Build Insane Triceps by Doing Skull Crushers – Laz – Tymoff

build insane triceps by doing skull crushers - laz - tymoff

When it comes to building impressive upper arms, the triceps often play second fiddle to the biceps in many workout routines. However, if you’re aiming for that well-rounded, massive arm look, focusing on your triceps is key, as they make up a significant portion of your upper arm mass. One of the most effective exercises to build your triceps is the skull crushers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about skull crushers, how they can help you achieve those insane triceps, and tips for maximizing your results.

Understanding Triceps Anatomy

Before diving into the specifics of skull crushers, it’s crucial to understand the anatomy of the triceps. The triceps brachii, commonly referred to as the triceps, is a large muscle on the back of your upper arm. It consists of three heads:

1. Long Head

This part of the triceps originates from the scapula (shoulder blade) and extends down the arm, making it the largest of the three heads.

2. Lateral Head

Located on the outer part of the humerus (upper arm bone), this head is most visible when you flex your triceps.

3. Medial Head

Found underneath the long and lateral heads, the medial head plays a crucial role in the overall strength and stability of the triceps.

Together, these three heads work to extend the elbow and stabilize the shoulder joint. By targeting all three heads, you can develop balanced and powerful triceps.

The Power of Skull Crushers

Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a highly effective exercise for isolating the triceps and promoting muscle growth. This exercise specifically targets the long head of the triceps, but with proper form and variations, you can engage all three heads.

Why Skull Crushers?

1. Isolation

Skull crushers allow you to isolate the triceps, minimizing the involvement of other muscle groups. This isolation is crucial for maximizing triceps growth.

2. Versatility

This exercise can be performed using various equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, EZ curl bars, and cables, allowing you to adapt it to your preferences and equipment availability.

3. Range of Motion

Skull crushers involve a full range of motion, stretching the triceps fully at the bottom and contracting them completely at the top, which is essential for muscle hypertrophy.

4. Progressive Overload

The nature of skull crushers makes it easy to progressively increase the weight over time, a key principle in muscle building.

How to Perform Skull Crushers

Executing skull crushers with proper form is vital to avoid injury and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform skull crushers:

Equipment Needed

Flat Bench

To lie on and perform the exercise.

Barbell, Dumbbells, or EZ Curl Bar

For resistance. Each has its own advantages, but the EZ curl bar is often preferred due to its ergonomic grip.


1. Starting Position

Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold the barbell, dumbbells, or EZ curl bar with an overhand grip, and extend your arms straight up, aligning the weight with your shoulders.

2. Lowering Phase

Keeping your upper arms stationary, slowly bend your elbows to lower the weight towards your forehead. Be sure to maintain control and avoid locking your elbows. Inhale during this phase.

3. Bottom Position

Lower the weight until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or slightly beyond. Ensure that your triceps are fully stretched.

4. Lifting Phase

Exhale as you push the weight back up by extending your elbows, returning to the starting position. Focus on contracting your triceps at the top of the movement.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Elbow Flaring

Keep your elbows close to your head to ensure the triceps are fully engaged.

Using Momentum 

Avoid swinging the weight or using your shoulders. Control the movement throughout.

Partial Range of Motion

Lower the weight fully to stretch the triceps and contract completely at the top.

Variations of Skull Crushers

To keep your triceps workouts fresh and challenging, incorporate different variations of skull crushers. Here are some effective variations:

1. Incline Skull Crushers

Performing skull crushers on an incline bench changes the angle of the exercise, placing more emphasis on the long head of the triceps. This variation can help you break through plateaus and continue making gains.

2. Decline Skull Crushers

Using a decline bench shifts the focus slightly towards the lateral head of the triceps. This variation can add diversity to your routine and stimulate the muscles differently.

3. Dumbbell Skull Crushers

Using dumbbells instead of a barbell or EZ curl bar allows for a greater range of motion and more balanced muscle development. This variation also reduces strain on the wrists.

4. Cable Skull Crushers

Performing skull crushers with a cable machine provides constant tension throughout the exercise, which can lead to increased muscle activation and hypertrophy.

5. Single-Arm Skull Crushers

Isolating one arm at a time can help address muscle imbalances and ensure each triceps muscle is equally developed. This variation also increases the difficulty of the exercise.

Incorporating Skull Crushers into Your Workout Routine

To build insane triceps, skull crushers should be a staple in your workout routine. Here’s how to effectively incorporate them:


Aim to train your triceps 2-3 times per week, allowing at least 48 hours of rest between sessions to promote recovery and muscle growth.

Sets and Reps


3 sets of 8-12 reps


3-4 sets of 6-10 reps


4-5 sets of 4-8 reps

Combining with Other Exercises

For optimal triceps development, combine skull crushers with other triceps exercises such as:

Close-Grip Bench Press 

Targets all three heads of the triceps.

Tricep Dips 

A compound movement that also engages the chest and shoulders.

Tricep Pushdowns 

Isolates the triceps and allows for high-rep training.

Overhead Tricep Extension

Emphasizes the long head of the triceps.

Sample Triceps Workout

1. Warm-Up

5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching.

2. Skull Crushers

4 sets of 8-10 reps

3. Close-Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 8-12 reps

4. Tricep Dips 

3 sets to failure

5. Tricep Pushdowns

3 sets of 12-15 reps

6. Overhead Tricep Extension

3 sets of 10-12 reps

7. Cool Down

5-10 minutes of static stretching

Maximizing Results with Proper Nutrition

To build muscle effectively, your workout routine must be complemented by proper nutrition. Here are some key dietary tips to help you achieve insane triceps:

Protein Intake

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Aim for 1.2-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on your activity level and muscle-building goals. Excellent protein sources include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and protein supplements.


Carbohydrates provide the energy needed for intense workouts. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes to fuel your training sessions and promote recovery.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats support hormone production and overall health. Include sources of unsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil in your diet.


Staying hydrated is crucial for muscle function and recovery. Aim to drink at least 8-10 cups of water daily, and more if you’re engaging in intense workouts.


While whole foods should be your primary source of nutrients, supplements can help fill gaps in your diet. Consider the following:

Whey Protein

For convenient, high-quality protein intake.


To enhance strength and muscle mass.


To support muscle recovery and reduce soreness.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

For overall health and inflammation reduction.

Recovery and Rest

Recovery is just as important as your workouts when it comes to building muscle. Here are some tips to optimize recovery:


Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to allow your muscles to repair and grow.

Active Recovery

Incorporate light activities like walking, stretching, or yoga on rest days to promote blood flow and recovery.

Foam Rolling and Massage

Using a foam roller or getting regular massages can help alleviate muscle tightness and soreness, improving overall recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals and avoid pushing through pain or excessive fatigue. Adjust your workout intensity and volume based on how you feel.


FAQ 1: What are skull crushers, and how do they help build triceps?

Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are an exercise that targets the triceps brachii muscles. By isolating the triceps, they help promote muscle growth and strength in this specific area. Performing skull crushers regularly can lead to well-defined, powerful triceps.

FAQ 2: How should I properly perform skull crushers to avoid injury?

To perform skull crushers safely, lie on a flat bench, hold a barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, and extend your arms straight up. Lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows, keeping your upper arms stationary. Avoid flaring your elbows and using momentum. Return to the starting position by extending your elbows and contracting your triceps.

FAQ 3: Can skull crushers be done with different equipment?

Yes, skull crushers can be performed using various equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, EZ curl bars, and cables. Each type of equipment offers unique benefits, such as different grip positions and angles, which can help target the triceps differently.

FAQ 4: How often should I do skull crushers to see results in my triceps?

For optimal results, incorporate skull crushers into your triceps workout routine 2-3 times per week. Ensure you allow at least 48 hours of rest between sessions to promote muscle recovery and growth.

FAQ 5: What other exercises can I combine with skull crushers for better triceps development?

To achieve balanced triceps development, combine skull crushers with other effective triceps exercises such as close-grip bench presses, tricep dips, tricep pushdowns, and overhead tricep extensions. This variety ensures all three heads of the triceps are adequately targeted.


Building insane triceps is a goal within your reach if you incorporate skull crushers into your workout routine. By understanding the anatomy of the triceps, performing skull crushers with proper form, and varying the exercise to target different parts of the triceps, you can achieve significant muscle growth. Combine this effective exercise with a well-rounded workout routine, proper nutrition, and adequate recovery to maximize your results. Remember, consistency and dedication are key to achieving those impressive, sculpted triceps you’ve always wanted. So grab that barbell, hit the bench, and start crushing it!

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