Many people think treadmills are just for working your lower body and improving your cardio endurance. Treadmills may have been designed with these health benefits in mind, but it’s also possible to perform arm exercises while walking on them. If you’re one of the many women who struggle with a little extra flab at the back of your upper arms, grab a dumbbell and do triceps-specific exercises during your treadmill workouts -- some exercises can even be done with the treadmill unplugged. With a healthy diet and a regular workout regimen with triceps-specific exercises, you’ll have shapely arms in no time.
Perform triceps extensions with your treadmill set to a brisk walk speed. Hold your dumbbell in your right hand and start walking to get used to the pace. Start by extending your right arm toward the ceiling and holding your arm close to your head. If necessary, hold onto the front or side hand rail with your left hand to maintain your balance. Keep your upper arm still, bend your right elbow and lower the weight behind your head. Extend your arm, return to the starting position and repeat. Perform one set of 10 to 12 reps and then switch arms.
Do walking triceps kickbacks with your treadmill set to a brisk walk speed. Hold your dumbbell in your right hand and hold onto the front or side rail with your left hand. Begin walking. Bend your right elbow 90 degrees and turn your hand so your palm faces inward. With your arm bent, lead with your elbow and move your arm backward as far as possible -- this is the starting position. While keeping your upper arm stationary, slowly straighten your arm and move the weight back behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat. Perform one set of 10 to 12 reps and then switch arms.
Unplug your treadmill and kneel on the floor six to eight inches from the back of your treadmill. Bend at your waist, lean forward and place your palms on the belt, shoulder-width apart. Start with your hands directly below your shoulders. While keeping your back straight, push with your right hand and then your left to start moving the belt forward. Lift your hands off the belt, return them to the starting position and repeat. Continue pushing the belt forward with your hands for one minute. Rest 30 seconds and repeat. If you need a challenge, lift your knees off the floor into a plank position and perform the exercise. This variation really challenges your core muscles, suggests Jeff Cavaliere, certified strength and conditioning specialist.
Do triceps dips using the side rails and with the treadmill unplugged. Stand backward on your treadmill's belt and grab hold of the support rails. Slide your hands along the rail six inches behind you. Start with a slight bend in your elbows and knees. Shift your weight back onto your heels and slowly lower your butt toward the belt as far as you comfortably can. At the bottom of the movement pause for a count of two and then push with your arms, return to the starting position and repeat 10 to 12 times. Perform two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
- Perform a short warm-up first to get your muscles ready for the exercises. You can warm up by walking on your treadmill for five to 10 minutes or you can jump rope, do jumping jacks or jog around the room.
- Use a dumbbell or other hand weight appropriate to your strength level.
- Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen if you've been sedentary for quite some time or you have any health concerns.