July15 , 2024

Building Insane Triceps with Skull Crushers – Laz – Tymoff


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Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a potent exercise for sculpting and strengthening the triceps muscles. This comprehensive guide delves into the benefits, correct form, variations, and safety tips associated with skull crushers, aimed at helping you achieve impressive triceps development.

Understanding Skull Crushers:

Skull crushers are a compound exercise primarily targeting the triceps brachii muscle group. By isolating the triceps, this exercise helps in building strength, endurance, and muscle definition in the upper arms.

Benefits of Skull Crushers:

Triceps Isolation:

    • Skull crushers effectively isolate the triceps, ensuring maximum muscle engagement for growth and strength.


    • They can be performed with various equipment, such as dumbbells, barbells, or an EZ curl bar, making them adaptable to different fitness levels and preferences.

Muscle Engagement:

    • Beyond the triceps, skull crushers also engage the shoulders and chest to stabilize the movement, promoting overall upper body strength.

Improves Bench Press:

    • Strengthening the triceps through skull crushers can enhance your bench press performance by improving lockout strength.

Proper Technique and Form:

Are you looking to build massive, well-defined triceps that make your arms pop? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

As someone with years of experience in strength training, I’ve discovered that one exercise stands out above the rest for targeting and growing your triceps: the skull crusher.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need about skull crushers, why they are so effective, and how to perform them correctly for maximum gains.

What Are Skull Crushers?

Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a powerful isolation exercise that targets the triceps brachii.

This exercise involves lowering a weight from an extended position above your head towards your forehead or just behind your head, then extending your arms back to the starting position.

Despite the intimidating name, when done correctly, skull crushers are safe and incredibly effective for building tricep mass and strength.

Benefits of Skull Crushers:

Targeted Triceps Activation:

Skull crushers specifically isolate the triceps, allowing for maximum muscle activation. This means that your triceps are doing most of the work, leading to better muscle growth and strength development.


Skull crushers can be performed with various equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, and EZ curl bars. This versatility makes them a great addition to any workout routine, whether you’re at the gym or working out at home.

Improved Elbow Stability:

Regularly performing skull crushers can help improve the stability and strength of your elbow joints, reducing the risk of injury during other upper body exercises.

How to Perform Skull Crushers Correctly:

To get the most out of skull crushers and avoid injury, it’s crucial to perform them with proper form. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  • Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Hold your chosen weight (barbell, dumbbells, or EZ curl bar) with an overhand grip.
  • Extend your arms straight up, so the weight is directly above your chest.

Lower the Weight:

  • Keeping your upper arms stationary, bend your elbows to slowly lower the weight towards your forehead or just behind your head.
  • Ensure your elbows stay in, pointing towards the ceiling, to maintain tension on the triceps.

Extend the Arms:

  • Once the weight is close to your head, reverse the movement by extending your elbows, pushing the weight back to the starting position.
  • Focus on using your triceps to lift the weight, rather than your shoulders or chest.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Flaring Elbows: Keep your elbows tucked in to ensure maximum triceps activation.
  • Using Too Much Weight: Start with a manageable weight to maintain control and proper form.
  • Rushing the Movement: Perform each rep slowly and with control to fully engage the triceps.

Variations of Skull Crushers:

Single-Arm Skull Crushers:

Performing skull crushers one arm at a time can help identify and correct muscle imbalances.

Incline Skull Crushers:

Using an incline bench changes the angle of the exercise, providing a new challenge and engaging the triceps differently.

Cable Skull Crushers:

Using a cable machine adds constant tension throughout the movement, which can be beneficial for muscle growth.

Integrating Skull Crushers Into Your Routine:

To see the best results, incorporate skull crushers into your triceps workout 2-3 times per week. Pair them with other compound exercises like bench presses and dips to ensure balanced arm development. Here’s a sample triceps workout:

  1. Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  2. Dips: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  3. Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps


    • Lie flat on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
    • Hold the weight (dumbbells, barbell, or EZ curl bar) with an overhand grip, arms extended directly above your shoulders.


    • Lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows while keeping them stationary and close to your head.
    • Extend your elbows to raise the weight back to the starting position, fully contracting the triceps at the top.
    • Maintain control throughout the movement to prevent injury.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

Incorrect Grip:

    • Using an improper grip can strain the wrists and elbows. Opt for a comfortable overhand grip with thumbs wrapped around the bar.


    • Lowering the weight too far back can stress the elbows and shoulders. Aim to lower the weight towards the forehead without excessive strain.

Lack of Control:

    • Swinging the weight or using momentum reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Focus on controlled movements to maximize muscle engagement.

Variations of Skull Crushers:

Dumbbell Skull Crushers:

    • Perform skull crushers using dumbbells instead of a barbell, allowing for greater range of motion and unilateral arm movement.

Close-Grip Bench Press:

    • Similar to skull crushers, this exercise targets the triceps but incorporates the chest muscles as well.

EZ Bar Skull Crushers:

    • Using an EZ curl bar can provide a more comfortable grip and different hand positions to target the triceps from various angles.

Incorporating Skull Crushers into Your Routine:


    • Include skull crushers in your triceps workout routine 1-2 times per week, allowing adequate rest between sessions for muscle recovery.

Sets and Repetitions:

    • Start with 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, adjusting the weight to ensure proper form and challenging your triceps effectively.

Safety Tips:


    • Prioritize a thorough warm-up to increase blood flow to the muscles and reduce the risk of injury during skull crushers.


    • Gradually increase the weight and intensity of skull crushers as your strength and technique improve, avoiding sudden jumps in resistance.


    • When lifting heavy weights, having a spotter can provide assistance and ensure safety during skull crushers.

Benefits Beyond Muscle Growth:

Strength Gains:

    • Building strong triceps through skull crushers can enhance overall upper body strength and performance in various exercises.

Aesthetic Appeal:

    • Well-developed triceps contribute to a balanced physique, enhancing the appearance of the arms and upper body.


Skull crushers are an effective exercise for anyone looking to build impressive triceps strength and size. By understanding proper technique, variations, and safety considerations, you can incorporate skull crushers into your fitness regimen to achieve remarkable results. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced lifter, mastering skull crushers can elevate your triceps training and contribute to your overall fitness goals. Start incorporating skull crushers into your workouts and witness the transformation of your triceps into powerful and defined muscles. For more information and detailed instructions on skull crushers, visit Laz – Tymoff.