how to disassemble an elliptical machine

How to Disassemble an Elliptical Machine Easily by Yourself

Hi there, my friends! It’s Kathleen, and today, I’m going to tackle a subject that is a bit different from my usual cardio talk, but it’s still an important subject.

If you need to disassemble an elliptical machine because you’re going to relocate or sell it, but you don’t want to hire a moving company, just take it apart and box it. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you.

Breaking down your elliptical is not as difficult as it might seem. The trick is to stay organized so that when you or someone else puts it back together, you don’t end up with missing or extra pieces!

You probably spent a pretty penny on this piece of exercise equipment, so you want to take care when you move it.

Are you ready? I’m going to show you how to disassemble an elliptical machine in just a few easy steps.

Grab that toolbox and put on your DIYer hat! Let’s go!

How Do You Take Apart an Elliptical for Moving?

man deciding how to take apart an elliptical machine

An elliptical machine is a bit more complicated than it looks, hence the expensive price tag.

This means that you don’t want to just start unscrewing pieces and hope you remember how to put them back together.

Let’s take things step by step so you can learn how to disassemble an elliptical machine and still have it work when you reassemble it.

Learning how to disassemble an elliptical machine starts with the right tools to get the job done.

Tools Needed for Disassembling Elliptical Machines

First, let’s pull out the tools that you will need for the job. These may vary from machine to machine, so you may not use them all but have them ready in case you do need them.

The most common tools you will need to disassemble your elliptical trainer include:

  1. Screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat head) – If you have a couple of different sizes, that would be great
  2. Allen wrenches – Like the screwdrivers, if you have several sizes, that would be a big plus
  3. Pliers – locking pliers or channel pliers will work fine
  4. Black electrical tape – not duct tape or masking tape
  5. Small containers to hold the screws and other small parts – You can always use plastic bags if you don’t have enough or if you don’t have any small containers.
  6. Bubble wrap – If you plan to box it for shipping
  7. Some scotch tape and a sharpie for marking

Put the above tools close to your elliptical machine, and let’s get ready to work!

How to Disassemble an Elliptical Machine in 7 Easy Steps

First, remember that every elliptical machine is different, and if I start describing something that you don’t see, or if tell you to unscrew a certain part but there’s a bolt or if it uses an Allen wrench, don’t get nervous.

man showing how to dismantle an elliptical machine at home

We aren’t going to completely reduce your machine to tiny pieces, we are only going to partially disassemble your elliptical machine so that you can move it or box it up more easily.

Here are the steps:

  1. Unplug – Disconnect your elliptical machine from the power source.
  2. Remove the upper part – Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove the head or the brain from the front. This piece may have wires attached that prevent you from removing it entirely, that’s fine. Tape it in place and put the screws in a bag or plastic box and label them. If you can see where the electrical wires unplug so that you can remove the head, unplug the wires and use the electrical tape to keep the wires from falling down back inside the unit.
  3. Unscrew the handlebars from the unit. These might come apart in several disassembled pieces, so be sure to mark them so that you know which ones will go where. You might label them as “Top, Middle, Bottom” or even 1,2,3. Whatever you decide to call them, just remember your label names so that you can reassemble them.
  4. Disconnect the resistance assembly from the frame. Most ellipticals will use 6 to 8 Allen bolts. Use your Allen wrenches and put the screws in a bag, marking them for later use.
  5. Remove the stride arms. Most ellipticals use some combination of Phillips head screws and Allen screws. Be sure to label these as you remove them.
  6. Remove the pedals by unscrewing the mounting bolts. These are often located on the bottom of the pedals. Some elliptical machines have wires, especially connected to the right pedal, but you could find wires attached to both. Tape down any wires and be careful when disconnecting the elliptical machine step.
  7. Disassemble the frame if possible. Some ellipticals will have two to six Allen screws that will allow you to pull the frame apart into at least two or possibly three pieces.

That’s it! If you successfully disassembled your elliptical machine and you’ve labeled where all the parts and screws belong, you shouldn’t have any trouble during the reassembly process.

Looking for a Great Elliptical – Click Here to see the Best HIIT Tainers!

More Tips on How to Disassemble an Elliptical Machine

While you might think you know all the parts of an elliptical machine when you’re disassembling it, don’t be surprised if you suddenly have no idea what a particular part is once you’re ready to reassemble it.

I’m talking from experience, friends! I suppose if you’re mechanically inclined, you won’t have any such problem. However, if you’re like me and thought this would be a piece of cake only to find that you can’t remember which part went where, then the following tips will help.

  1. Make a video. This was a BIG help to me when I disassembled a rowing machine one time. Use your phone and make a video as you disassemble your elliptical machine. TALK to yourself as you’re working. “This is the top part of the frame. This is the right pedal, and I’ve marked it with tape that reads Right Side.” You get the picture (pun intended)!
  2. Label parts. Make sure to label every single screw and part so you don’t forget.
  3. Bubble wrap. If you are packing this for moving, tape bubble wrap generously around each piece, especially the head. Put it in a box and label it as fragile.
  4. Label boxes. If you have more than one box, I like to label the boxes as “Elliptical Machine Box 1 of 3” Then “Elliptical Machine Box 2 of 3 FRAGILE” and so on.

You might even want to consider putting the necessary tools into each box for reassembly in case you get to your new location and you can’t find the toolbox.


A final piece of advice would be to watch a short video first. This video helps to explain how to disassemble an elliptical machine, and it might help you visualize what you need to do.

Related Post:  Can I put my elliptical in the garage?

Tips for Reassembly

If you’ve packed everything well and labeled it, you are halfway there. If you made a video, start watching it from the end and back up the video to each step as you go along.

You might feel really nervous about reassembling your elliptical machine, but trust me, you’ve got this.

Some of my top tips for reassembly include:

  • Have your tools handy so that you don’t have to search for them.
  • Give yourself lots of time and be patient! If you’re tired, or if you start to get frustrated, stop! Try again tomorrow.
  • If you still have the owner’s manual, you might try to refer to it. Chances are that you received the machine new and it required at least some assembly.
  • Find a friend who can help.

Remember that in the worst-case scenario, you can hire someone to reassemble it for you. However, I’m betting that if you followed the tips above and marked everything, you will have long-term success in putting this piece of exercise equipment back together and have it work like new.

Have You Ever Seen A Seated Elliptical – Click Here to Read If They Are Any Good!

The Final Takeaway

how to disassemble an cross trainer

I’ve taken apart numerous pieces of workout equipment in my time, whether it was my own or I was helping a friend move.

I’ve learned to label, label, label everything. Once I started doing that, I’ve never had an issue.

No one would ever tell me that I was the most mechanically inclined woman they’ve ever met, so if I can do it, you can do it, too.

Don’t mess with any of the electrical points or pieces unless you need to. I’ve found it better to simply tape the wires and let it be.

Take your time, be patient, and remember that it is far better to label even the obvious, rather than open the box a month from now and not recognize anything!

One final note- go easy on yourself. Even if you thought you could reassemble it, but for some reason your elliptical won’t work – you tried. I’ll give you an “A” for effort, OK? Not everything works out the way we want, but it isn’t the end of the world.

Stay focused and be patient. Life is too short to worry needlessly!