Build Insane Triceps by Doing Skull Crushers


Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are one of the most effective exercises for building and strengthening the triceps muscles. This exercise targets the triceps brachii, which comprises three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. Performing skull crushers with proper form and technique can lead to significant gains in triceps size and strength. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about skull crushers, including their benefits, step-by-step execution, variations, and tips for maximizing results.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Triceps:

Long Head:

    • Location: Runs along the back of the arm.
    • Function: Assists in shoulder extension and stabilization.

Lateral Head:

    • Location: Located on the outer side of the arm.
    • Function: Primarily responsible for extending the elbow.

Medial Head:

    • Location: Situated underneath the long and lateral heads.
    • Function: Supports elbow extension and stabilizes the elbow joint.

Benefits of Skull Crushers:

Targeted Triceps Activation:

    • Skull crushers isolate the triceps muscles, ensuring maximum engagement and activation.
    • This isolation helps in developing the triceps more effectively compared to compound exercises.

Improved Arm Strength:

    • Regularly performing skull crushers can significantly enhance the strength of your triceps, contributing to overall arm strength.
    • Strong triceps are essential for various pushing movements, including bench presses and shoulder presses.

Enhanced Muscle Definition:

    • Skull crushers help in building muscle mass, leading to well-defined and sculpted triceps.
    • Enhanced triceps definition improves the overall aesthetics of the arms.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Skull Crushers:


    • Equipment Needed: EZ-bar or dumbbells and a flat bench.
    • Positioning: Lie flat on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold the EZ-bar or dumbbells with an overhand grip, arms fully extended above your chest.

Starting Position:

    • Arm Placement: Ensure your elbows are shoulder-width apart and locked in place.
    • Grip: Maintain a firm grip on the bar or dumbbells.


    • Lowering Phase: Slowly lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows. Keep your upper arms stationary and hinge only at the elbows.
    • Stretch: Lower the weight until your forearms are parallel to the floor or just slightly past it.
    • Lifting Phase: Reverse the movement by extending your elbows and raising the weight back to the starting position. Focus on contracting the triceps during the lift.

Repetitions and Sets:

    • Repetitions: Aim for 8-12 repetitions per set.
    • Sets: Perform 3-4 sets for optimal results.

Variations 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:

    • Perform the exercise using dumbbells instead of an EZ-bar. This allows for a greater range of motion and individual arm isolation.

Incline Skull Crushers:

    • Perform the exercise on an incline bench to target the triceps from a different angle, emphasizing the long head.

Decline Skull Crushers:

    • Perform the exercise on a decline bench to increase the stretch on the triceps and engage the medial head more effectively.

Cable Skull Crushers:

    • Use a cable machine with a straight bar attachment to perform skull crushers. The constant tension from the cable can provide a different stimulus to the triceps.

Tips for Maximizing Results:

Proper Form:

    • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise to prevent injury and ensure maximum muscle activation.
    • Avoid flaring your elbows outward and keep them locked in place.

Controlled Movements:

    • Perform the exercise with slow and controlled movements to maximize muscle tension and engagement.
    • Avoid using momentum to lift the weight.

Progressive Overload:

    • Gradually increase the weight lifted over time to continuously challenge your triceps and promote muscle growth.
    • Track your progress and strive to improve each session.

Rest and Recovery:

    • Allow sufficient rest between sets to ensure optimal performance.
    • Incorporate rest days into your training routine to give your muscles time to recover and grow.

Balanced Training:

    • Include other triceps exercises, such as triceps dips and close-grip bench presses, in your training routine for balanced triceps development.
    • Ensure you are training all three heads of the triceps for overall growth and strength.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

Elbow Flaring:

    • Allowing your elbows to flare out can reduce triceps activation and increase the risk of injury.
    • Keep your elbows locked in place and close to your head throughout the movement.

Using Too Much Weight:

    • Lifting excessively heavy weights can compromise form and increase the risk of injury.
    • Choose a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and control.

Partial Range of Motion:

    • Performing the exercise with a limited range of motion reduces muscle activation and effectiveness.
    • Lower the weight fully until your forearms are parallel to the floor for maximum engagement.

Neglecting Warm-Up:

    • Failing to warm up properly before performing skull crushers can increase the risk of injury.
    • Include a thorough warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for the exercise.

Incorporating Skull Crushers into Your Routine:

Triceps-Focused Workout:

    • Include skull crushers as a primary exercise in your triceps-focused workout routine.
    • Combine them with other triceps exercises for a comprehensive workout.

Push Day Routine:

    • Incorporate skull crushers into your push day routine, along with exercises like bench presses and shoulder presses.
    • This ensures balanced training for your pushing muscles.


    • Perform skull crushers 1-2 times per week, allowing for adequate recovery between sessions.
    • Adjust the frequency based on your training goals and overall workout plan.


Skull crushers are an excellent exercise for building and strengthening the triceps muscles. By understanding the proper technique, incorporating variations, and following the tips provided, you can maximize your triceps development and achieve impressive results. Consistency, progressive overload, and proper form are key to unlocking the full potential of skull crushers in your training routine. Embrace this powerful exercise and watch your triceps grow stronger and more defined.

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