How To Adjust The Belt On A Treadmill


If you own a treadmill, at some point, you may need to learn how to adjust the belt. This is a regular part of maintenance for your treadmill that should be assessed regularly. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your treadmill belt’s alignment (six to twelve months) or something seems a bit off with the belt tension, it’s time to grab your user manual and start adjusting.

Adjusting Your Treadmill Belt

With most treadmill models, all you need to get started is an allen wrench or hex key. This small tool often comes with your treadmill, or you can dig into your bike or garage tools and probably find this hexagonal shaped tool. Then, since each treadmill model will vary slightly, it’s always good to have your user manual out and turned to the appropriate page for reference.

There are two primary ways to adjust your treadmill: with it on or off. While you can find instructions for both, it is recommended to adjust your treadmill with it powered off and unplugged to prevent unnecessary damage to the treadmill or injury to yourself.

The one benefit for adjusting your treadmill when it’s on is when you can’t quite seem to get the belt in the right spot, even after several attempts. With the treadmill on (set at 3 miles per hour or less), you can adjust and assess in real-time.

The Basic Steps

Adjusting your treadmill belt is pretty straightforward with the right understanding. Here are the basic steps to keep in mind to get started:

1. Assess. Before unplugging your treadmill, turn it on to a slow walking pace and note any alignment issues as you walk on it. Is there an area that the belt loses tension or is wrinkled or bubbled up? When you look down at your feet, are they aligned, or are they being pulled to one side? You should be able to walk comfortably without slipping or feeling crooked.

2. Adjust. Turn off and unplug the treadmill first. Then, use your allen wrench to loosen the bolts at the back of the treadmill- typically, there is one bolt on each side that needs to be adjusted. Once loose, manually adjust the belt to where it appears to be centered and smooth. Secure the newly aligned belt back into place by re-tightening the bolts until there is adequate and even tension in the belt.

3. Reassess. Plug the treadmill back in and turn it on to see if your adjustments are complete and accurate. If you notice the belt is too loose, you may need to tighten the bolts slightly. If it still feels out of alignment, you may have to do some more adjusting and then re-check again. Keep in mind that you might also need to adjust one bolt more than the other to find the appropriate centered tension.

With these simple instructions, you should be able to keep your treadmill belt well-maintained. It’s always important to refer to your specific user manual for any specific instructions or nuances to be aware of with your model.

If you are still struggling, you can always call your treadmill manufacturer for further support- whether it entails further instructions over the phone or they recommend someone to help service your treadmill.

Ultimately, regular maintenance is vital for minimizing unnecessary wear and keeping you safe on your treadmill. This will ensure more years of life for your treadmill to stay active and work toward your health and fitness goals.

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