Title:
Miniaturized track exercising device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A miniaturized track exercising device includes a chassis on which a counterweight wheel set is provided. The counterweight wheel set is provided with a resistance adjusting unit. Two crank arms extend in opposite directions and are arranged on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set. Each crank arm is pivotally connected to a pedal in an offset manner. The pedals are provided with a guide rail unit that is opposite to the crank arms with respect to the pedals and that provides a pivot joint and a fulcrum. Thus, when the pedals are being treaded, with the counterweight wheel set inducing a sufficient resistance that is adjusted with the resistance adjusting unit and the guide rail unit providing support against gravitational force acting on the pedals while the pedals undergo track motion, the pedals are constrained by the guide rail unit to generate an elliptical track motion.



Inventors:
Lin, Chin-ta (Taiping City, TW)
Application Number:
11/736596
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
04/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/57
International Classes:
A63B22/04; A63B22/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020107116Device used for therapy and for exercising the joints of the human bodyAugust, 2002Schulz
20080058164Concentric and Eccentric Exercising and Training Apparatus and MethodMarch, 2008Douglas et al.
20030073549Neck exerciserApril, 2003Hatch
20010049320Pricing exercise equipment according to usageDecember, 2001Cohen et al.
20070093361SWAYING DAMPING DEVICE FOR A HANDLE BAR OF FITNESS EQUIPMENTApril, 2007Chen et al.
20050227812Trampoline mat and method of making sameOctober, 2005James
20020022556Machine for muscular trainingFebruary, 2002Eriksson et al.
20060128532Extendable swing arm assembly for a treadmillJune, 2006Wang
20070161479Knee-stretching Device and Treatment MethodsJuly, 2007Harris
20030119638Horizontally twisting exercising deviceJune, 2003Chan
20100016127TREADMILL CONVERSION RESISTANCE TRAINING APPARATUSJanuary, 2010Farnsworth et al.



Primary Examiner:
TECCO, ANDREW M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEONG C. LEI (PMB # 1008 1839 YGNACIO VALLEY ROAD, WALNUT CREEK, CA, 94598, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A miniaturized track exercising device comprising a chassis on which a counterweight wheel set is provided, the counterweight wheel set being provided with a resistance adjusting unit, two crank arms extending in opposite directions and arranged on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set, each crank arm being pivotally connected to a pedal in an offset manner, the pedals being provided with a guide rail unit that is opposite to the crank arms with respect to the pedals and that provides a pivot joint and a fulcrum, whereby when the pedals are being treaded, with the counterweight wheel set inducing a sufficient resistance that is adjusted with the resistance adjusting unit and the guide rail unit providing support against gravitational force acting on the pedals while the pedals undergo track motion, the pedals are constrained by the guide rail unit to generate an elliptical track motion.

2. The miniaturized track exercising device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the guide rail unit comprises a rail bar having a semi-circular cross-section and extending in a frontward direction from an underside of each pedal, two fulcrum rollers being rotatably mounted to a front portion of the chassis and respectively engaging in a rolling manner with and supporting the respective rail bar.

3. The miniaturized track exercising device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the guide rail unit comprises a rail bar extending in a frontward direction from an underside of each pedal and having a front end to which a fulcrum roller is rotatably mounted for and adapted to roll on a fixture surface, whereby being supported on the ground and with the fulcrums as pivot joints, the pedals are constrained by the crank arms and the rail bars to undergo elliptical motion.

4. The miniaturized truck exercising device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the guide rail unit comprises channels having upward facing openings and arranged at a front end and opposite sides of the chassis to movably receive the fulcrum rollers therein respectively for making rolling of the fulcrum rollers smooth, the channels being foldable inward to reduce space occupied thereby.

5. The miniaturized track exercising device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the guide rail unit comprises a guide collar mounted to an underside of each pedal and a rail bar slidably extending in a frontward direction through the collar, a front end of the rail bar being pivoted to a front end of the chassis whereby the pedals are constrained by the crank arms and are movable along the guide rail unit to thereby induce an elliptic motion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(a) Technical Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of physical exercising or fitness equipment, and in particular to an elliptical track exercising device having a reduced volume and effectively increasing exercising amount.

(b) Description of the Prior Art

To cope with the substantial reduction of exercising sites and time that am available for modern people, a variety of exercising device or fitness equipment is available in the market for carrying out different types of physical trainings. Among the exercising devices available in the market, a track exercising device is operated by having the feet treading and skidding back and fro to effect training of strength of legs. The track exercising device has been developed from the early vane-type stationary bicycle to the recent elliptic track exercising device. FIG. 1 of the attached drawings shows a conventional vane-type stationary bicycle, which comprises a home or chassis 10 that stands on the ground. A vane assembly 11 for inducing a wind resistance is mounted on the frame 10. The vane assembly 11 is driven by a crank assembly 12 that is arranged in the rear portion. The crank 12 are provided at opposite sides thereof two pedals 13 that are provided with linking bars 14. Handgrips 15, which can rock back and fro, are provided at opposite sides of a front end of the frame 10. Lower ends of the handgrips 15 are respectively pivoted to the linking bars 14 of the pedals 13 to form driving coupling therebetween. A central portion of the frame 10 is raised upward and is provided with a seat assembly 16, whereby a user may sit on the seat assembly 16 and treads the pedals 13 with hands holding and rocking the handgrips 15 back and fro. Since the pedals 13 are directly coupled to the center of the crank assembly 12, they just undergo rotation along circular tracks. This means the amount of exercise is less. In addition, the seat assembly 16 and the handgrips 15 are must for the known device and this means it is in general not possible to significantly reduce the overall volume of the device, which leads to troubles in storage and transportation.

To improve the drawback of being of less amount, of exercise for the conventional vane type stationary bicycle, other types of exercising devices have been developed and an example, given in FIG. 2, is a magnetism-controlled track exercising device, comprising an I-shaped base 20 having a front end on which a suspension frame 21 is provided. A magnetism control wheel set 22 and a crank set 23 are respectively arranged at front and rear sides of the suspension frame 21. Pedals 24 are respectively located on opposite sides and rear ends of the pedals 24 are rotatably connected to the crank set 23 so as to induce motion along an elliptic track, which helps increasing the amount of exercising. Further, handgrips 25 are located on opposite sides of and are pivotally coupled to the front end of the suspension frame 21. Lower ends of the handgrips 25 are pivoted to links 26 that are connected to the front ends of the pedals 24 so that the user may stand on the pedals 24 for doing exercise and keeping balance by holding the handgrips 25. However, once again, the overall volume of the known device cannot be significantly reduced, and this causes problems in installation, use, and storage of the device.

Further referring to FIG. 3, which illustrates a dual-crank type track exercising device, comprising a chassis 30 having a front section on which a suspension frame 31 is arranged. A flywheel set 32 is arranged in the suspension frame 31 and has crank arms 33 on opposite sides thereof. The chassis 30 is provided at a rear section thereof with a crank set 34 that drives the flywheel set 32. Pedals 35 are arranged on opposite sides of the crank set 34. A link 36 is connected to a front end of each pedal 35 and is also connected to the respective crank arm 33, so that the pedals 35 can reciprocate back and fro between the crank arms 33 of the flywheel set 32 and the crank set 34. To keep safety and balance of a rider, handgrips 37 are provided at front end of both the suspension frame 31 and the chassis 30 to be held by the rider. When the crank arms 33 and the crank set 34 are rotated to the topmost positions, the pedals 35 have the gravity centers thereof located at very high position whereby without holding the handgrips 37, the rider may be subject to high potential of risk. In this respect, the handgrips 37 are a must for the known device.

FIG. 4 of the attached drawings illustrates a slide type track exercising device, comprising a chassis 40 and a vertical post 41 is arranged at a rear end of the chassis 40. A crank set 42 is rotatably mounted to a top end of the post 41. A guide tube 44, which carries a pedal 43, is provided at each side of the crank set 42. The guide tube 44 contains therein a compression spring is in telescopic connection with a slide bar 45 that is pivoted to the chassis 40. Thus, when the pedals 43 are stepped to depress the guide tubes 44 downward, the compression springs provide the slide bars 45 with the effect simulating damping motion. This simplifies the structure, but lacks of the rotational inertia effected by the vane or flywheel, so that the operation is not smooth, and the result of exercising is poor. Further since the operation is not smooth and the resistance of damping is not adjustable, handgrips 46 are still needed for the user to maintain balance. As a result, it cannot reduce the space occupied.

FIG. 5 illustrates a further conventional slide type track exercising device, which comprises a chassis 50 having a rear end to which a crank set 51 is mounted and a flywheel set 52 is arranged in front of and in driving coupling with the crank set 51. The flywheel 52 provides resistance to effect exercising. A handgrip post 53 is erected at a front end of the chassis 50. A guide bar 54 is provided at and pivoted to opposite sides of a lower section of the handgrip post 53 and a slidable pedal 55 is slidably mounted on each guide bar 54. The slidable pedal 55 is pivoted at a rear end thereof to the crank set 51 so that when the crank set 51 is rotated, the slidable pedals 55 slide along the guide bars to effect the greatest extent of track exercising. However, the pedals 55 are not fixed with respect to the guide bars 54 and thus the handgrip post 53 is a must for the user to keep balance. Thus, the overall volume cannot be reduced, leading to the same problems of storage, use, and transportation.

The known pedaling type track exercising devices provides the users with exercising by pedaling action. Since in all the known devices, the support point or fulcrum and the pivot point are “floating” rather than stationary, when the device is operated to take track motion, the gravity center of the pedals are located in front of the user so that the user cannot control the balance thereof and thus handgrips located in front of the chassis are required to support the user. On the other hand, the known sliding type uses the slidable pedals sliding along the guide bars to realize exercising. Again, since the pedals are “floating” and are not properly supported, when the device is operated to take track motion, the user is not able to control balance so that again, handgrips are needed in the front of the chassis for supporting the user.

In other words, the conventional pedaling type track, exercising devices realize exercising by pedaling action. To increase the resistance thereof, a large size vane is needed. Also, crank set and chain are used to drive the vane. All these complicate the construction and enlarge the overall volume. In addition, the gravity center is put at a high altitude, causing negative effect on the operation safety. The handgrips that allow the user to keep balance also increase the overall volume of the track exercising device, causing problems in flexibility of space use and inconvenience of use, installation, storage, and transportation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a miniaturized track exercising device, which has reduced overall volume and has enhanced operation safety.

The above objective is realized with the following technical solution. A miniaturized track exercising device comprises a chassis on which a counterweight wheel set is provided. The counterweight wheel set is provided with a resistance adjusting unit for adjusting the resistance induced by the counterweight wheel set. Two crank arms extend in opposite directions and are arranged on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set. Each crank arm is pivotally connected to a pedal in an offset manner. The pedals are provided with a guide rail unit that is opposite to the crank arms with respect to the pedals and that provides a pivot joint and a fulcrum. As such, with the above described means, the present invention may adjust the resistance against the rotation of the counterweight wheel set by means of the resistance adjusting unit and the guide rail unit, provides support against gravitational force acting on the pedals while the pedals undergo track motion, so that the user may stably stand on the pedal to take the track motion without the handgrips to maintain balance. Thus, reduction of overall volume and putting the gravity center at a lower altitude are realized. And, exercising result can also be enhanced with safety.

The foregoing object and summary provide only a brief introduction to the present invention. To fully appreciate these and other objects of the present invention as well as the invention itself, all of which will become apparent to those skilled in the art, the following detailed description of the invention and the claims should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Throughout the specification and drawings identical reference numerals refer to identical or similar parts.

Many other advantages and features of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying sheets of drawings in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vane type conventional stationary bicycle;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a conventional magnetism-controlled track exercising device;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a conventional dual-crank type track exercising device;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a conventional slide type track exercising device;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another conventional slide type track exercising device;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating a miniaturized track exercising device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of the miniaturized track exercising device of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view illustrating the operation of the miniaturized track exercising device of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating a miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view illustrating a miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the miniaturized hack exercising device shown in FIG. 10; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating a miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with yet a further embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following descriptions are of exemplary embodiments only, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description provides a convenient illustration for implementing exemplary embodiments of the invention. Various changes to the described embodiments may be made in the function and arrangement of the elements described without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

With reference to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 6-8, which show a miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with the present invention the track exercising device comprises a chassis 60 having a front portion and a rear portion. A counterweight wheel set 61 is mounted on the rear portion and a resistance adjusting unit 62 is provided at a front portion of the counterweight wheel set 61 to allow adjustment of the resistance that is provided by the counterweight wheel set 61 by a user in accordance with the physical condition and the extent of training to be taken by user. Crank arms 63, which extend in opposite directions, are provided on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set 61, and each crank arm 63 pivotally carries a pedal 64 in an eccentric manner. The pedals 64 are provided at front ends thereof with a guide rail unit 65, which serves as pivot point and fulcrum. The guide rail unit 65 comprises a rail bar 66 that has a semi-circular cross-section and extends in a frontward from an underside of each pedal 64. The guide rail unit 65 also comprises two fulcrum rollers 67 rotatably mounted to the front portion of the chassis 60 at locations corresponding to the two rail bars 66 to support the rail bars 66 thereon in a rolling manner.

With such an arrangement, by setting and adjusting the resistance induced by the counterweight wheel set 61 with the resistance adjusting unit 62 and by supporting the gravity of the load on the pedals 64 with the guide rail unit 65, when a user treads the pedals 64, the pedals 64 are subject to constraints by the crank arms 63 to move with the rail bars 66 sliding with respect to the fulcrum rollers 67 thereby generating an elliptic track motion. As such, a compact and safe miniaturized track exercising device is realized.

To practically operate the miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with the present invention, referring to FIGS. 6-8 again, the user steps on the pedals 64. Due to the fact that the counterweight wheel set 61 is provided with an adjustable resistance adjusting unit 62, the pedals 64 on which the user stands are not allowed to rotate arbitrarily so that the user may stably stand thereon. Since the guide rail unit 65, which serves as a pivot point and a fulcrum, is located in front of the pedals 64, the range of movement of the guide rail unit 65 is less than what located at the rear portion. And since the guide rail unit 65 is supported by the fulcrum rollers 67 and is guided in a friction manner with the rail bars 66, the user may effectively control the balance thereof. Therefore, the device of the present invention needs no handgrip. This helps reducing the overall length of the chassis 60, making the construction simplified and the overall volume reduced, and eventually facilitating exploitation of the space required for use, installation, storage and transportation. In addition, the device of the present invention has a gravity center set at a lower location, which makes the operation and use of the device safer.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 9, the track exercise device comprises a chassis 70 having a tear portion in which a counterweight wheel set 71 is mounted. A resistance adjusting unit 72 is provided at a front portion of the counterweight wheel set 71. Two crank arms 73, which extend in opposite directions, are arranged on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set 71. Each crank arm 73 is arranged at the rear side of and pivoted to a pedal 74 in an onset manner. The pedals 74 are provided at front sides thereof a guide rail unit 75 serving as a pivot point and fulcrum. The guide rail unit 75 comprises a rail bar 76 extending in the frontward direction from an underside of each pedal 74. A fulcrum roller 77 is provided at a hunt end of each rail bar 76 for rolling on the ground. Thus being supported by the ground and pivoting about the fulcrum roller 77, the pedals 74 are constrained by the crank arms 73 and the rail bars 76 to take an elliptical motion, featuring the same effectiveness and advantages as the previous embodiment.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11, to enhance the smooth movement of the fulcrum rollers 77 of the rail bars 76, channels 78 having an upward facing opening are provided at locations in front of and on opposite sides of the chassis 70 for receiving and guiding the rollers 77 so that the fulcrum rollers 77 may roil in a more controlled and smooth manner. In addition, the channels 78 can be made selectively foldable inward to reduce the space required for storage and transportation.

Further, as illustrated in FIG. 12, a further embodiment of the miniaturized track exercising device in accordance with the present invention comprises a chassis 80, which has a rear portion in which a counterweight wheel set 81 is mounted. A resistance adjusting unit 82 is provided at a front portion of the counterweight wheel set 81. Two crank arms 83, which extend in opposite directions, are arranged on opposite sides of the counterweight wheel set 81. Each crank arm 73 is arranged at the rear side of and pivoted to a pedal 84 in an offset manner. The pedals 84 are provided at front sides thereof a guide rail unit 85 serving as a pivot point and fulcrum. The guide rail unit 75 comprises a guide collar 86 mounted to an underside of each pedal 84 and a rail bar 87 slidably extending through the guide collar 86 in the frontward direction. A front end of each rail bar 87 is pivoted to the front end of the chassis 80 so that the pedals 84 are driven by the crank arms 83 and are constrained by the guide rail unit 85 to effect an elliptic track motion, and once again, featuring reduced volume and enhanced safety.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together may also find a useful application in other types of methods differing from the type described above.

While certain novel features of this invention have been shown and described and are pointed out in the annexed claim, it is not intended to be limited to the details above, since it will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the device illustrated and in its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.