Title:
Elliptical walking exercise machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elliptical walking exercise machine is an apparatus comprising: a base assembly standing on a floor and having a base frame which supports a base upper pivot and a base crank pivot. An embodiment further comprises a right crank arm, a left crank arm, and a main pulley pivotally engaged to the base frame at the base crank pivot. The right crank arm and the left crank arm each having a mechanical engagement point, a roller, for respective links, a right second link and a left second links that are parts of respectively a right pedal linkage and a left pedal linkage. The roller is attached over a right crank step of the right crank arm and a left crank step of the left crank arm.



Inventors:
Chu, Yong S. (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/380524
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
02/28/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/142
International Classes:
A63B22/12; A63B22/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEWHOPE LAW, PC (Los Alamitos, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An elliptical walking exercise machine comprising: a. a base assembly for supporting the elliptical walking exercise machine on a floor; b. a base upper pivot connecting a right handle and a left handle to the base assembly, wherein the base upper pivot provides a pendulum like motion for the right handle and left handle, wherein the right handle and left handle are above the base upper pivot; c. a right third link connected below the right handle and a left third link connected below the left handle, wherein the right third link and the left third link are substantially upright and are provided a pendulum like motion about the base upper pivot, the right third link having a right bottom end and the left third link having a left bottom end; d. a right second pivot connected at the right bottom end and a left second pivot connected a left bottom end; e. a right second link connected to the right second pivot, and a left second link connected to the left second pivot, wherein the right second link and the left second link are somewhat horizontally oriented and also received a pendulum like motion relative to the base; f. a left pedal connected to the left second link and a right pedal the right second link; g. a main wheel receiving force from user movement of the left third link, the right third link, the left second link and the right second link; h. a base crank pivot for mounting the main wheel, wherein the main wheel rotates about the base crank pivot; i. a right crank arm fixed to the main wheel, and a left crank arm fixed to the main wheel, wherein the right crank arm and the left crank arm are fixed to have the same angular position as the main wheel, wherein the right crank arm and the left crank arm are mounted at an offset of each other of approximately 180°; j. a right first link connected to the right crank arm at a right crank pivot and a left first link connected to the left crank arm at a left crank pivot; k. a force unit providing resistance to the main wheel; l. an elliptical movement mechanism comprising: i. a right first link connected to the right first pivot, and a left first link connected to the left first pivot, wherein the right first pivot is located on the right second link behind the right second pivot and wherein the left first pivot is located on the left second link behind the left second pivot, a forward end of the right first link connecting to the right crank pivot, and a forward end of the left first link; wherein the right first pedal is mounted not to slide along a length of the right second link, and wherein the left first pedal is mounted not to slide along a length of the left second link; ii. a left roller mounted on a left crank step and a right roller mounted on a right crank step, wherein the right second link has a right contact surface and the left second link as a left contact surface, wherein the right contact surface is adapted to engage the right roller, and wherein the left contact surface is adapted to engage the left roller; iii. wherein a rear end of the right second link and a rear end of the left second link have substantially elliptical motion while the left first pedal and the right first pedal have substantially elliptical motion.

2. The elliptical walking exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising: a belt connected between the force unit and the main wheel for transmitting force between the force unit and the main wheel, wherein the surface of the main wheel forms a pulley for engaging with the belt.

3. The elliptical walking exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising: a chain connected between the force unit and the main wheel for transmitting force between the force unit and the main wheel, wherein the surface of the main wheel forms a pulley for engaging with the chain.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is entitled to the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/921,999, filed Apr. 4, 2007. This application is a divisional application of 12/080,590 filed Apr. 4, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to fitness exercise machines for training upper body and lower body exercises simulating walking motion with handles and pedals having resistance.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Many elliptical motion walking exercise machines have been introduced in the market. Some are simple and some are more complicated in their mechanism to simulate the walking motion of a person. Proper stride simulation is possible in both simple and complicated mechanisms, but often simple mechanisms require a large structure and smaller machines require many linkages to achieve the same movement. A couple of early concepts are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,185,622 to Swenson (1980) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,526 to Rogers, Jr. (1996) in which a crank is placed behind the pedals or a user, therefore they require a structural support in front of and behind the user, making the machines less accessible to the user and large in size when a proper stride of the pedals is set. U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,756 to Miller (1997) shows another elliptical machine that has a crank arm in the front. The overall size of the machine may be reduced with the same stride length of the pedals compared to the above disclosures but the linkage in Miller's is more complicated. U.S. Pat. No. 5,733,227 to Lee (1998) shows a stepper with an elliptical stride utilizing a crank in the front. This is a relatively simple mechanism but in order to create a proper walking stride, the overall structure must be large compared to Miller (1997). The same mechanism in more proper walking stride is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 7,153,239 to Steams (2006). Again the size of the overall structure must be large in Steams (2006) in order to have a proper walking stride of the pedals. U.S. Pat. No. 6,689,020 to Steams (2004) shows an apparatus relatively small in overall size but displays two cranks with a pair of linkage mechanism to create the proper stride. There are many more prior arts that have been disclosed and introduced in the market. Each one of them has advantages and disadvantages compared to others.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

The present invention is an exercise machine to be used mainly for walking and jogging type exercises with pedals and moving handles that provide different levels of resistance for the user's preference in a compact apparatus. The pedal motion combines a motion of a crank arm, a motion of an arc, and a substantially linear motion of a predefined path to produce an elliptical path at the pedals with the horizontal direction substantially being a major diameter. A preferred embodiment includes a base assembly that stands on a floor and has a right and left handles pivotally attached to the base assembly that also pivotally supports a crank with a right crank arm and a left crank arm at a base crank pivot. The right crank arm is mechanically engaged with a right second link which supports a right pedal, and the left crank arm is also mechanically engaged with a left second link which supports a left pedal. A right first link is pivotally placed between and connects the right crank arm and the right second link. A left first link is pivotally placed between and connects the left crank arm and the left second link. Each handle is pivotally fixed to the respective second link at a point between the second link's engagement point with the respective crank arm and the position of the respective pedal.

The advantage of this mechanical arrangement is that the pedals' vertical displacement in a cycle of the motion is determined by the distance between the engagement point of each second link with the respective crank arm and the base crank pivot. And the pedals' vertical displacement can be set independently from the size of the crank arms that sets the pedals' horizontal displacement in the cycle. This main advantage of this apparatus helps the apparatus have a relatively smaller footprint compared to those of other elliptical walking machines available in the field and yet provides an ergonomically good motion with a full stride for the user. Also the arrangement of the links are simple and easy to manufacture.

A primary objective of the present invention is to provide an apparatus having advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to provide such an apparatus that is compact in size and footprint.

Another objective is to provide such an apparatus that offers the user a full stride with an ergonomically good motion of walking while having the compact size of the apparatus.

Another objective is to provide such an apparatus for the user to get on the pedals with an easy access by opening up the rear end by placing the crank arms on the fore side.

A further objective is to provide such an apparatus to make its manufacturing easy and simple employing simple parts and connections between the parts.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The accompanying drawings illustrate the present invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment having a slider on the crank arms as a mechanical engagement point for second links.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the second embodiment having a pivot on the crank arms as a mechanical engagement point for the second links.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The above described drawings FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the invention, an elliptical walking exercise machine, an apparatus 10 comprising: a base assembly 12 standing on a floor and having a base frame 22 which supports a base upper pivot 24 and a base crank pivot 26. An embodiment in FIG. 1 further comprises a right crank arm 28, a left crank arm 128, and a main pulley 36 pivotally engaged to base frame 22 at base crank pivot 26. Right crank arm 28 and left crank arm 128 each having a mechanical engagement point, a roller 32, for respective links, a right second link 44 and a left second links 144 that are parts of respectively a right pedal linkage 16 and a left pedal linkage 166. Roller 32 is attached over a right crank step 30 of right crank arm 28 and a left crank step, not shown, of left crank arm 128. Both the right and left crank arms are fixed to each other to maintain their relative position of about 180 degree offset angle from each other, and both arms are fixedly attached to main pulley 36 to rotate together at base crank pivot 26 of base assembly 12. Main pulley 36 transfers the user's power to a force unit 40 through a belt 38. Force unit 40 can be simple flywheel with a brake or an alternator as widely used in the field to provide a resistance to the exercise. Belt 38 also may be replaced with any other power transmission medium, such as chain links or a gear, that can be placed between main pulley 36 and force unit 40 also as widely practiced in the field.

A right third link 54 and a left third link 154 are pivotally connected to base assembly 12 at base upper pivot 24. The first embodiment shown in FIG. 1 has third links 54, 154 with their upper sections being handgrips, respectively a right handle 56 and a left handle 156. The lower parts of right third link 54 and left third link 154 are attached to respectively a right second link 44 at a right second pivot 50 and a left second link 144 at a left second pivot, not shown. The right and left second links support a right pedal 46 and a left pedal 146 respectively at one end of each second link for the user to put her or his feet. And at the other side of each second link is mechanically engaged with roller 30 on respective crank arms 28, 128 such that a right contact surface 52 of right second link 44 is in contact with roller 30 on right crank arm 28 and a left contact surface, not shown, of left second link 144 is in contact with roller 30 on left crank arm 128 as both crank arms rotate about base crank pivot 26. A right first link 42 is placed between and pivotally connected to both right crank arm 28 at a right crank pivot 34 and right second link 44 at a right first pivot 48 such that, as the crank arm rotates, right first link 42 pushes and pulls right second link 44 forward and backward with a set stride length which is about twice the length of the related crank arm. And a left first link 142 is placed between and pivotally connected to both left crank arm 128 at a left crank pivot 134 and left second link 144 at a left first pivot 148 such that, as the crank arm rotates, left first link 142 pushes and pulls left second link 144 forward and backward with the set stride length which is about twice the length of the left crank arm.

The first embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with the crank arms on the front side and the pedals placed at the rear end of the second links makes the user easy to get on and off the machine since the rear end of the apparatus is cleared. And the pedals may be placed near to the third links that pivotally link the base frame and the respective second links without compromising the feel of the motion of the pedals. The pedals have a full stride length going back and forth and a controlled vertical displacement in a cycle by placing crank steps on both right and left sides between the base crank pivot and respective right and left crank pivots. This arrangement makes possible virtually any ratio of major and minor diameters of the elliptical shape of the path for fine-tuning the feel with the horizontal side being the major diameter that is about twice the length of each crank arm, and yet the footprint of the machine may stay in a compact size.

The second embodiment shown in FIG. 2 has the same benefits of the first embodiment with a slight difference in arrangement of the parts. Basically the contact surface on the second links that slides on the rollers placed on the crank arms is moved to the rear end of second links 44, 144 such that the rear section of the second links slide on pedals 46, 146. First links 42, 142 are pivotally linked to the respective pedals 46, 146 and also pivotally connected to the respective crank arms 28, 128. Second links 44, 144 are pivotally connected to the respective crank arms 28, 128 between the connection points of the respective first links and base crank pivot 26. Again the effect on the motion of the pedals is virtually the same as on that of the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

To use the apparatus, the user gets on the machine by placing each foot on the respective pedal, and places each hand on the respective handle. Either by moving the pedals or handles or both simultaneously, the machine is actuated and guides the user to move her/his body in a walking or a jogging motion. The user may adjust force unit 40 built in with an adjustment mechanism, not shown, to change the level of the resistance against the movement. Handles 56, 156 move in a swing arm motion going back and forth and pedals 46, 146 move in an elliptical path with the horizontal direction being a major diameter. The user may get on or off the machine from the sides or from the rear end of the machine.

Although the invention has been disclosed in detail with reference only to the preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other embodiments can be provided without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is defined only by the claims set forth below.

CALL OUT LIST OF THE ELEMENTS

  • 10 Elliptical Walking Exercise Machine
  • 12 Base Assembly
  • 14 Crank Assembly
  • 16 Right Pedal Linkage
  • 22 Base Frame
  • 24 Base Upper Pivot
  • 26 Base Crank Pivot
  • 28 Right Crank Arm
  • 30 Right Crank Step
  • 32 Roller
  • 34 Right Crank Pivot
  • 36 Main Pulley
  • 38 Belt
  • 40 Force Unit
  • 42 Right First Link
  • 44 Right Second Link
  • 46 Right Pedal
  • 48 Right First Pivot
  • 50 Right Second Pivot
  • 52 Right Contact Surface
  • 54 Right Third Link
  • 56 Right Handle
  • 116 Left Pedal Linkage
  • 128 Left Crank Arm
  • 134 Left Crank Pivot
  • 142 Left First Link
  • 146 Left Pedal
  • 148 Left First Pivot
  • 154 Left Third Link
  • 156 Left Handle