How you can do Cranium Crushers, the Triceps Energy Transfer

The skull crusher is an essential tricep exercise that will do wonders for your entire arm and more. Here's how to do it with the right shape.

Skull crushers are sometimes dismissed as just a bodybuilding exercise to sculpt massive triceps and jazz up a t-shirt - not that there's anything wrong with that. But the three-headed triceps brachii muscle, the main beneficiary of the skull crusher, plays a crucial role in sports and the movements of daily living, working with the lats to bring the arm towards the body and a large role in extension of the muscle plays elbow joint.

Skull Crusher Perks

Skull crushers are a mainstay of tricep training but are underestimated for their value in building coordination between the upper back and triceps. The triceps are more than just a flashy beach muscle. Try to get through your day without the tris. They won't be able to sign your name, raise a glass, or wash your hair. As for the sport, Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn't launch a jumper or dunk a basketball without his massive tris anchoring the ball. r could Caeleb Dressel glide through the water with a powerful butterfly or freestyle stroke without long, slender tris to support his 6-foot-4-inch wingspan.

What muscles work in Skull Crushers?

Skull crushers are one of the best exercises to build strength and size in your triceps, and also work the stabilizing muscles of your shoulders. During the movement, the tris work with the pecs and anterior deltoids to push the weight up and control it during the descent phase.

Dustin Snipes

How to make Skull Crusher

  1. Lie on a bench with a straight barbell or EZ bar on your lap. Place hands on the bar, shoulder-width apart, palms down and wrists straight.
  2. Raise the bar above your collarbone.
  3. While keeping your shoulders stable, slowly bend at the elbows and bring the weight down just past your head. Keep your elbows straight as you lower the weight. Keep counting to two.
  4. Straighten your elbows and slide the weight back to the starting position overhead. Be sure to keep your arms perpendicular to your body and only straighten your elbows.
  5. pro tip: Keep your elbows inside. Stretching them outward takes the pressure off the triceps. If you swing your arms back and forth, you're putting equal strain on your shoulders, which destroys muscle and strength development for the triceps and can lead to injury.

Related: Best well-rounded workout routines for men

How to add a Skull Crusher to a workout

A versatile move when it comes to organizing your workout, the Skull Crusher is a fundamental exercise in a triceps-focused routine. As an upper body push, it fits in well between upper body pull exercises or lower body movements. Since it's possible to get heavier with skull crushers — as opposed to bodyweight tricep exercises like bench dips or diamond pushups — it makes sense to have skull crushers later in a tricep workout.

The best Skull Crusher variations

Skull crushers offer so many variations that some consider the exercise to be a series of moves rather than just one. As with any movement, start with a light weight to master the movement, then increase the weight accordingly.

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How to make Skull Crushers easier

A lighter weight (or just the bar) is recommended for beginners or even novice skull crushers to master the form before adding weight. A prone cable skull breaker may or may not be easier, but dealing with cable drag instead of iron at least eliminates the slim possibility of hitting your face or head. The cable forces you to maintain tension in the cables, activating your triceps throughout the movement.

Also see: How to do a Dumbbell Jumper, the upper body exercise to master them all

Jacob Michelfelder

How to make skull crusher harder

The most popular variant - with dumbbells - seems to be handier than its barbell counterpart. But actually, it's more of a challenge to keep your elbows in and avoid relieving the triceps and shifting them to the shoulders. Skull Crushers performed on a slightly inclined bench add difficulty. With the incline, you increase the stretch in the triceps, targeting the muscle from different angles.

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