/2006
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/57
International Classes:
A63B22/04; A63B22/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stewart L. Gitler (HOFFMAN, WASSON & GITLER, P.C. Suite 522 2461 South Clark Street, Arlington, VA, 22202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A training apparatus, an elliptical trainer or cross trainer, comprising two pedals which are fitted on a respective pedal bar, rear ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal crank, the pedal cranks being arranged rotatably about an axis (A), wherein the pedals are mounted displaceably on the pedal bars.

2. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pedals are connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar.

3. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the respective push bar is connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar crank.

4. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein the respective push bar crank is arranged rotatably about the axis (A).

5. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein distances between the points of engagement of the respective push bar on the push bar crank and the axis (A) are adjustable.

6. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pedal cranks and/or push bar cranks are completely or partially formed by circular disks.

7. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the points of engagement of the pedal bars on the pedal cranks and the points of engagement of the push bars on the push bar cranks lie in a plane (E) which includes the axis (A).

8. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein front ends of the pedal bars are connected in an articulated manner to respective pedal levers.

9. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein the respective pedal lever is fitted pivotably to a respective front bearing.

10. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the respective front bearing is fitted with height adjustment to a front part of the frame.

11. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 10, wherein the training apparatus has adjustment means for adjusting the height of the respective front bearing.

12. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 11, wherein the adjustment means comprise a drive.

13. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the drive is an electric motor.

14. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 11, wherein the adjustment means comprise elements for converting a rotational movement into a linear movement.

15. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the conversion elements comprise a spindle.

16. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein handles are fitted or integrally formed on the pedal levers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a training apparatus, in particular an elliptical trainer or cross trainer, with two pedals which are fitted on a respective pedal bar, rear ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal crank. In this case, the pedal cranks are arranged rotatably about an axis.

Training apparatus of this type are disclosed, for example, in the utility model with the publication number DE 201 00 276 U1. Furthermore, training apparatus' of this type are produced and sold by various suppliers, including the applicant.

The training apparatus disclosed in the publication with the publication number DE 201 00 267 U1 has two pedals which are connected fixedly to the associated pedal bars. A user of the training apparatus, who stands on the pedals of the training apparatus, therefore executes every movement which the pedal bars execute. The movement is essentially elliptical, for which reason the term elliptical trainer is also used. The training apparatus disclosed in the publication has the possibility of setting different strides, i.e. elliptical movements of different size, depending in each case on the users height. For smaller individuals with a smaller stride, an ellipse having smaller radii can be set, and for larger individuals having a larger stride, an ellipse having a larger radius can be set.

Although the elliptical movement of the feet that is transmitted with the movement apparatus to the trunk of the body very closely approximates a natural running movement, it does not correspond 100% to the natural sequence of movement. The movement on a training apparatus of this type is therefore unfamiliar in particular to first time users.

The invention is based on an object of permitting a more natural sequence of movement, in particular a more natural movement of the legs and the hips, for the user than in the case of the previously known cross trainers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This object is achieved according to the invention by the pedals being mounted displaceably on the pedal bars. The pedals are mounted displaceably on the pedal bars in such a manner that they are displaced forward and rearward during use of the training apparatus. The pedals are therefore displaceable on the pedal bars during operation and do not execute the movement of the pedal bars one to one. As a result, a more natural movement is permitted for the user.

The pedals are preferably connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar, it being possible for these push bars to be connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar crank. These push bar cranks are preferably arranged rotatably about the same axis about which the pedal cranks are already rotatably arranged. Via the push bar cranks and the push bars, each pedal is pushed to and fro on the pedal bar during operation of the training apparatus. The pedals therefore execute a defined movement on the pedal bars. By means of these movements of the pedals, the ellipse is overall shallower, which corresponds to a more natural sequence of movement.

In a preferred embodiment of the training apparatus, the distances between the points of engagement of the push bars on the push bar cranks and the axis are adjustable. Adaptation to individuals having different strides is therefore possible.

The pedal cranks and/or the push bar cranks may be completely or partially formed by circular disks. The points of engagements of the pedal bars on the pedal cranks and if appropriate the points of engagement of the push bars on the push bar cranks lie preferably in a plane which also includes the axis about which the pedal cranks and the push bar cranks rotate.

The front ends of pedal bars of a training apparatus according to the invention can be connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal lever. The pedal levers for their part can be fitted pivotably in a respective front bearing. This front bearing is preferably fitted with height adjustment to a front part of the frame of the training apparatus. The ellipse, which is normally aligned essentially horizontally, can be inclined upward or downward by the height-adjustability of the front bearing. By means of an inclination of this type, the sensation of going uphill or downhill can be imparted to a user.

The training apparatus with a height-adjustable front bearing can have particular adjustment means for adjusting the height of the front bearing. These adjustment means may comprise a drive, in particular an electric motor, so that the adjustment of the front bearing does not have to take place manually.

The adjustment means advantageously have elements for converting a rotational movement into a linear movement. Elements of this type may comprise a spindle on which a nut can be rotatably fitted.

Handles on which the user can place his hands during the exercises are preferably fitted or integrally formed on the pedal levers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An exemplary embodiment of a cross trainer according to the invention is illustrated in more detail in the drawings, in which

FIG. 1 shows a side view of the cross trainer;

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of the cross trainer;

FIG. 3 shows a view from the rear;

FIG. 4 shows a view from the front; and

FIG. 5 shows a perspective illustration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The cross trainer illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 has a frame with a lower part 1a and a front part 1b. The frame is produced essentially by two hollow profiles arranged at a distance from each other. The hollow profiles are largely guided parallel to each other, in particular in the region of the front part 1b of the frame. In a rear region of the lower part 1a of the frame, the hollow profiles are angled, so that they lie directly adjacent to each other in this region.

The upwardly protruding ends of the hollow profiles forming the front part 1b of the frame are connected to each other via first webs 1c. These first webs 1c are produced from pieces of flat steel. In addition, the two hollow profiles are connected to each other in the region of the front part 1b of the frame via a second web 1d composed of a hollow profile. An electric motor 5 is fastened to this web 1d, which is fitted below the two first webs 1c. This electric motor 5 drives a spindle element 4, the length of which can be changed by the electric motor 5. At its lower end, the spindle element is fitted to a fitting 2 which is connected fixedly to the web 1d. The upper end of the spindle element 4 is connected to a fitting 3 which is fastened to a cross piece 7. This cross piece 7 is mounted displaceably between the first webs 1c on sliding tubes 6.

By rotation of a spindle of the spindle element, the height of the cross piece 7 can be changed. Projecting struts 7a which are height-adjustable together with the cross piece 7 are fitted fixedly to the cross piece 7. Two front bearings 8 are provided at the free ends of the struts 7a. A respective pedal lever 9 is mounted pivotably on these front bearings 8. The pedal levers 9 extend both below the front bearings 8 and above the bearings 8, with the upper ends of the pedal levers 9 forming handles 10.

The lower ends of the pedal levers 9 are connected in an articulated manner to front ends of pedal bars 12 via a bearing 11. The rear ends of the pedal bars 12 are connected to pedal cranks 21a, 21b via bearings formed from bearing bushings 12a and journals 20, with the pedal crank 21a being formed by a circular disk 21a. The two pedal cranks 21a, 21b are rotatable about a common axis A. The points of engagement of the pedal bars 12 on the pedal cranks 21a, 21b are provided at the same distance from the axis A. The points of engagement are situated diametrically opposite each other relative to the axis A.

A centrifugal mass 24 designed as a flywheel is driven by the pedal crank designed as a circular disk 21a. For this purpose, a toothed belt or V-belt 23 is laid over the circular disk 21a. This belt drives the centrifugal mass 24 with the interconnection of a gear. A housing 25 is provided in the region of the centrifugal mass 24, in which housing various electrical components, for example an eddy current brake, various sensors and so on are accommodated.

Guide elements 14 are provided on the pedal bars 12. Pedals 13 can be displaced on these guide elements 14 in the direction of extent of the pedal bars 12. The person using the cross trainer stands on these pedals. The pedals 13 are connected to a first end of a push bar 16 via bearings 15. The push bars 16 are connected at their second end via a respective bearing 17 to push bar cranks 19. The push bar cranks 19 are connected fixedly to the bearing journal 20 on which the push bar cranks 20 engage by means of their bearing bushings 12a. These push bar cranks 19, which are likewise designed as circular disks, are rotatable about the axis A in the same manner as the pedal cranks 21a, 21b.

The points of engagement of the push bars 16 on the push bar cranks 19 are situated diametrically opposite each other and in a plane E which contains the points of engagement of the push bars 16 on the push bar cranks 19, the points of engagement of the pedal bars and the pedal cranks 21a, 21b and the axis A. The push bar cranks 19, the bearing journal 20, the pedal cranks 21a, 21b and a shaft (not illustrated) connecting the pedal cranks 21a and 21b to each other are connected rigidly to one another and form a multiply stepped crankshaft.

The inclination of the pedals 13 can be changed by the height-adjustability of the front bearing 8 and therefore of the point of engagement of the pedal lever 9 on the front part 1b of the frame. If the front bearing 8 is raised, the sensation of having to move uphill is imparted to the user. A lowering of the front bearing 8 enables the opposite to be achieved; the sensation of moving downhill is namely imparted to the user.

The displacability of the pedals. 13 on the pedal bars 12 and the coupling of the pedals 13 to the push bar cranks 19 via the push bars, which displacability and coupling are additionally provided in comparison to a conventional cross trainer, bring about an additional movement of the user on the pedal bars 12. As a result, an overall more natural movement is achieved than is the case with conventional cross trainers.

The connection at the second ends of the push bars 16 and the push bar cranks 19 is releasable. The point of engagement of the second ends of the push bars 16, i.e. the bearings 17, can be displaced radially or offset on a line E. For this purpose, holes 18 in which a coupling element of the bearing 17 can engage are provided on each of the push bar cranks 19. By means of a displacement of the point of engagement of the second end of the push bar 16, the travel which the pedal 13 experiences on the pedal bars 12 during a revolution of the push bar cranks 19 can be varied. A matching to the individual stride of the user is therefore possible.