A guide to moving home gym equipment safely

Moving on a tight budget? Here's how to safely move exercise equipment yourself.

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Packing and hauling your stuff for a big move can be stressful, and it gets more complicated when moving heavy workout equipment. You could hire a moving service, but what happens when you’re on a tight budget? Do you still need to hire people when you’re only moving home gym equipment?

If you prefer to save money and take matters into your own hands, there are ways to safely move your gym equipment yourself. By following a few simple tips and precautions, you can avoid damaging your equipment or injuring yourself during the move. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to move gym equipment—both from your home or a commercial gym. 

Wrapping supplies and tools you’ll need

  • Gloves - to protect your hands while handling heavy equipment 

  • Paddings - such as cushions, blankets, towels, and bubble wrap  

  • Thick boxes, plastic bins, or crates - to store weights and disassembled pieces of equipment 

  • Screwdriver - for dismantling large gym equipment 

  • Masking tape and marker - for labeling boxes and parts 

  • A moving dolly - to move heavier equipment that won’t fit in boxes 

Moving preparation tips for gym equipment

sanitizing gym bench before packing for a move

  1. Ask for help. Since you don’t plan on hiring professional packers, recruit at least two friends or family members to help you. No matter how strong and capable you are, it’s best to have a reliable “team” with you during moving day. 

  2. Clean the equipment. It’s essential to clean your fitness equipment before packing them. Sanitize your gym mats, weights, and punching bags. Dust machines and wipe handrails as needed. 

  3. Be organized. Identify which pieces of equipment need to be disassembled and separate them from those that can be easily packed in boxes.  

  4. Choose sturdy packing containers. Standard moving boxes won’t cut it when moving weights, so you may want to resort to heavy-duty packing boxes, plastic bins, and crates instead.  

How to pack weights and dumbbells for moving

Let’s say you’ve already separated the large gym equipment from the smaller—and much lighter—ones. Aside from the standard gym mats, your “light” pile will likely consist of free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls.

wrapping small dumbbells in paper for moving

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wrap weights for moving: 

  1. Once the hand weights have been sanitized, cover them in bubble wrap, towels, or newspaper.

  2. Test your boxes or bins to ensure they are sturdy enough to handle the weight. 

  3. Line the boxes with blankets and towels to ensure the weights won’t move too much during transit. 

  4. Place the weights inside and secure the boxes with tape. Remember: don’t overpack the box! Make sure it’s light enough for you—or your designated moving helpers and lifters—to carry. 

  5. Lastly, when figuring out how to pack dumbbells and other weights for moving, don’t forget to label all your boxes so that your helpers will know it’s filled with fitness gear. 

How to disassemble and move heavy gym equipment

disassembling home gym equipment, stationary bike to move to a different location

Of course, you can’t just place large equipment such as ellipticals, rowing machines, and stationary bikes in boxes. Moving a treadmill, for example, will require disassembly and special care.

So, how do you disassemble home and commercial gym equipment? Below are some tips for moving heavy fitness gear:  

  • Study the instruction manuals that came with the equipment you have, as instructions can vary. If you don’t have the physical manuals on hand, you can easily look them up online or contact the manufacturer. 

  • Before disassembling, check to see if all your equipment is unplugged! This is even more crucial for commercial gyms, where there are a lot of machines to move. 

  • Label the disassembled pieces properly using masking tape and a marker. You don’t want to lose any nuts and bolts or mix them up with an elliptical’s! It’s also a good idea to take photos of the equipment and its pieces to make it easier to reassemble them later. 

If you’re confident that machines can fit through doorways and don’t need to be disassembled, there are two easy ways to move gym equipment. You can either carry it with a friend or use a furniture dolly to bring it to a waiting moving truck. A dolly is one tool that’s tried and tested by professional appliance removal services.

☞ Also read: How to move heavy appliances

Ready for the big move?   

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of moving workout equipment, you can proceed to do it yourself. Always prioritize your safety, as you’ll be dealing with heavy equipment. 

If you think the job’s still too daunting to handle alone or you need extra hands, you can always hire moving help on Airtasker. You can also read this furniture moving price guide to decide if a professional moving company is your most efficient option. 

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FAQs on moving gym equipment

This will depend on your agreement with them. As a rule, heavier gym equipment like treadmills and ellipticals must be disassembled for efficient transportation by removal services. You could also opt to disassemble them yourself—just to be sure that everything is labeled and photographed properly. 

Moving gym equipment should be doable with the right helpers, packing materials, and safety precautions! Just remember to have people to help you because moving equipment—or anything heavy, for that matter—is definitely not a one-person job.  

Thinking of selling some of your gym equipment or sending it to a loved one? You’ll need the same materials for moving gym gear, such as heavy-duty boxes, padding (like bubble wrap or newspaper). A dolly and ratchet tie can be useful for heavier equipment. Make sure to label the packages properly and write specific instructions—to avoid any confusion with shipping services.

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