How To Level A Treadmill

Buying a treadmill to achieve your fitness goals can get you all excited. However, the mission is yet to be complete if you don't know how to level a treadmill. According to Spine-health, you will burn more calories on a treadmill than on biking when performing in-home physical activity and exercises.

When setting up your treadmill to improve your fitness levels, it's important to ensure its level by adjusting its leveling feet. If you work out on an unlevel treadmill, you risk your body health through injuries and possible wear and tear of the belt because of misalignment.

To compensate for the unevenness if you don't have a level surface, here are a few things you should check before starting a treadmill workout.

  • Level the treadmill
  • Checking the belt alignment
  • Adjustments to the running belt
  • Break in the treadmill

Level your Treadmill

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When setting up the treadmill, it's essential to make it sit evenly on the surface floor. You can achieve this by an overall look from two directions.

First, check across the belt (side-to-side evenness) and along the belt (front-to-back evenness).

Regardless of the level, you are using, always ensure that the treadmill adjustments are at zero or the center. If you have to make adjustments, always adjust one foot at a time.

If you aren't convinced that your treadmill is level, you can power it up, but only after calibrating it according to the model specifications on the user manual. Power it off again and make the necessary adjustments.

Place the level along your treadmills belt length and check if the bubble vial is centered. If not, adjust the treadmill feet by twisting clockwise or counterclockwise until the bubble rests at the center.

Each foot adjusts independently, and one can have a slight incline making it higher depending on the surface.

After making the necessary adjustments and the bubble rests at the center, your treadmill is safe to use, and you can continue your workout with a different range of motion.

Checking the Belt Alignment

If the belt isn't properly aligned, the treadmill won't operate smoothly as expected. Realigning the belt is a simple process, but if you are unsure, you can call your local professional to make the adjustments for you.

Before starting the realignment process, always exercise the basic treadmill cautions. POWER OFF the treadmill when working or adjusting the roller.

If you have long hair, tie it back and remove all loose clothing that poses a risk of injury by accidentally getting stuck on the rollers.

When the treadmill is powered on, keep objects and your fingers away from the rollers and belt. When the treadmill is in motion, it doesn't stop instantly when an object is stuck in the rollers and belts, and this can cause lots of damage or injuries.

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How to make proper checks

  • Before realigning the running belt, ensure that the treadmill isn't sitting on an uneven surface.
  • Power on the treadmill after connecting the plug to a dedicated circuit and let it run at a steady pace for 1-2 minutes.
  • Set the speed to 5 kph (3mph) and listen for any noise from the belt or rollers. 
  • If there are any chafing noises, power off the treadmill immediately to prevent further damage.
  • Check the rear of your treadmill to see if the belt is centered on the running bed. If there's any drift away from the center, it means that you need to realign the belt.
  • A frayed belt because of misalignment is rarely covered by most warranties. Replacing a belt can be costly, so it's important to make adjustments immediately.
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Adjusting the Running Belt

After placing the treadmill in its level position or on a heavy-duty treadmill mat, check that the treadmill belt has proper tension and runs on the center of the running bed.

You should never attempt to adjust the treadmill belt when someone is standing on it or when it's powered on.

  • Locate the belt adjustment bolt on your treadmill's rear left and right sides.
  • Pick the side running off-center and adjust accordingly using an adjustable wrench by turning the ¼ clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Make ¼ clockwise to the bolt if the belt is off-center towards the right side of the treadmill. Turn ¼ counterclockwise if you need to adjust the left side.
  • Always adjust the running belt ¼ turn each time to avoid over-tightening, which may damage your treadmill.
  • Power on to check the alignment on the deck surface and repeat this process if the running belt is still misaligned.
  • On most treadmills, only adjust the LEFT side bolt (Determine your left by standing on the rear-facing machine). Never adjust the right side unless necessary, as it's mainly used to fix other problems.

Breaking In Your Treadmill

There is no definitive period when you will completely break into your new unit. When moving your treadmill, storing it, or while in transit being shipped, components such as gears, bearings, and belts might move out of place.

If this happens, your equipment might run with some roughness and even make chafing noises as you power it up for the first time.

However, depending on the noise level, the equipment should run smoothly after using it for a few days. If it doesn't consider all the above processes and make the adjustments required.

Treadmill Safety

  • Treadmills are costly and also heavy. When moving them, be careful and ask for assistance if necessary.
  • Always move your treadmill when in an upright position or folded. When folded, ensure that the lock latch is fastened to avoid injuries.
  • Always plug your treadmill into a grounded outlet.
  • Never power on a treadmill with a damaged cord or plug, even if it works properly.
  • Never power a treadmill that appears damaged or has come in contact with water.


1. How to level a treadmill on an uneven floor?

Placing the treadmill on an uneven floor may cause it to damage prematurely. To avoid this, adjust the rear feet of the treadmill using a level. Make sure the bubble rests at the center of the vial.

2. Why is my treadmill wobbly?

The belt can stretch or contract depending on the humidity and temperature of the unit. A loose thread and a belt running off the center indicate that your treadmill is misaligned, which might make it wobbly.

Before using your treadmill for the first time, always check that the running belt is aligned correctly and that there is no tension on the belt.

3. Should the treadmill be level?

Yes. If the treadmill isn't level, the running belt might drift or slip towards the slanting side. It may cause stress on the belt leading to wear and tear.

4. How do you balance an uneven treadmill?

Calibrate your treadmill according to its model's specifications. Adjust the rear feet ¼ turn clockwise or anticlockwise to compensate for the unevenness.


Treadmill exercises help you be healthier and think better.

You will find many reviews on Nordictrack treadmills as it is among the top running equipment in the market.

The latest treadmill technology includes an iFit Live program that uses Google Maps to mimic the track of a virtual route in real-life.

Always perform regular maintenance checks to avoid damages from a misaligned treadmill belt. By now, you have an idea of how to level a treadmill. Fortunately, it's easy to make manual treadmill belt adjustments at home.

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