db Skull Crushers: Get Big Results With These 2
db Skull Crushers are an effective way of targeting the
muscles of the Triceps, which include the long head, and lateral and medial
head from the elbows down to the lats. When I first started using this
exercise, I thought it was a great movement because everything worked to a
degree as a novice lifter. Over time, I found the skull crusher to be less
effective and swapped it for other tricep exercises. This was until trial and
error made me realize how to make dumbbell skull crushers more effective.
In this exercise master class, I will show you how to get
the maximum effect from the exercise by making a few tweaks to
traditional dumbbell skull crushers to generate a better response. We'll
target specific parts of the muscle by modifying the movement.
These modifications have partly been responsible for owning 19''
natural arms at the age of 50-something and rebuilding my right arm after a
horrific car accident that nearly ended my love of training.
Who Am I?
I'm Psymon H, your online training partner and the man behind
the maximum muscle- minimal equipment training resource, Mission Jacked.
What are Dumbbell Skull Crushers?
Dumbbell Skull Crushers aka - db Skull Crushers are one of the
most valuable dumbbell exercises for building the triceps if you know how to
get the best out of the movement.
What makes Skull Crushers such an indispensable exercise is that
they can be done with one or two dumbbells lying on the floor, on a bench, or
standing up. You can also do this exercise using an ez bar (ez bar skull crushers),
a barbell (barbell Skull Crushers), and cable Skull Crushers.
How To Do Skull Crushers With Dumbbells:
For the benefit of this article, we're going to focus on the
dumbbell version of Skull Crushers.
The Old Way To Do db Skull Crushers:
Cue 1: Lay back on a flat bench with feet firmly on the
ground. Hold two dumbbells in your hands with a neutral grip and
extend your arms over your chest.
Cue 2: Flex your elbows
by lowering the dumbbells towards the top of the bench. Keep your arms
perpendicular to your torso to keep the tension of the Triceps.
Cue 3: Raise the
dumbbells back to the start position. Repeat for the desired amount of
There's nothing wrong with performing your db Skull Crushers in
this manner. But, if you want to maximize your efforts and gleam bigger rewards
by way of inches on your arms, there is a much better way of doing dumbbell
skull crushers. Welcome to the Dumbbell Skull Crusher With Twist.
db Skull Crushers with Twist are what I consider to be an
upgrade on traditional Dumbbell Skull Crushers, as the exercises seem to place
more stress on the tricep brachii and force you to squeeze the muscles harder
as you rotate the dumbbells back and forth. There are some other marked differences
between the two exercise movements which I'm going to touch on after I lay out
the different exercise cues.
How To Do Flat db Skull Crushers With Twist:
Items Needed: flat bench and one pair of dumbbells.
Cue 1: have your
dumbbells in each hand. Lay back on a flat bench with your feet firmly on the
floor or propped up on the edge of the bench. Slide along the bench so that the
top of your head is over the edge of the bench.
Cue 2: Carefully
bring the dumbbells level with the crown of your head and rotate the dumbbells
to a reverse grip.
Cue 3: Keep
your elbows from flaring out to the sides, but try to have them pointing
upwards. Start by tensing your core and lifting your chest before taking a big
Cue 4: Rather than
extending your arms and straightening them above your chest, extend your arms
out and keep the dumbbells low. Don't hold your breath during the exercise, but
exhale as you begin to move the dumbbells.
Cue 5: At full extension,
try to point the top of the dumbbells away from you and squeeze your
Cue 6: Inhale as you
return the dumbbells to the start position.
Differences between the two db Skull Crushers:
The Starting Position:
As you can see, the setup and starting points of both exercises
are different. With traditional dumbbell skull crushers, you start with your
arms in the fully extended position and the dumbbells over the chest. The
dumbbell skull crusher with a twist starts in a fully lengthened position.
Having the dumbbells near your head enables you to focus on
having your elbows up instead of flared out to the sides. Having your elbows
flared can put more stress on the shoulders.
The End Position:
In my experience, the theory behind the twist at the end of the
movement intensifies the peak contraction.
I always find that when I bring the dumbbells back too high
(over the chest) I always lose stress on the Triceps. For this reason, I prefer
to travel out with the dumbbells to maintain tension on all three of the tricep
The triceps are the main extensor of the upper limb and the main
job is to bring the arm from a curl position to a straight position. As it
makes up nearly 70% of the total arm size, the triceps needs to be trained
The triceps are made up of three heads. On the outer side of the
arm and visible from the side is the Lateral Head. On the inner side of the arm
is the Long Head, and underneath both of those heads and only visible on
well-developed arms, we have the Medial Tricep Head running down towards the
db Skull Crushers FAQs:
muscles do dumbbell skull crushers work?
skull crushers target the tricep brachii. The decline position (decline
dumbbell skull crushers) or the flat position (lying dumbbell skull crusher),
focuses on the long head of the Triceps. In the incline position, db Skull
Crushers target more of the lateral tricep head.
Q: Are there any
dumbbell skull crusher variations?
Dumbbell Skull Crusher,
Dumbbell Skull Crushers Floor
Standing Dumbbell Skull Crushers
Decline Skull Crushers
Single Dumbbell Skull Crusher
Incline db Skull Crushers
db Skull Crushers on Ball
Dumbbell Skull Crusher with a twist
you do skull crushers with a barbell
short answer is yes. While you can do skull crushers with a barbell, the one
thing that differs from a barbell is that you are locked into a position that
can be stressful on your wrist.
Q: What bar to use
for skull crushers?
A: You can use
either a barbell or an ez bar. The best bar to use is an ez bar as you can ease
the stress on your wrist.
Q: Are skull
to most things, variety is the spice of life. Since skull crushers target all
three Tricep heads, you still need a selection of exercises to fully target the
Thank you for reading our "db Skull Crushers" article.
Have You Got What it Takes To Complete This Tricep Workout With Dumbbells