Skull crushing, also known as the French extension, French presse, or the lying Triceps Extension, is an exercise that isolates the triceps muscle groups. Skull crushers: Although the movement puts your skull in a precarious place, it isolates your triceps if you do it correctly and with the right load.
You can get your arms pumping with regular biceps curls but you must also focus on your triceps. They require more exercise.
The Skull Crusher can be a great way to increase mass and define the back of your arms. This move is great to incorporate into upper-body exercises as it targets the triceps, and tones the arms. It can also improve shoulder stability.
Let’s dive deeper into skull crushers. We will discuss their benefits, how they work, what they look like, and a step by step guide.
How to Do Skull Crushers
What you’ll need
These tools are required to perform skull crushing:
* Dumbbells – This will add weight to your body, but you can also use your barbell or bodyweight.
* Flat bench – The exercise can also be done on the ground.
Step 1. Step 1.
Place your face up on a flat bench to prepare. You must place your entire body on the bench, including your lower legs. Your knees must be bent and your feet should be flat on the floor. You should also extend your arms beyond your chest, keeping your elbows straight and your elbows outward. You should have one dumbbell in each hand at a weight that is comfortable for you.
Step 2. Step 2.
As you lower the dumbbell to the top of the head, bend your elbows. Your upper arms should be parallel to your body. This will ensure that you keep tension in your triceps and not shift weight onto your shoulders.
Step 3. Step 3.
Keep lowering the dumbbell’s mass behind your head. Your dumbbell’s bottom should be parallel to the top of the bench. The dumbbell head may be adjusted to make the weight feel lighter. This should be held for approximately one to two seconds.
Step 4. Step 4.
You can reverse this movement until you reach the dumbbell weight at your chest. To maintain tension in your triceps muscles, avoid locking your elbows. Continue the exercise.
Skull Crushers Benefits
Increase your Bress Strength
2020 study showed that bench press strength was improved by performing targeted triceps exercises. Skull crushers can help you do that. Skull crushers are a great exercise for your anterior deltoids, pectorals, and triceps. You push the weight up and control it while slowly lowering your arms.
Get your triceps activated
Lying triceps extension is a great exercise to activate the medial head of the triceps. This is in contrast to standing triceps extension and exercises where your upper arms are at your side. Additionally, lying triceps extension can increase triceps mass, which is an important benefit for bodybuilders.
Alternative to Overhead Training Exercises
If overhead training is not an option, skull crushers can be used as a substitute. You can adjust the angle of your forearm rotation to make it easier on your wrists, which may reduce stress. You can make this more challenging by doing both sides at once while still maintaining core stability.
Our elbows can be straightened and extended by the triceps. It is commonly used in throwing activities such as football and baseball. To improve overhead throwing, people can use lying triceps extension to increase force production.
You can do more everyday tasks and play certain sports if you have stronger triceps. This exercise can be integrated into your workout to make it easier to throw a ball or football, push heavy shopping carts, and open heavy doors. Skull crushing is a popular exercise because it doesn’t place too much pressure on your wrists.
Perform Better in Lift Competitions
Because the triceps is the largest muscle in our arms, it’s important to exercise to build muscles. These muscles are responsible for overhead stability and elbow extension, which is important in competitions’ snatch or jerk sections. You can increase your tricep strength and muscle mass by doing single-joint exercises to improve your tricep training.
Avoid Common Mistakes When Using Skull Crushers
There are some common mistakes that you should avoid in order to learn the correct form of lying triceps extensions.
* Flailing Elbows. Throughout the exercise, your elbows should be kept close to your body and in the same place. Too many lifters allow their elbows to move to the sides or up.
* Don’t go too fast. You should perform the skull crusher carefully and slowly, just like other tricep exercises. This will allow you to control your weight and prevent injury. Hypertrophy can also help you build stronger triceps, bigger arms, and more muscle. You shouldn’t push your muscles too fast.
* Using Heavier Weights. It’s fine to gain more weight, but it shouldn’t be a burden. You can start with a lighter weight, or the bodyweight variant. Keep in mind that skull crushers can put a lot of strain on your wrists, elbows, and wrists. Don’t try to make them worse by lifting too much weight too soon. For stronger triceps that can handle heavier weight, increase your strength and muscle mass.
* Use a loose grip. You must ensure that you have a firm grip to prevent dumbbells from sliding off your hands or causing injury to your head. It’s important to improve your grip strength before you attempt the skull crusher if you don’t feel confident.
* Do not lower the weight. You must not let the dumbbell drop towards your forehead or face. The dumbbell must be positioned behind your head. As you lift the weight back to the starting position, be careful not to hit your head.
Poor hand position. As you do the skull crusher, reduce stress on your elbow joints by keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. This will prevent injury and elbow pain.
Skull Crushers Muscles
* Triceps is the muscle found on the back side of our upper arm. It is a muscle that has three heads. The long head extends above the shoulder and joins with the scapula. These are called the shoulder blades. Skull crushers can isolate the triceps through deep elbow flexion, which stabilizes the wrists as well as the shoulder joints.
* Medial andlateral heads: These are part the triceps. They originate at our backs. They end at the bony tip of our elbows.
* Shoulder stabilizers are muscles that stabilize your shoulder joints while you do the exercise. Rear deltoids and the scapular stabilizers work hard to maintain a stable position in your shoulder sockets.
* Core muscles: Your core will stabilize your body and prevent your back arching.
Skull Crushers vs. Overhead Tricep Extensions
Although skull crushers are very similar to overhead tricep extension, there are key differences. To perform skull crushers, you would lie on your back on a platform and lift a dumbbell above your head.
The overhead tricep extension, on the other hand is a standing exercise. Skull crushers activate all three heads, while overhead extensions concentrate on the long head of the triceps.
The Trainer’s Recommended Set and Programs
To build muscle mass
Skull crushers can be a great exercise for bodybuilders looking to bulk up their arm muscles. If you are looking to increase your arm muscle mass, especially in the three-headed area, skull crushers can be incorporated into your workout. This is a great exercise to add tone to your upper body, or to heal from an injury to your arm. For muscle building, do 4 to 6 sets with 8 to 12 repetitions and a moderate load. Rest for 1-2 minutes between each set.
For strength training
For skull crushers to be incorporated into your strength training program, you should do 4 to 6 sets with 4 to 8 repetitions each. Rest for 2-3 minutes between each set. This will require you to lift heavier weights and have a longer rest period. This will overload your triceps and engage the central nervous system, allowing you to lift heavier weights in a shorter time.
For better muscle endurance
You can build muscle endurance by performing 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Between sets, you should rest for a few seconds. You can use a lighter load if your muscles can handle the repetitions. Lifters may want to increase their muscle endurance in sports so you will need to do more repetitions and have shorter rest periods.
These are some variations that you can try if you have difficulty with skull crushers:
Barbell Triceps Extension
This exercise is similar to skull crushers except that you will use barbells (regular and EZ curl bars) instead of dumbbells. This is useful if you need to add more weight to your skull crusher. You can start with a low weight and work on your form. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase your weight.
Resistance Band Skull Crusher
The resistance band skull crusher provides better resistance in the beginning and end phases, especially when your elbows are extended. You will be using a resistance band instead of dumbbells. This can make it difficult to maintain sufficient resistance while you do the exercise. The resistance band skull crush can be done on a bench or on the ground.
Bodyweight Skull Crushers
This exercise can be used if you don’t have the equipment or are unsure how to get started. Place your hands on the ground and place your arms in a plank. As you push your body off of the ground, contract your triceps. Return to the plank position and then do the same exercise again.
Skull Crushers for Assisted Bodyweight
You can also drop to your knees if bodyweight skull crushings prove too difficult (for now). Assistive setup reduces instability in your lower body and decreases the weight you push to the floor. This can be modified by jumping off the ground when you reach the top of each rep. This will increase your strength and allow you to move to the bodyweight skull crush.
One-Arm Skull Crusher
You can use the skull crusher to train your arms with just one dumbbell. This exercise can correct any arm muscle imbalances. You can do the skull crusher position, but this time you will only be holding the dumbbell with one hand. For stability and strength, ensure your core is engaged.
Skull Crusher Alternatives
There are many exercises that can be done to strengthen your upper body, including triceps training. These are our top recommendations for upper arm training.
Alternating Triceps Pushdown
This is a great isolation exercise for your triceps. When you reach the bottom of the rep, use the pulley cable machine to keep your elbows down.
Overhead Triceps Extension
This exercise will increase the strength of your long head and triceps. Pull your rope upwards and contract your triceps by pulling it apart.
Close Grip Bench Presses
This bench press variation will work your triceps harder than a regular bench press. To achieve a close grip bench press, narrow the grip width of your barbell and tuck your elbows into your sides. As you press upwards, lower the weight of your barbell to your chest.
Bench Rolling Triceps Extension
The bench rolling triceps extensions is a multijoint movement that allows you to extend your triceps back and beyond your head. This will allow you to extend your triceps long head. Ensure your elbows are at the sides and in your head while you do the exercise.
Tricep dips can be great for building muscle mass. They work the triceps and chest. This exercise can be done with a dipping strap for extra weight or with your own weight.
Take a bow
Do not let the name skull crushers scare your! You can safely perform skull crushers if you know how to properly use good mechanics and are able to correctly do them. Skull crushers are able to isolate the triceps. This is a crucial muscle that you need to strengthen, define your arm muscles, and increase muscle mass for daily activities.
There are many ways to start your journey towards mastering the skull crusher or lifting heavier weights. This will allow you to incorporate the exercise into your workouts more easily. This is a great exercise to add to your workout routine, whether you are an experienced trainer, a newbie, or if you are a seasoned professional.
Most Frequently Asked Questions