Moving Impossible: Fitness Equipment

Author: Alecia Pirulis


Perhaps you just couldn’t resist that late-night infomercial pushing the “latest and greatest” in home fitness. Or maybe a friend was using his treadmill as a clothing rack and decided to give it to you. Or maybe you are a fitness fanatic and a home gym is a must-have. No matter what path you took to get here, you are the proud owner of some really great fitness equipment. Only … now you find yourself facing a move. And as you consider this oddly-shaped, heavy, and awkward piece of equipment, you may find yourself wondering … how do I move this? And once I do get it moved … can I get it back together again?

You can call a professional moving company that specializes in relocating fitness equipment to move your home gym – and you may want to, especially if you have a lot of expensive equipment that would be difficult to replace or if you have overly large pieces that can’t be taken apart. If you decide to move it yourself, find a couple of muscular helpers – those weights are heavy, and you don’t want to risk trying to move gym equipment by yourself.

First, take pictures of each piece of equipment from several different angles. Even if you still have all of the instruction manuals or you are positive you’ll remember where everything goes, once you take everything apart it may be trickier to reassemble than you realize. The pictures will help jog your memory (and if you are using professional movers, the photos are added insurance in case any damage is done during the moving process).

Gather all manuals and any extra parts that go with all of your fitness machines.

When dealing with weight machines, be sure to remove all of the weights and label each one. This will help you remember where it goes – and which machine it goes with if you have more than one piece of equipment. Don’t try and save time and move your fitness machine with weights still attached – this can be extremely dangerous if one falls off mid-transport!

Be careful how you pack the weights. Place them in a reinforced box or strap them together – don’t stack them on top of anything in the moving truck and make sure you secure them so they don’t shift around during transport.

Disassemble your fitness machine (using the manual as a guide, if you have it) and put all of the bolts, screws, washers, etc. in a plastic bag. Wrap all cords and secure them. Keep all of the parts together when packing, and be sure to tape together the frame so pieces aren’t lost as the equipment is loading onto the moving truck.

Moving a treadmill will have some unique issues. First, it may fold up – if you are not sure, examine your treadmill carefully to see if there is a way to fold it. It may even have wheels, which will make the process easier. If your treadmill doesn’t fold or have wheels, it will be a little more difficult to move.

Before attempting to move a treadmill, measure all doors that you will have to pass through. (If it won’t fit, you may have to do some creative planning, such as changing your route or removing a door.) Make sure the treadmill’s incline is set at zero and unplug it.

Next, remove the safety key and either put in in a safe location or tape it to the treadmill. Make sure you keep track of the key – without it, your treadmill will only be good as a clothing rack.

The best way to carry your treadmill is to have at least one person at the front of the machine and one person in the back. Lift gently and place the treadmill on a dolly, if possible. Keep in mind: a treadmill is deceptively heavy. Make sure you have plenty of help and ask everyone to wear back braces and proper footwear.

An elliptical may not be as heavy as a treadmill, but it is definitely more awkward. You’ll need three or four people to lift all at the same time so it stays upright. Carefully carry it to the truck, stopping as necessary to give your movers a quick break. (Again, be sure everyone is wearing the proper safety gear.) It will take some creative maneuvering to hoist the elliptical onto the truck – once it is there, secure it so it doesn’t slide around.

Once you get to your new location, carefully move all parts of your equipment into your new space. Follow the manual and your pictures for any reassembly. Since you labeled everything and strapped all of the parts together, this should be a fairly easy process.