How to Store Exercise Equipment

Jon Fesmire |

Having workout gear at home can be convenient and save you money over a long-term gym membership. Also, as we’ve learned from going through the COVID pandemic, spending time around a bunch of people breathing heavily is a good way to spread respiratory illnesses. Exercise at home and that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about.

Still, your exercise equipment is going to cost a fair amount of money. If you ever need to store it, you’ll want to make sure it remains in great shape. Here are some tips.

Buying Exercise Equipment

If you haven’t yet purchased exercise equipment, or you plan to replace some old gear, look for new treadmills, rowing machines, stationary cycles, and more with space-saving in mind. Some machines are foldable. There are also workout machines that you can collapse. They’re easier to set aside at home and take up less space in a storage unit.

Consider Climate Control

Standard storage units can be great for some items, and work well for short-term storage or in areas where the weather doesn’t fluctuate much during the year. If the summers get hot and humid, and the winters cold and dry, where you live, then we strongly recommend renting a climate-controlled unit for your exercise equipment and other belongings. Facilities keep the temperature between about 50 and 80 degrees, and the humidity between 30% and 50% in these units, perfect for most of your stuff.

Specific Items

Here are some specific pieces of exercise equipment, with tips on how to store each.

  • Stability Ball

These large balls have dozens of strength exercises that go along with them, and many swear by them. Every time you finish exercising with one, and this goes for your other equipment, too, wipe it clean. When you plan to put it in storage, wipe it down with warm water with a dash of dish soap, then rinse it off and dry it with a towel, or let it air dry. Once it’s completely dry, you can put it in storage, and cover it with a blanket or sheet. If you plan to store it for more than a month, deflate it and fold it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and store it in a cotton bag.

  • Treadmills & Stationery Cycles

These can take up a lot of space, which is why we recommended finding foldable machines. To store one, unplug it before cleaning it, and do so based on the manufacturer’s instructions. In your climate-controlled unit, cover it with a blanket. Do not put other items on it, as the weight can damage your machine.

  • Weights

Whatever other type of exercise you do, lifting weights is great for building strength and muscle. They come in a variety of materials, including steel, iron, and chrome. Clean your weights with warm water and a few drops of dish soap, then towel or air dry them. In your storage unit, hang them on a weight rack. These are far sturdier than shelves, so your weights shouldn’t harm the rack. Store the heaviest weights on the bottom, with the weights decreasing in weight on each level.

  • Yoga Mats

These are great to exercise on, as they give you a firm yet not too hard surface to exercise on. The thing is, yoga mats absorb sweat and over time will start smelling bad. Clean your mat after each workout with a mat cleaner, which you can find online or at sports supply stores. Before you store yours, clean off any dirt with mild detergent, water, and a soft cloth. Many yoga mats are machine washable, but only in a top-loading washing machine, and on the gentle cycle.

Remember, it’s important to clean your stuff and let it dry thoroughly before you put it in storage. That goes for everything, not just exercise equipment. Do that, and store it in a climate-controlled unit, and your gear will stay in good shape for months or even years.