What’s the Best Way to Move a Treadmill: Save Your Back

When you originally purchased your treadmill, you probably thought the most significant issue would be whether or not you’d put it to regular use. You never anticipated the massive inconvenience involved in moving the thing! Though treadmills come in various sizes, they tend to be bulky, averaging around 200 and 300 pounds (90.7 and 136 kg), making them a nightmare to move even short distances.

The best way to move a treadmill and save your back is examine the equipment, use the proper techniques, and, if necessary, make use of easily rented equipment. Wherever you plan on moving your treadmill, it’s essential to prevent painful, expensive injuries to your back and spine. 

While you might be tempted just to drag your treadmill across the room, it’s vital that you don’t!  Doing so can cause significant damage to your back and untold amounts of pain. Read on to learn the best way to move a treadmill safely and how to know if something has gone wrong.

How To Move a Treadmill Without Hurting Your Back

When moving any major equipment, you must take every precaution to protect your back.  While it may feel unnecessary to take the additional time when simply moving your treadmill from one room to another, the lasting damage you may cause to your back is in no way worth the saved time.

Looking for a good spot to put your treadmill? Click here for a breakdown of the best places.

Examine the Equipment

Start by examining the equipment to gauge how much effort may be required to move it. How large is it? Does it come in multiple pieces? How sensitive is the technology involved?

Suppose the equipment folds up and has wheels; congratulations!  While you may still need another person there to help with the weight of the equipment, your moving process just became much more straightforward. Just fold up the treadmill, clear a path, and relocate it.  Remember that, even if you lucked out with wheels, it’s always important to wrap the equipment in packing material to protect it if you are moving houses.

Suggested: How to safely store a treadmill

Prepare To Move

When preparing to move your equipment, you need to judge your next steps based on how your treadmill functions.  

While not all treadmills are quickly taken apart, it may be a good idea to do so if moving the equipment far distances or upstairs.  In disassembling your treadmill, you lower the amount of weight each person is responsible for carrying at a given time. Save yourself the trouble of misplacing important pieces by clearly labeling them and keeping all screws and bolts together in a Ziploc bag.

If your treadmill folds, this is a great time to utilize that feature. To protect the control panel, use bubble wrap to surround the more sensitive parts of the equipment. Using clinging stretch wrap, you can also secure the base to the arms that connect to the control panel; doing so will protect you from falling equipment if the small piece holding up the base snaps. 

Heavy equipment is inevitably going to run up against a wall or person at some point in this process. Wrap any jagged edges or metal pieces in bubble wrap before moving to prevent damage or injury. While it may feel like overkill, this is yet another moment in moving your treadmill where it is far better to be safe than sorry. 

Suggested: 7 Ways to hide a treadmill in a room

Use a Dolly

While you can easily call a friend to help you move heavy equipment, it may still be in your best interest to use a dolly. A dolly is a rolling piece of equipment that can carry heavy objects with far greater ease than brute force alone.

To use the dolly, start by rolling the base of the dolly under the bottom piece of the treadmill.  Secure the treadmill, then pull backward on the dolly, forcing the weight of the treadmill to hold it in place. From this point, it should be no problem moving the treadmill wherever it is you need to go.

Here’s a quick video that shows you how to use a dolly properly:

Lift From the Knees

If you are unable to acquire a dolly, then you must move the treadmill by hand. Remember that in order to save your back, you must lift from the knees!

According to Mayo Clinic, back pain is one of the most common reasons people have to miss work or rely on disability.  Two of the best ways to prevent back pain are to stand smart and lift smart.  

While it’s best to avoid heavy lifting whenever possible, sometimes it’s unavoidable. When picking up the heavy pieces that make up your treadmill, start by standing with legs spread wide and firmly planted to maintain your balance.  Lift using your knees, allowing your legs to carry most of the weight.  

If at any point you feel discomfort in your back or shoulders, stop! Reexamine your angles, and attempt again, slowly. If the discomfort continues, call another friend or family member to help you move this equipment. Temporary embarrassment may be well worth saving you lifelong pain.

Reassemble and Test Out

As soon as the equipment has been relocated, it’s a good idea to reassemble the treadmill and test it out immediately. Be sure that the control panel is still functioning and the equipment feels steady as you run.  

When moving sensitive equipment, especially without the help of a professional, it’s common for some of the most fragile elements to encounter damage. While you certainly never hope that’s the case, if something went wrong in the moving process, it’s better to find out now rather than a week later. Nothing would disrupt your run quite like a surprise malfunction!

For one example of how to easily move a treadmill, watch this short video: 

Safety Guidelines 

To avoid potential back damage, always move with the utmost caution. According to the University of North Carolina, back pain caused by unsafe handling of heavy objects was the leading cause of workplace injuries. Over thirty-six percent of missed workdays involved back pain, most of which were caused by poor lifting techniques.

Heavy, awkwardly shaped objects like treadmills make for strenuous lifting. When moving this or any other heavy equipment, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • It’s easier to push a heavy object than it is to pull one
  • Plan every step in advance, from lifting, to relocation, to replacing
  • Don’t twist when carrying heavy objects
  • Never be afraid to ask for help
  • When carrying heavy objects, keep them close to the body, near the torso and stomach
  • Use gloves to help maintain a firm grip
  • If a handhold doesn’t feel secure, stop what you are doing and find one that does 
  • When lifting multiple objects for long periods of time, plan on periodic breaks

In general, the key to safely and carefully lifting heavy objects is to plan each step in advance, especially when working with others. Know where you will move the treadmill, the path you will take, and how you will attempt to do so before ever picking the item up.

How To Tell if Back Pain Is Serious

If you do experience pain when moving your treadmill, you should stop what you are doing and take a break. Try icing the painful area and taking ibuprofen to reduce swelling. While it is very likely that the pain will go away on its own after a brief rest, it’s vital to know when back pain is minor and when to take it more seriously. 

Image of a man with back pain.

Before panicking, take time to rest. According to the UT Southwestern Medical Center, mild back pain is an entirely normal response to daily strain, and eighty percent of people will experience this uncomfortable sensation at some point in their lives. If you are still experiencing certain painful sensations after seventy-two hours, however, it may be time to see a doctor.

If the pain is sharp and seems to radiate down from a central point, it may signify nerve damage. Numbness of the legs may indicate a spinal injury, which should be treated immediately. Back pain paired with issues using the bathroom or numbness in the groin may indicate a spinal condition or compression.

You know your body better than anyone else. If after moving your treadmill anything in your back or spine feels “off,” you should speak with your doctor to be sure that this pain isn’t indicative of anything severe or long-lasting.

Moving a Treadmill: Frequently Asked Questions

Moving equipment can be a stressful experience, and the etiquette around doing so is foggy at best. Read on to see a few more common questions regarding moving your treadmill.

Should I Ask Someone To Help?

Even if you have the assistance of a dolly, it’s a good idea to have a second person present when moving heavy equipment. However, if you plan on moving your treadmill further than just across the house, it may be best to call professional movers. There’s a fine line between an easy favor and taking advantage of a friendship. 

According to The Etiquette School of America, when asking for help moving, it’s best to be clear in your expectations and honest about the work involved. For example, if you expect that this project may take all day, don’t tell your friend that you’ll be done within a few hours. When asking for a favor, give them an easy out and be understanding if they are unable to help.

Should I Tip the People Helping Me?

While tipping movers is encouraged, they don’t necessarily expect it from you. Moving is indeed hard work, but your movers are compensated for their hours worked. This means that, unlike certain service industry members, movers do not depend on your tips for the bulk of their income.

If your friends or family members helped in the process, offer to return the favor either by purchasing dinner or through some other act of service. See if they need anyone to walk their dog or help with yardwork. Don’t skimp out by merely offering a lukewarm pizza and flat soda!

Where Can I Get Packing Materials?

Packing materials can easily be purchased at office supply stores or hardware stores nearby. If you are on a budget or looking out for the environment, try looking online at sites like Craigslist or Freecycle. Often, you’ll find other people like yourself who have just finished moving and are more than happy to offer what they didn’t use.

For boxes, simply ask around! Most retail stores receive more cardboard boxes than they can use. Liquor stores in particular require a daily influx of large, sturdy boxes. No one likes spending money, and you’ll find that, in most cases, people are more than willing to help someone who politely asks for assistance. 

Can I Rent a Dolly?

You can rent a dolly at any Uhaul location for a low price, in many cases less than ten dollars.  If you aren’t near a Uhaul center, many hardware stores including Home Depot and Lowes offer equipment for rent by the day. Ask to speak to the manager for information regarding rates. 

Can I Put a Treadmill on the Second Floor?

You can put a treadmill on the second floor only if the floor is in sound, sturdy condition.  In an adequately zoned house, each square foot should be able to carry between forty and fifty pounds.  Even with a large treadmill, you shouldn’t have any problems, assuming you can safely carry it.


Moving a treadmill is not a challenging endeavor, but it could be dangerous if you don’t take the proper safety precautions.  Always remember to plan out all your movements in advance, break the treadmill down into smaller, easier-to-handle pieces, and use equipment to make the process easier.  

When it comes to moving heavy equipment, it is always important to be safe rather than sorry.  Save your back, and follow every precaution when moving your treadmill!

Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories

Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:

  • Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
  • Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
  • Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.

To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.



Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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