EZ bar skull crushers are an excellent triceps exercise. Doing skull crushers is an effective way to train the long head of the triceps, which is the largest head.
You can achieve bigger arms, a stronger bench press, and incredible tricep power by performing a skull crusher workout on a regular basis.
You will only get the most benefit from this exercise if you lift with the proper skull crusher form.
How to do skull crushers with the proper form
- Load a moderate amount of weight onto an EZ bar.
- Grab the bar just inside shoulder-width and then lie back on a weight bench.
- Press the bar up so that it’s directly over your face.
- Extend your shoulders back so that the bar is now in line with the end of the bench rather than with your head.
- Lower the bar behind the bench by simultaneously breaking at your elbows and moving your shoulders backward.
- Lower the bar until you feel an intense stretch in the long head of your triceps (your forearms and biceps should make firm contact in the stretched position).
- Reverse the motion by extending your elbows and moving your shoulders forward to their original starting position.
- Repeat for 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps.
What muscles do skull crushers work?
You can build bigger and stronger triceps by doing the skull crusher exercise. While the abdominal muscles help to stabilize the core, they are not being used very much.
The latissimus dorsi muscles are also active during the skullcrusher exercise because it involves extending the shoulders. The long head of the triceps is doing most of the work in this exercise, so the lats are not the main muscle group being worked.
Benefits of skull crushers
The benefits you can enjoy from performing skull crushers on a regular basis are increased tricep development, improved joint health, and increased strength.
Bigger upper arms
This text is saying that the triceps make up a large portion of your upper arm size. If you want to gain more mass, you should focus more on training your triceps than your biceps.
However, you cannot simply do any tricep exercise and anticipate getting great results.
The EZ bar skull crusher is the ultimate tricep builder precisely because it emphasizes the long head of the tricep muscle.
The long head is the biggest tricep head and the one you need to be most careful with when training because it is responsible for both elbow extension and shoulder extension.
To bulk up your arms, you should allow plenty of shoulder movement during the EZ-bar skull crusher to stretch the long head.
No other tricep exercise allows you to lift as much weight as the EZ curl skull crusher. This means that easy bar skull crushers are a great way to increase your strength while also adding lean muscle tissue to your arms.
The fact that this increased strength is the result of an isolation exercise means that it will be very effective for all of your other tricep exercises, such as pushdowns and overhead extensions.
Ensure that you do lying skull crushers before any other tricep movements so that you can benefit from their high-loading capacity.
Powerful press lockout
The triceps are very active during the bench press and the overhead press, especially when your elbows are fully extended.
If you’re looking to improve your lockout strength, the EZ bar skull crusher is an excellent movement to train all three tricep heads.
Even though you might not care about how muscular your arms look, you should still do skull crushers as part of your workout routine. This is because they can help you to set new personal records by forcefully locking out your elbows at the top of a bench press.
Skull crusher variations
There are more than 20 other variations of the tricep skull crusher that you can perform, in addition to the EZ-curl skull crusher that you’re already familiar with.
Dumbbell skull crusher
If you want to sculpt symmetrical triceps, you should consider performing the dumbbell skull crusher. It is the second most popular type of skull crusher/nose breaker exercise.
Although you can’t lift as much weight with two dumbbells as you can with a single EZ barbell, the former exercise is better for preventing upper arm size asymmetries, because you have to lift each weight independently.
The version with dumbbells is also easier to set up because you don’t need to spend time or energy loading any weights onto a bar.
One downside to dumbbells is that you can’t micro load them as easily as you can a barbell by adding small or fractional plates to each side. If you only use dumbbells for your skull crusher exercise, you will not be able to gain strength as quickly.
How to Do the Dumbbell Skull Crusher
You need a pair of dumbbells to do the dumbbell skull crusher. You perform this exercise on a training bench or on the floor Using a bench helps to increase the movement’s range of motion, so that’s the version this guide will discuss.
Step 1 — Get Into Position
Grab a pair of dumbbells, one in each hand. Lie down on your back on a bench. raise the weights above your head so that they are closer to your face than your shoulders.
The tip from the coach is to start with your arms slightly back, which creates tension on your triceps even when your arms are in the top position.
Step 2 — Lower the Weights
Keep your elbows close to your sides and bend them to lower your dumbbells to the sides of your face or to the outer edges of your forehead. The only joint that should move is your elbows. Lower the weights as low as you can go. The greater the angle you create at the bottom of the movement, the greater the stretch you give your triceps.
When you bend your elbows, make sure to keep them back. Do not let them move any closer to your chest.
Step 3 — Extend the Weights Upwards
Extend your elbows. Push your hands upwards to the start position. Do not allow your elbows to drop to your sides, as this will cause the movement to turn into a chest press.
Do not bring the dumbbells above your shoulders when you are working out. Keep your elbows extended and your hands over your face. This will ensure that your triceps are always under tension.
Dumbbell Skull Crusher Sets and Reps
The triceps are indirectly trained with heavy loads. If you want your skull crushers workout to have a specific purpose, you need to be careful about how much weight you’re using and how many repetitions you’re doing.
To Build Strength
If you want to build strength with the dumbbell skull crusher, you can do so by training with heavier weights in the five to 10 rep range for three to six sets.
You should always be careful when you are doing strength training for a single joint movement because you do not want to overload the muscles surrounding the joint. If you overload the muscles, it could damage the tendons, ligaments, and joints. When done correctly, heavy reps at controlled speeds can help to build strength and mass in the triceps extension.
To Build Muscle
To build muscle with the dumbbell skull crusher, train in the eight to 15 rep range for three to six sets. Use weights that are not too heavy or too light, and try to end your sets before you reach failure.
If you are already doing a lot of heavy lifting, you can try reducing the weight and doing more reps to build both muscle and endurance.
Dumbbell Skull Crusher Variations
If you want to change up your routine, try changing your exercise angles or using different equipment. This can help you target different muscle groups and achieve even more benefits from your workouts. You can improve your triceps training by varying your dumbbell skull crushers.
Incline Bench Dumbbell Skull Crushers
The incline bench dumbbell skull crusher is performed on an incline bench rather than a flat bench.
The incline increases your range of motion. This exercise will help you build muscle because it puts extra tension on your triceps and makes them stretch more.
Dumbbell Floor Skull Crushers
To do the dumbbell skull crusher without a bench, lie on the floor. You can become stronger by doing partial range of motion moves even though they don’t usually involve increased muscle mass.
Reducing the amount your joints move can help you lift heavier weights and improve your control at the bottom of the exercise. If you don’t like skull crushers, the smaller range of motion may help you.
If you want to make this move more user-friendly, you can try using one dumbbell. holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Doing this will turn it into a small barbell with a grip that is in between. This will make it so your elbows are closer to your body.
Dumbbell Skull Crushers with Bands
You then lie down on your back on the floor, keeping both your legs and your glutes straight, up nice and tall, and off the ground. To do the dumbbell skull crusher with resistance bands, you hold one end of the band in each hand and lie on your back on the floor with your legs and glutes straight, up nice and tall, and off the ground. Then you’ll grasp the dumbbell handles.
The band should be positioned in the middle so that when your hands are extended upwards, the band is under tension. This adjustment will add accommodating resistance to the move.
The band will make the top of the movement more difficult, whereas it would be easier without the band. The tension in your triceps will stay the same during the whole rep instead of getting bigger at the bottom and then getting smaller at the top. If you add extra resistance throughout your range of motion, you will be able to spend more time under tension, which will lead to more muscle growth.
Barbell skull crusher
The benefits of using a barbell for skull crushers include the ability to load more weight, the ability to progressively overload, and the ability to emphasize the long head. However, using a barbell also puts more pressure on your wrists.
If you’re a beginner at skull crushers, the awkward wrist position won’t be a big deal because you won’t be lifting heavy weights that would cause any pain. However, as you gain strength, using a straight bar will put more and more pressure on your wrists, which will not only be painful but also make it harder to focus on training your triceps.
You will be better off continuing to use the curl bar if you want to keep your wrists healthy.
Incline skull crusher
The incline skull crusher is a combination of the flat bench skull crusher and the overhead extension, using the best aspects of each exercise to create a powerful muscle-building movement.
The angle of the incline is not necessarily better than the flat position, but it does force you to lower the bar behind your head to get a full range of motion. This is ideal for recruiting the long-head muscle.
The downside of the incline version is that if you train to complete failure, you might not be able to finish your set. If you don’t lower the weight slowly, you might hurt other people who are working out nearby.
You should perform this exercise on a sturdy, commercial-grade adjustable bench so that it doesn’t tip back due to the weight of the bar and your upper body.
What are skull crushers?
Skull crushers, often called nose breakers exercises, are triceps isolation exercises that are commonly performed by athletes and strength trainees to increase the size and strength of their triceps brachii muscles on the back of their upper arms.
Skull crushers can be done with a wide variety of training implements, such as Olympic barbells and dumbbells.
This exercise is called the “Behind the Neck Press” because many bodybuilders mistakenly lower the bar in front of their faces instead of behind their heads. If you descend with the bar too quickly or drop the bar, you could crush your head.
The reason it is recommended to lower the weight slowly and behind your head rather than to your forehead is because there is a potential danger it could fall on your forehead.
There is no definitive answer to this question as the best bar to use for skull crushers will depend on individual preferences and factors such as the type of weightlifting equipment available. However, many weightlifters tend to prefer using an EZ bar for skull crushers as it is thought to be more comfortable on the wrists and forearms than a straight bar.
The most effective bar for skull crushers is the EZ bar, not the straight bar. The EZ bar is more comfortable to use than a straight bar because it allows you to use a semi-pronated grip instead of a fully pronated grip.
The triceps bar is also a good bar to use for the skull crusher exercise. The grips on this bar are perfect for skull crushers because they help keep your elbows straight instead of flared.
It is more common for gyms to have EZ bars rather than triceps bars, so that is usually the one that is recommended. If you change fitness facilities and the new one does not have a triceps bar, you will not have to give up your progress if you use an EZ bar. These bars are much more common.