It is a bit of a bad joke to name an exercise a “skull crusher” don’t you think? Although you could technically crush your skull…do we really need to think about that when we are shakily holding dumbbells above our head? Preferably not, but don’t stay away because of the name.
The skull crushers are a slang name term for a lying tricep extension which is a great way to engage the muscles in the back of your upper arm. Working your triceps is a key muscle to all around toned arms so a skull crusher is amongst one of the best arm exercises.
Primary Muscles Engaged:
Back to Basics Boot Camp Tip: Skull crushers can do a number on your elbows. Keep the move elbow-friendly by lowering the weights slightly over your head and keep your triceps tight to avoid strain. Once your arms are flexed at about 90 degrees, slowly raise them back up.
Before you go off crushing skulls, perfect your form with this video from Monkey See:
If you are bored of the basic skull crushers or ready to move to the next level then try some of these.
- Rather than focusing on one arm at a time, try doing both dumbbells at once.
- Turn your palms facing away from your body rather than facing them towards each other and preform the exercise like you normally would.
- Shorten your range of motion by doing a partial skull crusher. You will train a different angle and you will gain more strength.
- You can do a skull crusher sans dumbbells by using a cable. A cable offers constant tension and you can play with the amount of weight.
- Grab a kettle ball instead of dumbbells.
- Preform the skull crusher on a ball instead of a bench to encourage leg and back strength.
Are skull crushers a part of your fitness routine? What tips do you have to properly preform the skull crusher?
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