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


Abstract:
A training apparatus, in particular an elliptical or cross trainer with two pedals which are fitted on a respective. pedal bar, front ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal lever, the pedal levers being fitted pivotably in a respective front bearing, and the front bearings being fitted with height adjustability on a front part of a frame.



Inventors:
Kettler, Karin (Ense, DE)
Rocholl, Reinhard (Soest, DE)
Kettler, Joachim (Ense, DE)
Application Number:
11/292306
Publication Date:
06/29/2006
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/57
International Classes:
A63B22/04; A63B22/06; A63B69/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stewart L. Gitler (Arlington, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A training apparatus, an elliptical or cross trainer, comprising: two pedals which are fitted on a respective pedal bar, front ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal lever, the pedal levers being fitted pivotably in respective front bearing, wherein the front bearings are fitted with height adjustability on a front part of a frame.

2. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the training apparatus has adjustment means for adjusting the height of the front bearings.

3. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the adjustment means comprise a drive.

4. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein the drive is an electric motor.

5. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the adjustment means comprise conversion elements for converting a rotational movement into a linear movement.

6. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the conversion elements comprise a spindle.

7. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein the conversion elements further comprise a nut.

8. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 7, wherein the nut is arranged rotatably on the spindle.

9. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein rear ends of the pedal bars are connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal cranks.

10. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the pedal cranks are arranged rotatably about an axis (A).

11. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein handles are fitted or formed onto the pedal levers.

12. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pedals are mounted displaceably on the pedal bars.

13. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the pedals are connected in an articulated manner to respective push bars.

14. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 13, wherein the push bars are connected in an articulated manner to respective push bar cranks.

15. The training apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the push bar cranks are arranged rotatably about the axis (A).

16. The training apparatus as claimed in claim. 15, wherein the distances between the points of engagement of the push bars on the push bar cranks and the axis (A) are adjustable.

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

18. 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).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a training apparatus, in particular an elliptical or cross trainer, with two pedals which are fitted on a respective pedal bar, front ends of the pedal bars being connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal lever. The pedal levers are connected pivotably to a respective front bearing.

Training apparatus of this kind are known, for example, from the utility model bearing the publication number DE 201 00 276 U1. Furthermore, training apparatus of this kind are produced and sold by various suppliers, including the Applicant.

During training, the person using a training apparatus of the kind disclosed in the document with the publication number DE 201 00 267 U1 stands on the pedals, which are connected fixedly to the pedal bars. During training, the user's feet execute an approximately elliptical movement, for which reason the term elliptical trainer is also used for such apparatus. The ellipse is oriented such that the main radii of the ellipse extend substantially horizontally. The person using the training apparatus therefore has the impression of moving forward in one plane. For certain training programs, it is desirable if the user of the training apparatus is given the impression of moving uphill or downhill. Such an impression cannot be conveyed with the known training apparatus of the type mentioned at the outset.

An object of the invention is to improve a training apparatus of the type mentioned at the outset in such a way that different degrees of difficulty can be set and the person using the apparatus can be given the sensation of moving uphill or downhill.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, this object is achieved by the fact that the front bearings are fitted with height adjustability on a front part of a frame, referred to hereinafter as the frame front part. By means of a displacement of the bearing point of the pedal levers, the orientation of the ellipse along which the user's feet move can be changed. The ellipse can be inclined upward or downward in relation to a horizontal. An inclination of this kind gives the user the sensation of moving uphill or downhill.

To set the height of the front bearings, the training apparatus can have special adjustment means or means of adjustment. These adjustment means can comprise a drive, which is preferably an electric motor. The adjustment then no longer has to be effected by muscle power, and instead can be assisted by the electric motor.

The adjustment means preferably comprise conversion elements for converting a rotational movement into a linear movement. These elements can comprise a spindle and/or a nut, and the nut can be arranged rotatably on the spindle.

Rear ends of the pedal bars of a training apparatus according to the invention are advantageously connected in an articulated manner to a respective pedal crank. These pedal cranks can be arranged rotatably about a common axis.

Handles can also be fitted or formed onto the pedal cranks.

In an advantageous embodiment of the training apparatus, the pedals can be mounted displaceably on the pedal bars. The pedal can then be connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar, the push bars advantageously being connected in an articulated manner to a respective push bar crank. These push bar cranks can be arranged rotatably about the axis about which the pedal cranks are already able to rotate.

The distances between the points of engagement of the push bars on the push bar cranks and the axis are advantageously adjustable.

The pedal cranks and/or the push bar cranks may advantageously be entirely or partially formed by circular disks.

The points of engagement 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 contains the axis about which the push bar cranks and the pedal cranks are able to rotate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An illustrative embodiment of a cross trainer according to the invention is depicted in 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 on a fitting 2 which is connected fixedly to the web 1d. The upper end of the spindle element 4 is connected to a fitting

which is fastened to a crosspiece 7. This crosspiece 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 crosspiece 7 can be changed. Projecting struts 7a which are height-adjustable together with the crosspiece 7 are fitted fixedly on the crosspiece 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 19 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 on 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 levers 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; that is to say, the sensation of moving downhill can be imparted to the user.

The displaceability 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 displaceability 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 B. 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.