It’s an ambitious decision to buy a treadmill. (Especially if you live in a small apartment or are limited on storage space!) It’s perhaps even more ambitious moving a treadmill from one room to another. But what choice do you have if you’re relocating to a new city, moving to a different state, or even just moving back home with your parents? It might be a hassle, but sometimes transferring a treadmill to a new house or apartment is often an unavoidable task that comes with moving.
When it comes down to it, here’s the main issue: Incorrectly moving this clunky piece of exercise equipment could easily cause injury to even the most fitness-savvy individuals. In general, treadmills and walking pads alike are bulky, heavy, and difficult to move by yourself.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about moving a treadmill. (Plus, several additional tips to help streamline the process!) Read on for the safest, most efficient ways to prep, pack, and transport a treadmill to your new home gym.
Related: How to Move Exercise Equipment by Yourself
Are treadmills hard to move?
Treadmills, walking pads, and other large machines that are used during workouts are difficult to move in the sense that they’re often heavy and bulky. But you might be surprised to find that most treadmills have fully-functioning wheels to help make the process that much easier. In some cases, you may even be able to get away with moving a treadmill by yourself. However, it’s important to note that it’s always helpful to have an extra set of hands anytime you are moving furniture that is awkwardly sized and weighs over 50 pounds.
Moving a Treadmill: Your Step-by-Step Guide
Before you start, it’s always a good idea to think through your moving plan first. This is a heavy piece of equipment; don’t just move it on impulse without learning a little more about its setup and attachments.
Step One: Check the manual for moving instructions
As with any home appliance or piece of machinery, it’s always good to refer back to your owner’s manual when you have specific questions. If you are having trouble locating a user manual for your treadmill, find the make and model on the back and simply look it up online.
With or without a user’s manual, here are some questions you’ll need answered before you attempt to move a treadmill:
- Does the treadmill fold in half?
- Are there wheels to roll the treadmill around?
- About how much does this equipment weigh? For any treadmill over 100 pounds, consider renting a furniture dolly.
- Does the manual explain how to take apart the treadmill?
Step Two: Unplug the treadmill and remove the safety key
This step might seem obvious, but it’s one that many people overlook when moving in a hurry. Never move a treadmill that’s plugged into the wall.
Once the plug is removed, fold the cord and wrap it with moving tape so it’s not dangling. The last thing you need is the cord trailing behind and getting stuck somewhere while the treadmill is balanced on its wheels. You should also remove the safety key and store that in a plastic bag for safekeeping. To ensure everything stays together, you can even tape the bag onto the treadmill in a secure place yet out of the way.
Related: How to Pack Electronics for Moving Without Breakage
Step Three: Fold the treadmill or disassemble it
Most treadmills will fold in half, with either the top section folding down or the heavier bottom section folding up. There should also be a locking mechanism to lock it in its folded position, which is ideal for both moving and long-term storage.
If you own a non-folding treadmill, your best bet is to track down the owner’s manual for directions. Find out if they recommend moving the machine as is or if it’s easier to take it fully apart and move it in pieces. It is definitely possible to move a treadmill without taking it apart, but depending on your make and model, it can actually be more of a hassle to leave it assembled during the move. This is especially true if it’s awkwardly shaped or includes many added fitness accessories.
Step Four: Roll the treadmill from one room to the next
If the treadmill has wheels, you can roll it as far as possible on the same level without using a dolly or folding the treadmill. Here’s how to easily move a treadmill that has its own wheels:
- Have one person stand at each end of the treadmill.
- One person will grip the upright bars, and the other will grab the underneath side of the belt section.
- The person at the belt section will carefully tip back the treadmill until it’s balanced on the wheels.
- Slowly walk the treadmill out of the house or to a different room if there are no stairs.
- Be sure that the person walking backward is guided away from any obstacles.
(Keep reading if you need to know how to move a treadmill downstairs or through narrow doorways!)
Step Five: Remove doors and jambs as necessary
Unfortunately, some treadmills will be too wide to fit through standard household doorways. The best way to check on this is to simply measure the machine in its folded and locked position and compare it to the measurements of the doorways in your house. Remember, you can also carefully remove the door and jamb to make more room if needed.
Related: How to Move a Refrigerator the Right Way
More Helpful Treadmill Moving Tips:
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of packing up a treadmill, it’s time to move it to your desired location. Whether that’s to a different room in your house or onto the moving truck, let’s review a few common obstacles you may run into along the way:
For Treadmills Without Wheels: Use a Furniture Dolly
As previously mentioned, there are instances when you’ll need a furniture dolly and other times when you can get away without it. If you move a treadmill on wheels from one room to another, you likely won’t need a dolly. However, we recommend a furniture dolly for any large-scale treadmill that is going up on a moving truck since that will make the load-in process much more manageable with less lifting involved. You’ll also need a furniture dolly if you have to move a treadmill up or downstairs.
How do you move a treadmill with a dolly?
Moving a treadmill with a furniture dolly can seem daunting, but it’s fairly straightforward if you have two people. Here’s what you should do:
- Have two people stand on either side of the treadmill
- One person should lift the treadmill slightly on one side.
- At the same time, the other person will slide the moving dolly underneath the side of the treadmill that’s lifted off the floor.
One critical aspect of moving a treadmill (or any heavy piece of equipment, for that matter) is to be sure it’s centered on the dolly. This distributes the weight evenly and makes it easy to control as you push it to its intended location.
Once the treadmill is loaded onto the dolly and the weight is evenly centered, move it as you would if it had its own wheels.
How to Move a Heavy Treadmill Downstairs
When you move a treadmill down the stairs, position the stronger individual going down the steps first since they will take on most of the weight. Make sure the person on the upper side has a good grip. If their hands are sweaty, wipe them off and wear moving gloves that can enhance your grip.
While one person moves the treadmill forward with the dolly, the other person should be below it to help guide the dolly down the steps one at a time. It may seem counter-intuitive, but instead of pushing your treadmill down the stairs, pull the dolly back toward you while you move down each step. All the while, keep the treadmill tilted at a 45-degree angle. This will help you control the dolly completely and prevent the treadmill’s weight from falling too far forward.
Take the move one step at a time and be sure to communicate in case the weight becomes too much for one person. The person on the lower end should have someone else on hand to step in if they need extra assistance. (Always better to err on the side of caution than to risk injury!)
How to Pack a Treadmill for Moving & Load it Onto a Moving Truck
Because treadmills are already heavy all on their own, it’s easiest to move and transport your equipment without much extra padding. However, once your treadmill or walking pad is securely on the moving truck, you can wrap it in moving blankets or plastic wrap to protect it on its journey. You’ll also want to anchor the treadmill against a wall using moving straps so it can’t move around.
Related: How to Protect Your Furniture When Moving
How to Reassemble a Treadmill After Moving It
Congratulations, your treadmill made it through the move! Once you’ve settled on where to put it in your new home, don’t forget to reassemble it. (Refer back to your owner’s manual as needed for this.) Lock the equipment back in an upright position, and be sure to return the safety key to its proper position.
If All Else Fails, Consider Hiring Movers
Sometimes, moving a treadmill on your own is just not feasible. Maybe you won’t have access to a helping hand on move-in day or just aren’t comfortable moving something that big on your own. In any case, it’s completely fine to leave this major task to the professionals who use dollies and move heavy items daily.
Here are a few added benefits of using a moving company to consider:
- Most moving companies have insurance in case there is damage to the treadmill or your home during the move.
- They have all the necessary moving supplies on hand, so you won’t need to purchase or rent anything extra.
- Movers will take extra precautions to protect your walls and know how to move items up and down steep staircases.
Learn How to Move Your Treadmill With Ease Safely
We hope this moving guide helped explain the most tried-and-true ways to move a treadmill. Above all else, do not take on any heavy load that you can’t realistically handle— a little money paid to movers will be a lot less painstaking than an injured back.
If you have experience moving a treadmill to a new home, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what worked and what didn’t by starting a conversation over on social media.
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 9/4/19 and was revised on 4/27/23.