Skull Crushers (Lying Tricep Extensions)

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Triceps
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Isolation
Type Push

Skull Crushers Instructions

You can use a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell. For this instruction, we will focus on a barbell. 
  • Grip the barbell with your hands roughly 3-5 inches apart. 
  • Lie down on a flat bench.
  • Extend your arms above and align the bar roughly even with your eyes. 
  • Create the mind-muscle connection of creating and maintaining tension in the tricep throughout the exercise.
  • Let the barbell descend slightly behind your head.
    • Let your elbows track back slightly as well.
  • The bottom position has the barbell roughly even with your head.
  • At the bottom position, extend the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Let the elbows come forward slightly before extending your forearms upward. 


  • Do not lower the barbell to your face, this puts excess pressure on the elbow and does not maximize the tension in the tricep musculature.
  • Do not use heavier weight with this exercise. Aim for volume and maintaining tension on the tricep musculature from start to finish.
Next article Cable Lying Tricep Extensions