Have you been searching online for ways how to stabilise my elliptical? Don’t worry. It happens to many of us, but you can do something about it.
One way to stabilise your elliptical trainer is to move it to a more solid, even floor. Ideally, place an equipment mat underneath it for better stability. Retightening loose screws or bolting the machine to the floor can solve the problem, too.
However, the solution depends on the source of the unwanted movement and its severity.
A step-by-step approach is best to find its cause and stop the wobbling altogether.
This guide has the details you need for a more secure elliptical trainer and safer workout.
Step 1: Transfer Your Elliptical to a Rigid Floor
Your elliptical cross trainer needs solid flooring to support it. Examples are concrete, vinyl and hardwood floors.
Make sure to choose a level or flat surface, too. Remember that warping happens to older concrete or hardwood floors, causing your elliptical to rock.
Step 2: Swap the Carpet with a Mat
Is your machine still wobbling even after moving it to a solid floor? Perhaps, you’ve placed it on a carpet?
While product manuals do not discourage putting your elliptical on a carpeted floor, it is generally not rigid enough.
Over time, the elliptical feet will squish carpet fibres down, making your fitness equipment less stable. It will create dents on your carpet, too.
Also, if your rug does not have enough underlay or grip, it can make your machine slide around.
Replacing the carpet with an equipment mat is better if you want to protect your floor.
A PVC or rubber exercise mat should keep your elliptical steady to prevent its feet from scratching the surface.
But if you want to keep the carpet, you can also lay the rubber exercise mat on top to protect the fibres.
A mat for exercise equipment can stabilise your elliptical plus provide these benefits:
- Vibration and noise reduction. Continuous pedalling and movement of machine parts can cause vibration. The elliptical then generates audible sounds as it hits the bare floors. An equipment mat can shield your flooring from these vibrations and dampen the noise.
- Faster clean-up. Laying a mat on a carpet prevents fibres and dust particles from getting into your machine. Moreover, it protects the fabric from sweat and dirt, making clean-up a breeze.
- Machine life preservation. Friction happens when the elliptical feet hit the flooring. The impact can affect machine quality sooner than expected. The need for repairs or replacement is also more likely.
When buying an equipment or treadmill mat, get one with the right type, thickness and size.
Step 3: Try Levelling Your Elliptical Trainer
Checking the external parts, especially the adjustable feet, is part of knowing how to stabilise my elliptical. So, after moving your machine to its new rigid spot, inspect its legs and see if they’re level.
Test this out by riding the elliptical for a few seconds to know which part is not flat on the floor.
Another way is to hold the handlebars, then slightly rock the elliptical sideways to identify which leg is too short.
If it wobbles, refer to your manual for levelling instructions. It shouldn’t be too hard to adjust the leg screw.
Once done, try pedalling it a few times again to see if it worked.
Step 4: Tighten Loose Screws
After checking and levelling the legs, switch your attention to the elliptical machine frame. Some bolts here may become loose over time, causing the wobble.
In other cases, loose bolts happen when the initial assembly is not thorough.
Your product manual should have the details and instructions on tightening the screws properly.
Tightening the bolts of your elliptical is part of its maintenance check. And most manuals recommend that you do this after each workout.
I know it sounds too much, and most elliptical users are probably not doing it.
But following this instruction will ensure that your elliptical won’t rock and move around.
Also, tightened bolts keep the elliptical parts aligned, preserving their life and quality.
If you cannot check the bolts too often, you can inspect them every 3 to 6 months.
Step 5: Consider Using a Plywood Layer
Some home gyms may not have a rigid surface to support heavy fitness equipment.
And so, your elliptical may still wobble despite adding a mat or checking its parts.
In that case, you can create a makeshift rigid floor for your elliptical using a piece of plywood.
Most hardware stores have it, and it’s not that expensive either.
Typically, elliptical machines are about 183 cm long and 91 cm wide (the NordicTrack 9.9 is 173 x 74 cm).
And so, the usual 8 x 4 feet plywood sheet (244 x 122 cm) will be enough for most elliptical models.
The plywood thickness is up to you. But generally, a thicker sheet will support your machine better.
Before putting your elliptical on top, you can cover the plywood with a grid or equipment mat to make it look good.
The additional mat should dampen noise and quicken clean-up as well.
Step 6: Bolt the Machine to the Floor
If you’ve tried every “how to stabilise my elliptical” solution without positive results, securing the machine to the floor is your last resort.
It’s not the best solution as it can be a hassle.
Plus, you’ll be boring permanent holes on your floor unless you have a rug or furniture to cover it up later.
You can always unbolt the machine, so don’t worry if you have to move it somewhere else later.
But while tedious, this final step is foolproof.
Also, aside from solving the wobble problem, it will provide maximum support during your workout.
Users of any size can safely use your machine, too.
A wobbly elliptical is a common problem, but it is also avoidable. Proper assembly and a levelled floor should stabilise your elliptical and prevent this issue.
But if it occurs, putting a mat or plywood underneath and bolting your elliptical to the floor are your best solutions.
Of course, don’t forget to maintain your elliptical regularly to avoid other problems from happening.
Also, choose a high-quality elliptical cross trainer with heavy-duty construction and reasonable weight for long-term stability.
1. Can one person move an elliptical?
An elliptical trainer can be unwieldy and bulky. These make it difficult, if not impossible, for one person to move it. One stronger person would have to carry its heavier drive mechanism side while another holds the other end. Alternatively, you can disassemble the machine to move individual parts more easily.
Ellipticals squeak when you do not clean, lubricate or tighten them. Squeaking may also be a sign that older parts need replacement. The best way around it is to find the noise source, troubleshoot it and maintain your elliptical from time to time. Fixing even a minor squeak protects your machine from severe or irreparable damage.