If skull crushers have always seemed...intimidating to you (seriously, that name isn't too enticing), don't be scared. They're actually a great triceps -toning moveand I promise they're not as intimidating as they sound. Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions (a much more chill name), totally deserve a spot in your upper-body or triceps-specific routine.
But you need to do them correctly to really, er, crush this move and reap the benefits.
How To Do Skull Crushers (Lying Triceps Extension)
How to: Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms reaching toward the ceiling at shoulder height. Slowly bend at the elbows to bring the weights to your temples; pause, then, slowly bring the weights back overhead. That's one rep.
Sets/reps for results: I would recommend doing three sets of 10-12 reps.
Skull crushers target your triceps, elbows, and shoulders.
Form tips: Focus on hinging at the elbows, versus the shoulder. Start with the weights straight above your body, then only hinge at the elbows. Keep your triceps steady as you bend and extend, really isolating them. If youre feeling unstable with two separate dumbbells, then start with one dumbbell, and hold it long-ways so that you can a better grip and more stability.
Benefits of Skull Crushers
As mentioned, skull crushers are an amazing exercise to help tone your triceps. That's because it's a similar move to an overhead triceps extension but just lying down instead of standing.
Additionally, due to the position, they hone in on strengthening the stabilizers in your elbows and shoulders . That means better performance for other upper-body moves and a lower risk of injury.
Make Skull Crushers Part Of Your Workout
Lying triceps extension, skull crushers, whatever you want to call themthis exercise makes a great addition to any upper-body workout. I personally prefer to add them to the beginning or end of the workoutbecause they're pretty challenging for your triceps, you either want to do them when you have a lot of extra energy, or as a finisher to burn out your muscles. Try doing three sets of 10-12 reps
Want a full upper-body workout? Check out this quick but effective routine:
I also love to superset this intense triceps move with a biceps exercisemeaning I'll do one set of skull crushers followed immediately by, say, a hammer curlto really maximize the upper-body burn.