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Are you a proud owner of a brand-new elliptical trainer? I’m sure you’ll want to get the most out of your new home gym investment. Ellipticals are not cheap, so making yours last as long as possible is the key to getting the most value from it.
Much like treadmills and stationary exercise bikes, ellipticals require proper maintenance to ensure that they operate smoothly and reliably, reducing the chances for malfunctions and repairs.
Elliptical repairs are a hassle best avoided.
Thankfully, you can reduce the possibility of something going wrong with your elliptical by following the must-know tips and maintenance guidelines provided below.
If you’re not yet doing these things, you’re clearly amiss in your duties—but it’s not too late! You have a lot of catching up to do, so let’s start with the first rule!
Table of Contents
Consult the User Manual
The user manual doesn’t only provide information about setting up, but it also instructs on the proper use and maintenance of your elliptical.
Maintenance information can include where to position the elliptical machine and how to clean, lubricate, and store it. No two elliptical machines are the same, so it’s important to check the official manufacturer’s guidelines.
If you’ve lost your manual, or your elliptical didn’t come with one, you might be able to find it online on the manufacturer’s website.
Here are the main things that you should look for in the User Manual or the manufacturer’s website.
How to Inspect Your Elliptical
You should be more observant of your elliptical while using it. It’s one aspect of inspecting. Check it before and after using—is it upright and stable on its base, are there no torn parts or missing screws? You should actively look out for squeaking, rattling, or unsmooth movements that do not seem normal.
For the most part, ellipticals should operate smoothly and silently when used. The handlebars and foot platforms should also move in tandem and not feel loose or unstable in any way.
Due to this, it’s always worth inspecting your elliptical as much as possible for loose parts, loose screws/nuts, and potential cracks. The more you use your elliptical, the more you should inspect it.
How to Clean Your Elliptical
Just like any machine, ellipticals need to be cleaned. Ideally, you should be wearing clean shoes when using your elliptical, so how strictly you abide by or break that unwritten rule plays a big part in how dirty the elliptical can get.
Loose dirt and debris can collect on the foot platforms and, in worse, around the elliptical base where dirt can get into cracks and openings.
Elliptical handlebars should also be kept clean. While it does not adversely affect the machine’s performance, keeping it clean prevents dirt from accumulating and getting into cracks and creases.
How to Lubricate Your Elliptical
Lubricating the machine’s moving parts prevents them from grinding against each other and thus, prevent premature wearing of parts. This is the secret to keeping your elliptical trainer running smoothly for longer.
The same is the case for treadmills and other machines with moving parts.
Where do you apply the lubricant?
Ellipticals need to be oiled at the deck and rollers, underneath where the foot pedals move, to ensure smooth movement and reduce friction that causes wear and tear.
How often you do this depends on how much you use your elliptical, but a good rule of thumb is to lubricate every six months.
Where to Place Your Elliptical
Not all of us have the ideal place for an elliptical. If your home lacks space, you may be forced to settle for the next best spot to set up your machine. Nevertheless, you should make sure that it satisfies the minimum requirements recommended by the manufacturer, and that the location is safe and conducive for exercising.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Don’t place your elliptical under any shelves or near any objects that might fall and damage your machine or hurt you.
- Keep it away from any heat sources or where it will be exposed to rain, snow, flood, and the elements.
- Small kids or pets must not have access to the elliptical especially when you’re not around.
- Make sure the power cord is not stretched tightly or in an open area where it causes obstruction and endangers people, or where it might be tripped on or get damaged.
How to Store Your Elliptical
There might come a period when you stop using your elliptical for whatever reason. To keep it in good condition, for selling or later use, it’s important to know how to store it properly and safely.
If it’s not going to be used for a long period, it’s a good idea to store your elliptical well out of harm’s way in a spare room or garage. In either case, make sure that the elliptical will not get damp, hot, or covered in dust or dirt.
For storage, make sure to fully cover your elliptical and keep it lubricated if you are storing it for longer than six months.
How to Use Your Elliptical Properly
Elliptical maintenance includes using your elliptical properly and safely to help improve its general performance and increase its lifespan.
Improper use of an elliptical, or any machine for that matter, will effectively shorten its useful life. If you operate it harshly, erratically, or intensely to an unnecessary degree, you’re guilty of improperly using it.
Elliptical maintenance might seem like a lot of work at first, but following the above tips and guidelines is more than worth the effort. Not only will your elliptical machine perform as expected, but it will also do so for longer.
A properly maintained elliptical machine will also preserve its selling value if you ever decide to sell it later or gift it to someone.
Our fitness machines help us stay healthy and fit, and maintaining them properly is the simplest way to return the favor.
Written by Kathleen Langdon – TheHealthPot.com Founder
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES)
Kathleen, a mother of two, struggled with ongoing weight and health issues. She created this website after she turned her life around. She built Thehealthpot.com to help inspire and motivate others with their fitness goals. Read more about Kathleen here.