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Skull Crushers

No, Barbell Curl is not enough to explore the volume of your arms. The secret to getting big arms is to club the backside: the triceps! These constitute the largest percentage of the volume of the arms, at least more than half.

Considered the kingly movement of the triceps, Skull Crushers forearm extensions have stolen the limelight over time through weight training for the pulley triceps. Too bad, because this more than effective exercise has proven to be the best exercise for the mass and strength of the triceps. So do not limit the development of your triceps, do not let go of your pulleys a little.

The Skull Crushers can be executed lying on the ground or on a bench in a horizontal position, slightly inclined or declined. It’s up to you to see which variant is the most profitable for you.

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So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:

How To Make Skull Crushers

1- Starting position

  • Grasp the EZ bar, hands overhand (palms down), with a tight grip (at the interior handles).
  • Lie on your back, placing your head close to the top of the bench. In the absence of a bench, this exercise can be carried out on the ground.
  • Press the lower back against the bench, feet flat on the ground (you can also place them on the bench, legs bent, to avoid arching the back, but you then lose stability).
  • Extend your arms in front of you and bring the bar above your head, so that the arms are perpendicular to the ground.
  • Keep your elbows inward during the entire exercise.

You are in the starting position for the bar at the front.

2- Execution Of The Movement

Lower the bar

  • Slowly lower the bar backward by bending your elbows to describe a quarter of an arc.
  • Control the descent by contracting the triceps. The upper arms must remain perpendicular to the ground, only the forearms must move.
  • Continue until the bar touches the forehead or the back of the head, arms bent (forearm above the head and upper arms still vertical).

Raise the bar

  • Raise the bar to the starting position, reversing the movement.
  • Contract the triceps to bring the forearms horizontal, until the arms are again fully perpendicular to the floor.
  • Once in the high position wait for a second for better contraction.

Repeat the movement until the end of your series.

Targeted Muscles

  • Main: Triceps

Depending on where the bar is lowered, more or less in front of the forehead, the work of the triceps will be slightly different.

If you descend behind the front, the work of the long portion will be accentuated at the expense of the large ones. But if you go further down the front, then the vast ones will do most of the work.

In addition, the pectoral muscles can participate in the movement if you widen your elbows a lot, as well as your back if you really go down behind the forehead.

Either way, the triceps will always be the most worked muscles in this movement.

Security / Advice

Warm up!

One of the most common mistakes is to do this exercise without warming up. Indeed, in view of the loads used, the elbows will be put to the test during the bar movement at the forehead. It is therefore important to warm up for a long time before performing an exercise for the triceps and in particular the Skull Crushers.

In practice, you can perform the vacuum bar movement and then gradually increase the loads, starting with long series. Without this preliminary warm-up, tendonitis of the brachial triceps is to be expected after a few sessions.

Control the descent of the bar

Given the loads used during the Skull Crushers exercise, it is essential to properly control the descent of the bar. Although this is quite rare, too fast and uncontrolled bending of the elbows could cause a bar to strike your forehead or face, which could be dramatic depending on the load used.

Also, make sure to grip the bar with your palms up, this will make it easier for you to stop the bar from lowering. Taking the palms towards you could be particularly dangerous.

Risks And Mistakes To Avoid

  • Be careful not to bump your head when going down! The Skull Crushers, control your movement.
  • Catch the bar overhand and not overhand: the palms of the hands should be facing forward and never face the face (if the bar slipped it would hit the face or forehead).
  • Keep your elbows and upper arms still during the exercise: the distance between the arms should not vary.
  • Keep the elbows inward at all times: beware of the natural tendency to direct them outward during the descent.
  • Warm-up before this exercise, especially if you are using heavy loads.


  • Inhale while lowering the bar.
  • Exhale while going up.

For better stability, block your breathing during exercise, exhale at the end of the climb.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:


You can lower the bar behind your head or on your forehead. In the first case, this will bring work on the long portion of the triceps and in the other case, on the vast internal and external of the triceps.

It is possible to do this strength training exercise with one or two dumbbells. But it will be more difficult because it will be necessary to maintain the balance and above all to prevent the elbows from going outwards.

If you work in the gym, you can do this exercise on a bench with a straight bar or EZ, the dumbbells, or even the low pulley. Many variations are possible.

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