How To Move An Elliptical (DIY Guide For Moving Upstairs)

Having an elliptical at home is a great way to accomplish your daily cardio goals. In fact, ellipticals are one of the most recommended forms of low-impact cardio for burning calories and improving heart health. So if you’re on the fence about getting an elliptical, now is the time to do it.  

The main downside of elliptical trainers is that they are not compact machines. An elliptical is large, bulky, and many models weigh well over 100 pounds. For that reason, moving an elliptical around the home isn’t easy. The good news is that it’s possible. 

In this guide on how to move an elliptical, we’ll cover everything from the steps for disassembling the machine, the tools required, and the best way to move a heavy elliptical machine.

The safest way to move your elliptical machine is to start by taking everything apart. Disassembling the large components makes it a lot easier to carry the machine up and down the stairs, and although it requires a few extra steps, it’s worth it in the long run.  

If you have just purchased your elliptical and have yet to assemble it, you can obviously skip this step. Just carry the packaged box or the elliptical parts and components to their final resting place before putting the machine together.  

man diassembling a precor elliptical

What You’ll Need 

Before you take apart your elliptical to break it down into smaller pieces, the first step is to gather all the necessary tools. Here’s what you’ll need for disassembling most elliptical machines:   

  • Allen Wrench Or Hex Keys 
    To loosen the washers and bolts that are keeping the machine together, you’ll need an Allen wrench (also called a Hex key). Most models come with this in the package for the assembly process, but if you’ve misplaced yours, you can purchase an Allen wrench set for less than $10
  • Four Head Screwdriver Tool 
    Most elliptical screws require a Phillips head screwdriver, but just to be safe, it’s best to have a screwdriver tool with multiple heads that are compatible with different styles of screws. 
  • Big & Small Plastic Polymer Bags 
    After removing your bolts, washers, and screws, you don’t want to lose any of these smaller parts and pieces. To keep that from happening, store them in durable plastic polymer bags - you can use Ziploc bags as well - to keep everything safe before you reassemble the machine. 
  • Scotch Tape & Marker Pens 
    While it’s not entirely necessary to label parts of the machine as you disassemble, it will definitely help when it comes time to put everything back together. You can do this by writing on pieces of Scotch tape with a marker. 

DIY Disassembly Guide 

Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary tools and materials, you can start getting to work and disassemble your elliptical trainer by following these steps:  

  • Step 1: Remove The Stride Arms  
    The stride arms of an elliptical are the moving arms of the machine that move in conjunction with the pedals to give you both an upper and lower body workout. The first step is to remove these arms from the machine’s frame, and this can usually be done with a Phillips head screwdriver. You can find a screw on the back of each arm, so unscrew each one and place them safely in your Ziploc bag. 
  • Step 2: Disconnect The Machine’s Resistance System  
    An elliptical’s resistance system is centered around the machine’s flywheel, and it’s responsible for creating/reducing tension in order to cater to different workout goals. It’s connected to the machine’s arms and frames, so the next step is to disconnect this system from the rest of the machine. This is typically done by removing bolts that are located on the backside of each pivot arm, so use your Allen wrench or Hex key for this step.  
  • Step 3: Remove The Arm Pivot Bearings  
    The pivoting motion of an elliptical’s arms is made possible by the bearings, so next, you’ll need to remove these using your Allen wrench/Hex key. There are generally 4 bearings throughout the machine (2 in the front and 2 in the back).  
  • Step 4: Remove The Cables, Wires & Pedals  
    The gliding motion of an elliptical is what makes this a great choice for a low-impact workout, and it's all thanks to the cables that allow the pedals to move smoothly back and forth. Next, you'll remove the cables, wire, and finally, the pedals using your Phillips head screwdriver.  
  • Step 5: Remove The Pivot Arms From The Drive System  
    The pivot arms are the next to go. There is a total of 4 pivot arms throughout your machine, and each needs to be removed by prying upwards on one side of the arm and pulling it away from its securing clip located on top of the drive unit. Repeat this for all 4 arms.  
  • Step 6: Detach The Pivot Bearings From The Frame  
    Once the pivot arms have been removed, the next step is to remove the bearings that were securing them into place. Use your Allen wrench to loosen and remove the bolts and washers.  
  • Step 7: Disassemble The Frame  
    Now all that is remaining is the elliptical’s frame. To disassemble it, you’ll need to remove the 2 screws that are located at each end of the machine’s base plate. By removing these, you’ll be able to detach the elliptical’s top and bottom portions. The rest of the frame can be dismantled by hand, so finish up by disassembling the remaining metal pieces.  
man diassembling an elliptical in a gym

How To Move An Elliptical Without Disassembly (Upstairs & Downstairs) 

Disassembling an elliptical machine can be time-consuming and strenuous, and even though it makes the actual moving process easier, the added time and effort of taking an elliptical apart isn’t for everyone. If that’s the case for you, the other option is to move the elliptical while it’s still fully assembled. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Furniture Dolly
    Using a furniture dolly is a great way to minimize the heavy lifting.
  • Furniture Blankets
    If you’re moving your elliptical in a truck or van, it’s best to keep your vehicle as well as the elliptical protected by covering the machine with furniture blankets. 
  • Tie-Down Strap With Ratchet Tie
    Even if you’re only moving the elliptical in your house from one room to another, you’ll definitely want to secure the moving legs, arms, and pedals into place with tie-down straps.
  • Moving Straps (Shoulder Dolly)
    If you’re moving the elliptical up or downstairs, it’s best to minimize some of the machine weight by using a set of moving straps, also called a shoulder dolly.

Step-By-Step Guide 

Here’s what to do if disassembling your elliptical isn’t part of your moving plan: 

  • Step 1: Plan Out The Move  
    Before anything else, it’s best to get a general idea of what the moving process with look like. What is the easiest and safest moving path? Are there any obstacles in the way? What can be done to make the move easier? 
  • Step 2: Gather Your Supplies (And A Moving Buddy)  
    Remember, for this scenario, you'll need a furniture dolly and moving accessories like protective blankets (if taking your elliptical on the road) and tie-down straps. You also want to commission a friend or family member to help with the move. These are heavy, bulky machines, so performing the move on your own won’t work. 
  • Step 3: Tie Down The Moving Parts  
    One of the main challenges of transporting an elliptical is the fact that this machine has a lot of moving parts. Unlike treadmills, which have fixed parts that stay in place, an elliptical has moving arms, legs, and pedals, so securing these to prevent movement while transporting the machine is essential. To do that, you can use tie-down straps to tighten and immobilize everything into place. It’s best to use straps with ratchet ties so that you can easily tighten everything until the parts are secure (and no longer move). And don’t forget to unplug your machine and secure the cord so that it won’t get in the way.  
  • Step 4: Use Your Dolly As Much As Possible  
    Once everything is tied down, carefully place the elliptical on your furniture dolly and wheel it as far as possible. If you’re moving the machine via a truck or van, take the dolly to the vehicle’s door to minimize heavy lifting as much as possible. If you’re staying in the home and moving the machine upstairs or downstairs, it’s recommended that you use moving straps to prevent injuries. These have loops on both ends that tie around each person’s shoulders and loop under the machine’s frame, making the elliptical feel a lot lighter than it actually is. 
  • Step 5: If Necessary, Load The Machine Into The Moving Truck/Van  
    Lastly, carefully load the machine into your moving truck or van. Position it so that the elliptical will move as little as possible, and tie everything down with straps to secure it into place. It’s also a good idea to cover the machine with furniture blankets to prevent damage to the elliptical as well as any other items you’re moving.  
woman moving a proform elliptical

How To Move A Disassembled Elliptical 

After following the disassembly steps above, the next piece of the puzzle is to actually move the elliptical to its final destination. Since the machine is now broken down into much smaller pieces, there’s not much to this step.  

All you have to do is carry each piece of the disassembled elliptical to its new resting place or pack it up for safe storage. Some of the pieces may still be heavy, so it’s best to have a partner for the moving process.  

Moving Different Elliptical Machine Brands

The steps provided above are a great baseline to help with your move, but it’s also really important that you refer to your specific elliptical’s User Manual and any manufacturer recommendations for disassembling and transporting the machine.  

Below, you’ll find a list of the most popular elliptical machines’ user manuals, which will be extremely helpful for moving each model:  

man taking the flywheel off an elliptical machine

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How many people does it take to move an elliptical? 

It’s recommended that you have at least two sets of hands for moving an elliptical. While it’s possible to move an elliptical by yourself after disassembling the machine first, it will be a lot easier (and safer!) to have a buddy helping you out. 

How do you transport an elliptical in a car? 

To ensure that the machine fits in your car’s trunk or backseat, you’ll first need to disassemble the elliptical (follow the steps above). Once taken apart, you should be able to fit the disassembled machine in your car. 

Can an elliptical fit in a minivan? 

Yes. Most minivans are large enough to comfortably fit an elliptical machine, even without taking it apart first. If you prefer not to disassemble the machine before transporting it in the van, you’ll probably have to remove the seats, or at the very least fold them flat. 

If I pay someone, how much does it cost to move an elliptical?  

It depends on a few factors, like moving distance, moving location, and the size and weight of the machine. Generally speaking, the cost to move an elliptical professionally is anywhere between $80 and $160.  


Conclusion

By following the steps provided in this guide, moving an elliptical isn’t as challenging as it may seem. For difficult moves, we recommend disassembling the machine first - breaking it down into smaller pieces will not only make the moving process easier but safer overall.  

If you’re dead set on keeping the elliptical assembled for the move, make sure to use the appropriate tools, like a furniture dolly and tie-down straps to prevent the arms and pedals from moving.