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How to Pack and Move Exercise Equipment

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Do you have a personal gym at home that is filled with expensive exercise equipment? Moving these items can be a challenge due to their weight, size, and complexity. How can you keep the workouts going if you move to another home? 

Exercise equipment comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Everyone's personal gym is going to include different equipment. In this guide, we will focus on how to pack and move the most common things found in personal gyms.

Free weights (barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates)

These are the weight lifting essentials that first come to mind when you think of exercise equipment. They are difficult to move because they are sometimes designed to be heavy. Smaller weights shouldn't present much of a challenge but heavier weights (anything over five pounds) should be considered dangerous. Some weights are padded, but others are hard and sometimes brittle. Here are some quick definitions so you know what is being referred to:
Barbells: The bars that you lift that have weights on them. The weights on barbells are usually removable and adjustable.
Weight plates: The flat weights that usually go onto barbells or other weighted exercise equipment.
Dumbbells: handheld weights of varying sizes.
  • Find a reinforced box or container than can handle the weight of the dumbbells and weight plates. Most cardboard boxes can't handle heavier weights
  • Wrap the weights in bubble wrap to avoid having them hit each other or other more fragile objects
  • You may want to add padding between stacked weight plates to avoid having them clank together during transport
  • If you have racks that you keep your weights on, you could secure the weights to that rack using sturdy packing tape
  • Make sure the weights or the rack that they are secured to are secure in the moving truck. Falling dumbbells could cause a lot of damage to other items in your shipment
  • Make sure all barbells have the weights removed before packing. You save space this way and don't risk weights sliding off the bar during transport
  • Do not try to lift a full rack of weights. Not only will it be incredibly heavy, but if you haven't secured the weights they could fall on someone's foot


Aerobic equipment is very common in personal gyms. These machines get you moving in place but don't have any extra weight attached to them. They still manage to be very heavy and bulky, however. Some of these machines can fold which makes moving them much easier. 
  • Folded treadmills can be moved with one or two people rather easily
  • Always lift from sturdy parts of equipment, don't grab on to plastic consoles or one leg
  • Packing blankets can be used to keep these odd-shaped machines safe during the move
  • Be wary of the electrical components. Avoid extreme temperatures or moisture
  • If you need to disassemble a treadmill, elliptical, or bike use the way it was boxed when you purchased it as a guide
  • If you have the original box/packaging for the item, use it replacing any disposable packing material like peanuts and packing paper
  • Remove any loose parts like arms or displays
  • Wrap everything in bubble wrap and label the parts
  • Consider hiring a specialty moving company that will disassemble and reassemble your more cumbersome equipment

Benches and other equipment

Most personal gyms contain benches. These can be moved just like any other similarly sized piece of furniture. Exercise benches may be more durable during a move than most furniture because they are designed to handle extra weight and the occasional dropped dumbbell.

Bigger equipment like press machines should usually be handled by professional movers. If you do attempt to move them, treat them as large furniture and be sure to remove the weights from them before trying to transport them.

Everything you move should be assessed for its viability. You may not really need to move your entire gym to your new home. It is always wise to eliminate things from your moving inventory. Take apart what you can, and be sure to have enough people helping you carry heavy equipment. It can be quite a workout moving things that will let you workout in your new home. If you can't do it yourself, hire movers to do it. Many moving companies specialize in taking apart and transporting heavy, dangerous, and complicated equipment.

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on September 11, 2014 - Moving Expert
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