If you need to tuck away your home gym for a season, it’s important to keep everything in good condition. High-quality workout equipment is generally expensive, so replacing damaged items can put a dent into your budget. Nothing’s worse than investing in a trendy digital bike to find it dusty and without that “fresh box” luster you loved.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to store your exercise equipment properly to prevent damage from common causes like moisture and pests. Here’s how to safely move your equipment and protect your belongings so that they still look like new when you retrieve them in the future. Check out these 5 tips for storing exercise equipment.
1. Before You Begin: Safety First
Most workout equipment is heavy, which means you need to move these items safely to prevent injury to yourself and others. Never try to lift heavy weights or other large components while bending forward. Instead, squat down to grab the item and lift it from the bottom. Keep the equipment close to your body, and stand up slowly by straightening your legs.
If you are doing this with a partner, make sure you both grab the item and stand up at the same time. Use good communication to make sure that all parties have a solid hold on the equipment that you are handling. Be sure to not do any extreme movements like twisting or jerking while holding a heavy object.
Note: Never lift more than you can handle. If you need to make difficult maneuvers up and down stairs or need the extra strength to hoist the equipment into a truck, get at least one more person to help you. Call a friend or family member who can help when they have some free time, or recruit a hired hand for a few hours. Many moving companies offer this kind of service for your safety and it’s wise to invest in it.
2. Clean Everything
Workout equipment is notorious for getting dirty easily, especially in storage. Before you put your prized belongings away for a while, take time to disinfect and wipe down every surface of your treadmills, weights, mats, and other key equipment. This ensures that these items will be in the best condition possible when you retrieve them at a later date.
3. Disassemble Large Equipment
Large exercise equipment came to your house in a box with assembly instructions. Consult the manuals that the products came with to find out how to detach the main components. You don’t need to completely break down large sets. Instead, your goal is to break it down enough so that individual segments can be easily carried and loaded onto a truck without being too cumbersome. Some equipment will be easier to compact than others.
For example, you can usually get away with folding a treadmill or collapsing a folding rowing machine to take up less space. Other sets, like all-in-one home gyms, will need more effort to partially disassemble.
As you remove screws and washers from your equipment, keep everything in a bag, and use a permanent marker to label where the parts came from. You can make reassembly even easier by taping these bags directly to where you removed the screws so that building your equipment back to its original state is a snap.
4. Keep Delicate Items In Sealed Containers
Many fitness programs use soft, flexible items like yoga mats, resistance bands, and stability balls to grow strength and flexibility. These items can easily deteriorate if they are left unprotected in a storage facility. Protect them from heat, intense light, and the open air by storing them in a tightly sealed container. Be sure to deflate your stability balls and cover them with a cloth to prevent dust from accumulating before storage too.
5. Use Lubrication When Necessary
Exercise equipment contains many components that can benefit from lubrication before storage. For example, applying WD-40 to chrome weights can preserve them during storage. The underside of a treadmill’s belt can also benefit from a dose of treadmill lubricant to keep it in good shape when not in use. Before applying any type of solution, wipe these areas clean and let them fully dry. This will prevent rust and other types of deterioration.
6. Store Electronic Exercise Equipment Correctly
Many exercise equipment manufacturers have integrated smartphone technology and other digital enhancements to their products. Smart treadmills like the Peloton have taken workouts to a whole new level by making exercise an interactive experience.
Electronic equipment can be powered by AC adaptors but also have an internal battery. To make sure that this item doesn’t slowly drain while being connected to a circuit, remove or disconnect them during storage. As a final touch, cover this equipment to guard it against dust, which can seriously damage electronics.
A computer’s data can get corrupted if a user yanks out the power cord without shutting it down the right way. Since smart equipment like the Nordic Track and Peloton function like computers, they need to have their software properly shut down before you unplug them. Also, be sure to install the latest updates before you take them to storage.
This will reduce the number of updates you need to make when you reboot your smart equipment after storage. Since these companies offer new programs and perks all the time, chances are high that you’ll still need to update the system, but you won’t spend as much time waiting for everything to be installed.
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