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How to Move Exercise Equipment

April 19th, 2017 - 8:29 AM

Moving your home gym equipment

A home gym makes exercising convenient, but if you’re moving you may be wondering how to bring it with you. Because most exercise machines are heavy and oddly shaped, there are specific steps to take to ensure they remain in good condition. Use the information below to learn how to safely transport treadmills, elliptical machines and weights to a new home.

Moving fitness equipment is easy with this guide.

Moving a treadmill

Treadmills are one of the most popular exercise machines because they’re easy to use and great for weight loss. But since they weigh a couple hundred pounds, moving them to another house requires some careful planning. Because each treadmill is different, we recommend referring to the owner’s manual for specific instructions. If you can’t find a print or digital copy, follow these general steps:  

  1. Set the treadmill’s incline to zero and remove the safety key (don’t lose it!)
  2. Unplug the treadmill
  3. Fold the walking deck up toward the console until it locks into place
  4. Insert the locking pin or tighten the knob to secure it (this will differ depending on your treadmill)
  5. Wrap moving blankets or furniture paper pads around the treadmill to prevent damaging it, the walls and the door frames (consider packing the treadmill in its original box if you still have it)
  6. Tilt the machine backwards about 45 degrees, slide a dolly underneath it, and then fasten it down with rope
  7. Once it’s secure, carefully tilt it toward your chest and push it forward slowly
  8. Secure the treadmill in the moving trailer or container with rope or ratchet straps to keep it from shifting during transit

Note: If your treadmill doesn’t fold, you’ll either need to disassemble it into parts or have someone help you carry it to the moving equipment.

Moving an elliptical machine

Elliptical machines offer another great way to work out, but can be challenging to relocate because of their unique shape. Start by taking it apart — they usually break down into four pieces: the handlebars, pedals, base and main console.  Wrap them individually in furniture pads, foam wrap or moving blankets. Then, pack the parts in the original packaging or in moving boxes. If you can’t disassemble the elliptical, follow these steps:

  1. Secure the handlebars and pedal with rope or packing tape so that they don’t shift when lifted
  2. Wrap it in a moving blanket for protection
  3. Have someone help you lift and carry it to the moving equipment (have the stronger person lifting the front)

How to pack dumbbells, barbells and weight plates

Weights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. When packing lighter weights (dumbbells or small weight plates), be sure to wrap each one in Bubble Wrap® or packing paper, and then place them in smaller boxes. Don’t try to pack all of them in one box because it will be too heavy to lift and could cause injury. Fill empty spaces with packing paper to prevent the weights from clinking together. For heavier weights and barbells, wrap them in packing paper and place them directly on the floor of the moving equipment. Be sure to secure them with rope or straps to keep them from shifting during transit.

Packing an exercise bench

Packing a workout bench is similar to packing furniture. Just wrap it in a moving blanket or furniture pads and then load it into the moving equipment. Don’t forget to use rope or ratchet straps to tie it down.

Helpful tips

No matter how you decide to move the exercise equipment, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take pictures from all angles (this will make reassembling easier)
  • Wear work gloves to protect your hands
  • Keep screws, bolts and other small parts together in a plastic bag — label the bag and use tape to attach it to the equipment
  • After reassembly, test each machine carefully to make sure everything is connected correctly

Need help moving your fitness equipment?

Because most fitness equipment is heavy, it can be hard to maneuver by yourself. When moving with U-Pack®, you have the option of hiring packers and loaders to help. If you decide to use helpers, we refer our customers to Moving Staffers — a nationwide network of experienced moving laborers who can help with the heavy lifting. Get a free online quote or call a U-Pack representative at 800-413-4799 to see how much adding packers and loaders will cost.


If you have questions about how to move exercise equipment, leave a comment below. We’re here to help!