Have you ever done skull crushers before?

No, skull crushers are not something dangerous. This is a kind of exercise movement that people always use to train their arm muscles, especially the upper. The skull crushers often include other exercises inside the routines, like overhead presses, pushing exercises, and bench pressing.

Not only arms but people also skull crushing to train their upper body muscles, including shoulders. So, if you wish to gain much better upper body strength, this exercise is what you need.


Why Do People Do Skull Crushers?

People train their triceps for many reasons, but one of the most common ones is because of aesthetics. Surely, everyone would love to see their arms be shaped and look better. The fatty arms wouldn’t look as better as the muscular ones, and that’s the main reason why most men are willing to do this kind of exercise.


The main reason why you need to do skullcrushers workout is because of how effective it is. When thinking about arm muscles training, we can’t sim, ply neglect the triceps. There are some ways you can do to achieve better triceps, such as doing dumbbell exercises, or you can combine them with these exercises by doing the skull crushers dumbbells. It’s also doable and even much more effective.


You can also do this exercise while lying on a bench, which is great for beginners who also want o make their triceps stronger. By doing so, your back will always be supported so it doesn’t feel tired easily.


But, before learning more about the skull crushers with dumbbells exercise, have you ever wondered about what’s the meaning of the exercise’s name?


The name comes from the certain position that you’ll be doing. The movement will be dominated by up and down movements that will be put right above your face. Hence, it’s the “skull-crusher”, although not literally.


Although the name does sound quite dangerous and alarming, it’s really not. The movements are safe to try, even if you consider yourself a beginner. So, here’s how to do skull crusher with dumbbells properly:


How to Do Skull Crushers Correctly

Before doing the skull crushers with EZ bar, or the original skull-crusher exercises, please make some notes here. Carefully follow each step provided, and never push yourself too hard. Focus on your shoulder muscles and wrists, and make sure that you’re in a comfortable position when doing the exercises.


In order to do the skull crushers EZ bar correctly, follow the steps below : 

1 - Align The Muscles


Before start doing any movements, make sure to be in the most comfortable position. Adjust your wrists so they can have a strong grip over the weights. You can start the skull crushers form from the lying down position on your back. Make sure that your back is resting comfortably on a sturdy bench you usually use for working out.


The weights, or in this case, the barbells, should be on the top position, held by your hands. The hands need to be shoulder-width apart. And as for the grip, make sure that it’s tight, and comfortable so that you can do the skull crushers with barbell more easily. If you can, squeeze the back of your shoulders back together.

2 - Start Lowering and Lifting The Dumbells

The next step in the skull crushers workout is by lowering down the dumbbells. Start lowering one of them carefully until it reaches above your forehead. Make sure to make a distance between the dumbbell and your forehead’s surface (to avoid your head getting crushed, of course)


then, lift the dumbbell again, and do it with the other one. No need to rush things out when doing the skull crushers tricep workouts. Stay focused on the weights, and do the reps carefully by adjusting your breath. Inhale, and exhale at the proper time.

3 - Do Another Rep

After that, start doing another rep by doing the same thing over and over again. Usually, people would do the skull crushers for triceps exercises for 5 minutes. As a beginner, try doing it for as long as you can. Remember, your safety is more important than your pride.


For now, you might be asking about skull crushers work what muscles, but we’ll answer that later on. Aside from the regular skull-crusher exercises, there’s also the lying tricep extension which we already explained above.


However, you can also adjust the angle of the bench so it can reach about 45 degrees. You can also do the exercises and even get better results as it heavily works on your triceps a lot harder. Do what you think is the best for you.


And for those asking about what do skull crushers work, here’s the answer:

What Muscles Worked with Skull Crushers

So, what does skull crushers work?

As we’ve explained before, the exercise will work on your triceps. And as the name implies, the triceps consist of three muscles that form a muscle structure responsible for delivering upper body strength. Not only that, but when the triceps are formed, they’ll look great.

If the skull crushers muscles worked, then your arms may gain some huge benefits from it, for example, better elbow extension. By doing things like skull crushers skullcandy, push-ups, or bench presses, you can feel that your shoulders are joints are more stabilized and firmer than before.

With a more stabilized back and shoulder, your body posture can also be better. You will stand taller and be more confident than before. Thus, doing the skull crushers standing is definitely recommendable since the exercise may offer you lots of benefits that you can feel in everyday life.

It’s an easy exercise as well as you don’t need to have many tools. You can even do the skull crushers on floor if you don’t have a sports bench. But make sure that the floor is covered with a mat, or yoga mat to make the workout exercise more comfortable. Or, maybe you can do the skull crushers cable, for a variation.    

But if you think that somehow skull crushers are too overwhelming, there’s a skull crushers alternative that you can try. See below:

What Are the Benefits of Doing Skull Crushers?

Some of the benefits of doing skull crushers include:

  • Improved triceps strength and definition: The triceps muscles are responsible for extending the elbow and are involved in many upper body movements. By targeting these muscles with skull crushers, you can help increase their strength and definition.

  • Increased overall upper body strength: Skull crushers can help improve your overall upper body strength, as the triceps muscles play a key role in many upper body exercises.

  • Enhanced muscle endurance: By performing skull crushers with high repetitions, you can help improve your muscle endurance and improve your ability to perform other exercises for longer periods of time.

  • Increased metabolism: Strength training exercises like skull crushers can help increase your metabolism, which can aid in weight loss and overall health.

The Skull Crushers Alternatives

Yes, there are some skull crusher alternatives you can try if you’re bored of doing the same thing over and over again. You can start looking for alternatives if you don’t have the proper equipment, have certain elbow issues, or that you simply dislike the skull-crusher movements.


Some exercises work as well as skull-crushers when it comes to triceps building. Here are some of the best alternatives to skull crush workout:

Bench Press

The first one on the list is what we usually call bench presses. This exercise only requires you to have a dumbbell. Bench presses usually target the chest muscles and triceps, which is great if you want to have stronger upper body strength.


Like dumbbell skull crushers, when doing the bench press, you can feel the tight movement in your triceps, which is a good sign of muscle development when doing these exercises. You can also make some variations with it, like doing it with a regular or close grip.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do the bench press : 

  1. Set up the equipment: Place a flat bench in a rack and load the appropriate weight onto the barbell. If you are using dumbbells, select a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level and hold one in each hand.
  2. Position yourself on the bench: Lie on your back on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and your head and shoulders supported by the bench. If you are using a barbell, grip the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down) that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. If you are using dumbbells, extend your arms straight up towards the ceiling, with your palms facing each other.
  3. Lower the weight: Slowly lower the weight down towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Allow your chest muscles to fully stretch as you lower the weight.
  4. Extend the weight: Once you have reached the lowest point, slowly extend the weight back up towards the ceiling, using your chest and triceps muscles to push the weight up. Keep your upper arms stationary and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.

Triceps Dip


What are skull crushers good for? Building triceps. There’s also one exercise that heavily focuses on these muscles: dip. Above, we’ve already explained one or two about what muscles do skull crushers work.

But as an alternative, the dip may offer you the same thing. This exercise will focus on your upper body muscles’ three most important parts: shoulders, chest, and triceps. Do it with a dipping belt to make the exercise more effective by putting more tension.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do dumbbell triceps dips:

  1. Set up the equipment: Place a pair of dumbbells on a flat bench or use a sturdy chair that is able to support your weight.
  2. Position yourself: Stand facing the bench or chair and place your hands on the edge of the bench or on the arms of the chair, with your fingers facing towards your body. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and your body should be straight, with your arms extended.
  3. Lower your body: Slowly lower your body down towards the ground, bending your elbows and allowing your triceps muscles to stretch. Keep your upper arms stationary and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.
  4. Extend your body: Once you have reached the lowest point, slowly push yourself back up to the starting position, using your triceps muscles to push your body back up. Keep your upper arms stationary and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.
  5. Repeat the movement: Continue to lower and extend your body for the desired number of repetitions. Remember to maintain proper form and technique throughout the exercise, using a full range of motion and avoiding jerky or uncontrolled movements.

Triceps Extension

So, are skull crushers good? Yes, they actually do. But if you don’t have fun with them anymore, feel free to explore other exercises with the same goal, like the triceps extension, for example.


Similar to how to do skull crushers with dumbbells, you can also do it with a set of dumbbells. But, if you don’t have any, EZ-bar is also usable as an alternative. You see, there are too many similarities between this exercise and the skull-crushers, and since tricep extension also aims for the tricep muscles, you can always do it as an alternative. It can be much safer as well since you can do it with a cable machine.


Now, let us talk about the skull crusher variations.

Skull Crusher Variations

If you’re still confused about how to do skullcrusher, feel free to look at the section we’ve just provided before. You may also refer to the other alternatives if the exercise isn’t suitable for you.

However, please know that there are some variations that you may try if you feel bored with doing the same movement. The steps might differ from how to do skull crushers regularly, but their focus remains the same.

SkullCrusher with Dumbell

After knowing about what head do skull crushers work, let us talk about dumbbell skull crushers. You see, there are so many benefits of skull crushers, especially the ones that are highly related to upper body strength.

But know that you can enhance it even further if you have the proper tools to do the skull crush workout, like the dumbbell one, for example.

The original way of doing the workout is by using dumbbells. This may offer you deeper elbow flexibility, which can be beneficial for your muscle development.

Incline skull crushers for triceps


Another skull crusher form that you can try is the incline skull-crusher. Instead of using a dumbbell, you can also use other types of loading, like a kettlebell, barbell, or the other equipment you have at home. But you still need a bench for doing this exercise.


The incline skull crushers for triceps may offer some benefits you couldn’t obtain from the other skull-crusher types, like forming the triceps muscles from different angles to make the muscle growth more effective, and also it can make the triceps stretch better.


Remember that besides using the skullcrusher dumbbell, you can use other kinds of loadings to do this skull crusher exercise.

Common Mistakes of Skull Crushers

Like the other types of exercises, people make mistakes when doing the skull crush workout. And these mistakes might also happen in the other triceps-focus workouts, like triceps lying extension, for example.


Don’t think that the lying triceps extensions are completely safe. Although you’ll likely have a more comfortable position when doing the lying tricep extension, there are some risks that you need to pay attention to, like

Slippery Hands

No matter what load you’re using, whether it’s a skullcrusher barbell or the bar to do the EZ bar skull crusher, make sure that your hands are not slippery. Ensure that the surface is free from sweat or other kinds of liquid. Wipe your hands first, or even better, use gloves when doing the exercise.

Too Short Distance Between The Dumbell and Face

The skull crushers with EZ bar might be dangerous if the distance between the bar and your face is too tight. Do it at a safe distance, and make sure to do the exercise correctly. It’s also the same when you do the lying tricep extension dumbbell.

Wrong Hand Position

To avoid sprained joints or other physical injuries when doing the lying dumbbell tricep extension, make sure to position your hands and body correctly. Ensure that you have a strong grip to lower and lift the dumbbells. The same goes for skull crusher incline as well.

Doing The Exercise Hastily

Although there are some alternatives to skull crushers that you can try, ensure to do the workout at a slow pace. Don’t rush things out since it doesn’t worth anything. Do the barbell skull crushers slowly while adjusting your breath.

Too Much Weight

When doing the barbell skull crushers, have the dumbbells with the weight that you can handle. Never go above your strength, especially if you’re a beginner. Know your limit. The skullcrusher triceps exercises won’t be worth your time if you don’t do them correctly and carefully.

The best equipment for skull crushers

The best equipment for skull crushers will depend on your fitness level and goals, as well as the type of gym or home gym setup that you have available. Here are a few options to consider:


Barbell: A barbell is a long bar with weights attached at each end, and is a common choice for skull crushers. You can use a barbell with weights that are appropriate for your fitness level and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger.

Nice C Dumbbell Set Barbell

The Nice C Dumbbell Set is a comprehensive weight training set that includes a pair of adjustable barbells and a range of weights, making it suitable for a wide range of exercises and fitness levels. The set includes weights ranging from 22 to 88 pounds, which can be easily added or removed from the barbells using the quick-change collars. The barbells themselves are made of high-quality steel and have non-slip handles for added grip and safety. The Nice C Dumbbell Set is a convenient and versatile option for those looking to build strength and muscle at home or in the gym


Dumbbells are individual weights that can be used for skull crushers and other strength training exercises. They allow for a greater range of motion and can be easier to grip for some people. You can use dumbbells with weights that are appropriate for your fitness level and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are a versatile and convenient option for strength training at home. These adjustable dumbbells allow you to easily change the weight of the dumbbells from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds in 2.5-pound increments, simply by turning a dial. This means you can perform a wide range of exercises with just one pair of dumbbells, saving you space and money. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells also come with a stand, which allows you to easily store and access the dumbbells during your workouts.


Some  machines have a bar attachment that can be used for skull crushers. Cable machines allow for a continuous tension on the muscles, which can be beneficial for muscle growth.

The Marcy Smith Cage Machine

The Marcy Smith Cage Machine with Workout Bench and Weight Bar is a home gym equipment that provides a comprehensive range of exercises for strength training and muscle development. The set includes a multi-functional press arm, a leg developer, a high cable crossover, a pec deck, a low pulley, and a weight bar, as well as a padded bench for added comfort.  With a weight capacity of 300 pounds, it is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels. The Marcy Smith Cage Machine is a versatile and convenient option for those looking to build strength and muscle at home.

Ultimately, the best equipment for skull crushers will depend on your personal preferences and the resources that you have available.

FAQ : Skull Crushers

Are Skull Crushers Doable for Beginners?

Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a strength training exercise that targets the triceps muscles. They can be challenging for beginners, especially if they are not used to using weights or have not developed sufficient strength in their triceps muscles. However, with proper form and progression, skull crushers can be a safe and effective exercise for beginners.

If you are a beginner and want to try skull crushers, it is important to start with a lightweight and gradually increase the amount of weight as you become more comfortable with the exercise. It is also important to pay attention to your form and use a full range of motion to engage the triceps effectively.

How Long Should I Do It?

The length of time that you should do skull crushers, or any other exercise, will depend on a variety of factors, including your fitness level, training goals, and overall workout plan. Here are a few general guidelines to consider:

  • If you are a beginner, you may want to start with one or two sets of 8-12 repetitions of skull crushers, with a break of about 60-90 seconds between sets. As you become more comfortable with the exercise and build strength in your triceps muscles, you can gradually increase the number of sets and repetitions.
  • If you are more experienced with strength training, you may want to aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions of skull crushers, with a break of about 60-90 seconds between sets. Again, you can gradually increase the number of sets and repetitions as you progress.
  • As a general rule, it is important to allow your muscles adequate time to rest and recover between sets. This will help you maintain proper form and avoid overuse injuries.

It is also important to note that skull crushers should be just one part of a well-rounded strength training program that includes a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups. By including a variety of exercises in your workouts, you can help ensure that you are challenging all of your muscles and achieving a balanced level of fitness.

What Are Skull Crushers?

Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a strength training exercise that targets the triceps muscles. They are typically performed with a barbell or dumbbells and involve lying on a flat bench and extending the weight straight up towards the ceiling, then lowering it back down to the starting position. Skull crushers can be an effective way to build strength and definition in the triceps muscles.

Fitnessbliss: Improve your performance

We know that as a beginner, you’ll need certain guidelines to help you understand the whole concept of the workouts, the benefits, and the proper way to do them. And for that, we’d like to introduce you to Fitnessbliss, an online instructor app that may help you discover what’s the best exercise routine for you.


Fitnessbliss will give you tips and recommendations about how to do certain exercises, in this case, the DB skull crusher or maybe the lying triceps extension barbell. But no matter what it is, the app will try to give and recommend the best exercise that’s most suitable to your body condition, even the skull crusher substitute.

What is front squat with dumbbell Front squat with dumbbells is a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups, including the quadriceps, …

The Importance of the Lateral Raise for Shoulder and Stability Pass the test The lateral raise exercise, also known as the side …

Definition of the dumbbell upright row and Overview The dumbbells upright row  is a popular exercise that targets the muscles in the …

Try the app for Free Welcome to our blog post on the dumbbell hammer curl! If you’re looking to add some variety …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *