How to Tighten a Treadmill Belt

A treadmill is great exercise equipment that can help you hit your fitness goals in the comfort of your home. However, the comfort of working out when you want comes with ‘responsibility.’

Maintaining your treadmill is important to ensure that it serves you for several years to come and protect your precious equipment. When your machine is functioning properly, you’ll be confident that your workouts will be safe and effective.

One way to ensure that your treadmill is functioning well is by ensuring that the treadmill belt is tightened properly. Therefore, it’s important to know how to tighten your treadmill belt. This post will show you how to tighten the treadmill belt correctly.

What is a treadmill belt?

A treadmill belt, also called a running belt, track, or walking belt is the part of the treadmill that your feet will land on as you’re running. The treadmill belt is designed to roll smoothly over the rollers, so you’re guaranteed a rolling surface that will keep you moving. It helps absorb the impact when you land so that there’s less impact on your joints.

Although there are different types of treadmills, all belts are generally the same and are mainly made of rubber. These treadmill belts are available in three different thicknesses: single-ply, 2-ply, and 4-ply.

Signs that the belt needs tightening

There are signs that can show you that your treadmill belt needs tightening. You might feel the belt sticking or slipping when you’re running or walking on the machine. This reduces your safety and puts you at risk of injuring your joints or muscles.

Although the belt might work fine when you’re using t, it may begin to slip when a heavier user walks or runs on it. This is a clear indication that your treadmill belt tension needs some adjustment.

Another sign is slowness or sluggishness in the belt when you’re working out. You may notice that the belt shifts more towards one side than the other. This is shown by a wide gap between one side of the treadmill and the belt.

What causes a treadmill belt to slip?

Before you tighten the treadmill belt, it’s important to understand why it’s happening. Here are some reasons why your treadmill belt might be slipping:

Drive Belt May Be Loose

The drive belt connects the front roller to the motor. If it becomes loose, then the front roller can speed up and slow down randomly. This will make the treadmill belt slip, which can be very risky to the user. You need to replace or tighten the belt to solve this problem.


Another factor that can cause your treadmill belt to slip is lubrication. Too much friction will cause the belt to stick as it can’t roll smoothly. Fortunately, it’s easy to check if lubrication is the issue.

Slip your hand under the treadmill and run your fingers along the machine’s bed. Your hand should be wet; otherwise, lubrication could be the problem. Lubricating the treadmill is quite easy. Ensure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for lubricants.

Inefficient Drive

The treadmill belt could slip because of a worn or inefficient drive belt. The drive belt connects the treadmill’s motor to the front roller. It’s responsible for turning the roller, which allows the belt to rotate. If the belt is slack or worn, the machine won’t work well, and the belt tension won’t be held correctly. Therefore, you need to replace or tighten the belt. However, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid warranty cancellation.

How to tighten the tread belt?

How to Tighten a Treadmill Belt

If your treadmill belt isn’t functioning properly, it’s probably too tight. Lift the treadmill belt from the center; if it cannot move 3 to 4 inches to fit your hand, then your machine is too tight. Follow these steps to correct the issue:

  • Disconnect your treadmill: Ensure the machine is switched off and completely disconnected before starting. This is crucial to ensure you’re safe.
  • Locate the Roller Bolts: A treadmill has two roller bolts on the base, one on the right and the other on the left.
  • Loosen the Bolts: Use a wrench to loosen the bolts by turning them to the left. Ensure you loosen the bolts in sequence to avoid damaging the belt.
  • Check the Belt: After every quarter, turn on the bolts and check the treadmill belt again. Continue until you can lift the belt and fit your hand underneath.


The belt is among the most crucial parts of a treadmill, and it’s important to keep it in good shape. Some people think that once the belt develops an issue, then the whole machine needs to be replaced. This is far from the truth. However, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before you make changes. If you think there’s a bigger problem, contact an expert for advice.

James Long is a personal trainer with over 12 years of industry experience. Personal Training is his passion and his articles on Fitness and Personal Training have been read by thousands of people across the internet...