Build Insane Triceps with Skull Crushers


Skull crushers are a powerful exercise targeting the triceps, the muscles at the back of your upper arms. Known for their effectiveness in building muscle mass and strength, skull crushers are a staple in many workout routines. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of how to perform skull crushers, their benefits, and how to incorporate them into your fitness regimen to achieve impressive triceps development.

Understanding Skull Crushers:

  1. What Are Skull Crushers?
    • Definition: Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are an isolation exercise specifically targeting the triceps brachii.
    • Equipment Needed: Typically performed with a barbell, EZ curl bar, or dumbbells.

Muscles Worked:

    • Primary Muscle: Triceps brachii, which includes the long, lateral, and medial heads.
    • Secondary Muscles: Forearms and shoulders to a lesser extent.

Benefits of Skull Crushers:

Triceps Development:

    • Muscle Growth: Skull crushers are highly effective for stimulating muscle hypertrophy in the triceps.
    • Strength Gains: Regularly performing skull crushers can significantly increase triceps strength, improving performance in other pressing movements.
  1. Isolation Exercise:
    • Targeted Training: As an isolation exercise, skull crushers allow you to focus solely on the triceps without engaging other muscle groups significantly.


    • Various Equipment Options: Can be performed with barbells, EZ curl bars, or dumbbells, making them adaptable to different workout settings.
    • Multiple Variations: Several variations exist to keep your workouts dynamic and to hit the triceps from different angles.

How to Perform Skull Crushers:

Setting Up:

    • Equipment Choice: Select a barbell, EZ curl bar, or dumbbells.
    • Bench Position: Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor, ensuring stability and proper form.

Proper Form:

    • Starting Position: Hold the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, arms fully extended above your chest.
    • Lowering the Weight: Slowly lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows, keeping your upper arms stationary.
    • Range of Motion: Lower the weight until your forearms are slightly beyond parallel to the floor, ensuring a full stretch of the triceps.
    • Raising the Weight: Extend your elbows to return the weight to the starting position, focusing on squeezing the triceps.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

    • Elbow Flaring: Keep your elbows close to your head to maximize triceps engagement and avoid shoulder strain.
    • Inadequate Range of Motion: Ensure a full range of motion to fully activate the triceps and maximize the benefits of the exercise.
    • Using Too Much Weight: Start with a manageable weight to maintain proper form and avoid injury.

Variations of Skull Crushers:

The exercise known as “skull crushers” is great for developing the triceps. They work the long head of the triceps, which is responsible for extending the elbow. You will need a bench, barbell, or dumbbell to do a skull crusher.

The procedure for performing skull crushers is as follows:

  1. Your knees should be bent as you lay on a bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Hold the barbell or dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing down.
  3. Slowly lower the weight behind your head until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Pause briefly, then slowly raise the weight back to the starting position.

The Mechanism of Skull Crushers:

The Skull Crusher exercise is one of the best for encouraging triceps hypertrophy and strength development because it primarily isolates and utilizes this muscle group. The triceps experience tension during this exercise’s whole range of motion, which causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers. Your body heals these microscopic wounds as you become more vital and significant, giving you the remarkable size and definition you want.

Developing the Correct Skull Crusher Form:

Mastering the proper form is essential for getting the best results and avoiding injuries. To ensure that you get the most out of this potent workout, we’ll accurately break down the essential processes and strategies involved in performing the Skull Crusher.

The triceps guru is Laz Tymoff:

Meet Laz Tymoff, a renowned personal trainer and fitness expert who is renowned for his skill in building amazing triceps. With a thorough knowledge of human anatomy and years of experience in the fitness sector, Laz has perfected his coaching techniques, assisting people of all fitness levels in achieving their objectives.

Do three sets of 8-12 repetitions:

Here are some tips for doing skull crushers safely and effectively:

  • The entire movement, keep your elbows tight to your sides.
  • Don’t use too much weight.
  • If you feel any pain in your wrists or elbows, stop immediately.

You can also do skull crushers with a cable machine. To do this:

  1. Attach a rope attachment to the low pulley of the cable machine.
  2. Your palms should be facing one another while you hold the rope’s ends in each hand.
  3. Follow the same steps as above.

Skull crushers are a great way to build strong triceps. However, it is essential to remember that there are other exercises you need to do. You should include other exercises like close-grip bench presses and overhead triceps extensions.

Here are some other exercises that you can do to build your triceps:

  • Close-grip bench press
  • Overhead triceps extension
  • Triceps pushdowns
  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Cable triceps extensions

You can build strong and defined triceps by incorporating these exercises into your routine.

Reasons to Use Skull Crushers:

Focusing on the Triceps: 

Skull crushers are a very efficient isolation exercise for developing the triceps because they mainly target those muscles. You may maximize muscle growth and strength by training the triceps in its entirety.

Strengthening the Arms: 

The skull crusher is a complex exercise that simultaneously works for several muscular groups. As a result, it increases overall arm strength by working the shoulder flexors and stabilizers in addition to the triceps.

Improving the definition of muscle:

Strength is necessary, but so is aesthetics while developing amazing triceps. Skull crushers are a great exercise to include regularly in your workout program to assist in building muscle definition and give your arms a more rounded appearance.

The Effective Triceps Training Methods of Laz Tymoff:

Discover Laz Tymoff’s particular workout regimens and training methods that have helped his clients achieve outstanding results. Laz’s method will test your triceps in novel ways, encouraging ongoing growth and development. Examples include advanced forms of the Skull Crusher and innovative-specific workouts.

Preventing Common Errors:

To prevent making these typical mistakes, be aware of them.

Slack grip:

To prevent the weight from unintentionally slipping from your hands and potentially damaging or injuring your head or face, maintain a tight grasp. If this worries you, you should strengthen your grip before doing this exercise.

Putting less weight on your face:

Do not drop the weight towards your face or forehead, and maintain a firm grasp. It should move behind your head instead. (Also, be careful not to smack your head on the back of the dumbbell when you raise it to the beginning position.)

Hand Placement:

Throughout this motion, you can maintain a shoulder-width distance between your hands. This relieves pressure on the elbow joints.. 5. As long as there is no pain or discomfort, how you hold the weight will depend on your anatomy and preferences.

Lifting Sloppily or Too Quickly:

Slowly and carefully should be used to complete this practice. This makes it simpler to maintain constant weight control, which helps to reduce the risk of injury. Use only the body components meant for movement; do not use your hips or momentum to move the weight. The workout will be less effective if you do this.

Too Little Reps and Too Much Weight:

Lower weight and more repetitions should be used for this workout. A lesser weight helps avoid this because it can stress the elbows. You’ll also be able to maintain better form and control with a smaller weight. 

Execution Method:


Lay flat on a bench and hold a barbell or dumbbell with weights. Use an overhand grip somewhat broader than shoulder-width apart to hold the barbell or dumbbells.

Starting Place: 

Keep your elbows locked and your hands pointing front as you fully extend your arms above your head.

First Movement: 

Lower the barbell or dumbbells towards your head while bending your elbows. Keep your upper arms rigid and parallel to the ground the entire exercise. Lower the barbell, so it is slightly above or almost touching your brow.

Managed Extension:

Extend your elbows to return to the beginning position while keeping control once you’ve reached the bottom of the action.


Exhale during the exercise’s concentric (rising) phase and inhale during the eccentric (falling) phase.

Modifications and Variations:

Skull Crusher, EZ-Bar: 

An EZ bar might offer a more comfortable grip and lessen wrist strain than a straight barbell.

Skull-Crushing Dumbbells:

Dumbbells can be used instead of a barbell to increase the range of motion and enable independent arm movement.

Bench Press with a Tight Grip: 

With a wider grip and the same motion as skull crushers, this exercise works the triceps from a different direction.

Skull Crusher on Cable: 

This variation, which uses a cable machine and a rope attachment, maintains tension throughout the movement and enables maximum triceps activation.

Dumbbell Skull Crushers:

    • Stabilization Challenge: Dumbbells require more stabilization, engaging additional muscle fibers.
    • Increased Range of Motion: Allows for a greater range of motion and can help address muscle imbalances.

EZ Curl Bar Skull Crushers:

    • Wrist Comfort: The EZ curl bar’s angled grips can reduce strain on the wrists, making it a preferred choice for many lifters.
    • Enhanced Triceps Activation: The bar’s shape can provide a more natural grip, potentially enhancing triceps activation.

Incline Skull Crushers:

    • Angle Adjustment: Performed on an incline bench to target the triceps differently and reduce shoulder involvement.
    • Variation Benefits: Provides a unique angle to challenge the triceps and prevent workout monotony.

Integrating Skull Crushers into Your Workout:

Frequency and Volume:

    • Training Frequency: Incorporate skull crushers into your workout routine 2-3 times per week, allowing for adequate recovery.
    • Set and Rep Range: Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, adjusting the weight to ensure muscle fatigue by the final rep.

Supersets and Circuits:

    • Supersets: Pair skull crushers with other triceps exercises, such as triceps dips or close-grip bench presses, for an intense superset.
    • Circuit Training: Include skull crushers in a circuit with other upper body exercises to maximize workout efficiency and cardiovascular benefits.

Progression and Variation:

    • Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight or reps over time to continue challenging your triceps and promoting muscle growth.
    • Exercise Variation: Rotate between different skull crusher variations and other triceps exercises to prevent plateaus and maintain workout engagement.

Safety and Precautions:


    • Dynamic Stretching: Perform a thorough warm-up, including dynamic stretching and light cardio, to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout.
    • Warm-Up Sets: Start with lighter weights for a few sets to ensure your triceps are adequately warmed up.

Spotter Assistance:

    • Safety Measures: Use a spotter when lifting heavy weights to ensure safety and provide assistance if needed.

Form Focus:

    • Quality Over Quantity: Prioritize proper form over lifting heavier weights to avoid injury and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
    • Controlled Movements: Perform the exercise with controlled movements, avoiding momentum to ensure constant tension on the triceps.


Skull crushers are a potent exercise for building strong, muscular triceps. By understanding the proper technique, incorporating variations, and integrating them into your workout routine, you can achieve impressive triceps development. Remember to prioritize safety, maintain proper form, and progressively challenge your muscles for the best results. Elevate your triceps training with skull crushers and experience the benefits of this highly effective exercise.

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