How to Adjust Treadmill Belts: Keeping the Machine in Tip-Top Shape


In today’s busy world, one of the most common ways to exercise is running on a treadmill. Some people own a treadmill so that they can use it anytime at home. But of course, when you use your treadmill often, there is a possibility that the belt will loosen up. If that happens, do you know how to adjust your treadmill belt? If not, do not panic! This article will give you the knowledge to perform this basic bit of treadmill maintenance!

What Are the Benefits of Using a Treadmill?

Before we hop into the steps of adjusting loosened treadmill belts, let’s discuss what leads people to use the treadmill in the first place. What are treadmills good for, and what are the benefits we get from using one?

Heart Health

We all know that running is good cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens your heart and lowers blood pressure at the same time. Thus, running on treadmills helps your body burn calories and lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. In addition, many treadmills include a heart rate monitor so that you can keep an eye on your pulse as you exercise.

Weight Loss

Running helps you lose weight, as any exercise does. A mile of running burns roughly 100 calories. So, if you want to slim down, running regularly can help. And treadmills make it possible to do this exercise indoors, regardless of weather.

Muscle Toning

Running or walking on a treadmill helps tone the muscles in your thigh, butt, and quadriceps areas. Experts advise that to achieve toned muscles in the lower part of the body, you should run or use a treadmill for at least 30 minutes per day, three to four times per week.

Reduced or Low Impact

There is a big difference when you run on the street versus on a treadmill. When you take every step on a hard surface, your legs absorb a lot of impact, which can lead to wear and tear on your knees and ankles. Treadmills, on the other hand, have a softer surface to run on. Modern models come with shock-absorption features to make it easier on your feet and legs.

Mental Health

Running or walking on a daily basis helps your brain function well, and it makes you feel good. The reason behind this is an increased amount of chemical compounds known as endorphins, the ones that make you feel happy and motivated. Imagine going for a quick run on a treadmill any time in the comfort of your own home–a quick mood fix, right?

Workout Customization

Whatever your objective may be in using a treadmill, convenience is also a big selling point. If you have a treadmill at home, then it will be much easier for you to create a fitness program to fit your schedule. If you don’t want to go to the gym, and you don’t want to run outside, a home treadmill is a great option.

Yes, there are numerous benefits you get from a treadmill. But, using your treadmill often can be the reason for having a loose belt, which can affect your workout performance.

How to Adjust Treadmill Belts?

There are two methods to adjust the treadmill belt. One is while the treadmill is turned ON and the other is while the treadmill is turned OFF. The only tool that you will need is an Allen wrench, which is usually included in the packaging of the treadmill itself. Otherwise, they can be purchased at any hardware store.

Treadmill Turned ON

Step 1: Find the screw or bolt that adjusts the belt. It is usually located in the back, close to the roller axle.

Step 2: Turn ON the treadmill, and set the speed to five kilometers per hour or less.

Step 3: Use the Allen wrench to adjust the screw. Generally, turning the screw counterclockwise tightens the belt; clockwise loosesn it.

Step 4: Before the belt gets too tight, make sure it is centered properly on the rollers; it may have slipped sideways some when it was loose. Do necessary adjustments, then tighten it up until the belt does not slip anymore.

Treadmill Turned OFF

Step 1: Turn OFF the treadmill and unplug it from the wall socket.

Step 2: Just the same with the third step above, look for the screws where the belt can be adjusted. Adjust the screws so that you can start adjusting the belt too. If you need to tighten the belt, turn the screw counterclockwise and clockwise to loosen.

Step 3: Plug in the treadmill, and turn it back ON to double check if it still needs more adjustments.

Step 4: Keep adjusting the belt until it is centered between the two boards and until it does not slip anymore.

Refer to your treadmill’s manual to get specifics on your model, as each manufacturer and model will be different. And, in case the belt is already frayed or tattered, it is best to replace it with a new one. Do not put yourself in danger.

Final Thoughts

Using a treadmill offers you many benefits. For one, it helps reduce the risk of many illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, having a treadmill at home makes it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals. You can set the speed regardless if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced exerciser, any time and in the comfort of your home. Some people even use treadmills to train for marathons.

Treadmills are easy to use. However, like any other fitness equipment, maintaining them is a must. Among the easiest DIY maintenance tasks with treadmills is adjusting a loose belt. As the owner, this is a small, easy undertaking that keeps your treadmill safe and in its best operating condition.

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Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.