How to Do Skull Crushers Proper Form, Benefits, Types

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How to Do Skull Crushers (or French press)

Skull Crushers is one of the most effective isolated exercises for triceps training.

The skull crusher proper form
How to Do Skull crusher


This exercise can be done both with a barbell and with dumbbells. The first option is more popular because of the convenience and easier technical terms. In this article, we will consider the technique of the skull crushers lying down with the barbell, and with dumbbells, consider the frequent mistakes of newcomers and give useful recommendations on training triceps.

Skull Crushers with a Barbell (EZ-bar)

How to Do skull crushers with EZ-Bar
How to Do skull crushers with EZ-Bar


Technique of performing

  1. Prepare the bar and lie with it on a horizontal bench. It is best to use the EZ-bar, since when working with a straight bar, most athletes experience uncomfortable sensations in their wrists.
  2. Take the barbell with the usual grip from above and lift it up. Straighten your arms at the elbows and tilt them slightly behind your head – this is your starting position.
  3. While holding your shoulders in a fixed position, flex your arms in the elbows and lower the bar by the head. At the endpoint of the amplitude, the angle of inclination in the elbow joint should be 90 degrees.
  4. With triceps force, return the bar to its original position.
  5. Perform 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps.

Skull Crushers with Dumbbells

How to Do Skull Crushers with Dumbbell
How to Do French Press with Dumbbell


Technique of performing

  1. Take dumbbells and lie down with them on the bench. Raise the dumbbells above yourself, hands should be straightened and slightly deflected back, palms facing each other – this is the starting position.
  2. Begin to lower the dumbbells down, while not moving the shoulders. Continue to lower the dumbbells to ear level.
  3. With triceps force, return dumbbells to their begin position and perform the necessary number of repetitions.

You can also how to train triceps workout for man

Common Mistakes

  • During the French Press, perform movements smoothly, without jerking, and only at the expense of the force of the triceps. Do not use the force of inertia.
  • Do not bend your elbows much to the sides, especially during with dumbbells skull crushers.
  • Take a breath while lowering the weight and exhaling with effort.
  • Use the EZ-bar, if you feel pain during the skull crushers with a regular barbell. But if there is discomfort and while working with the EZ-bar, then we recommend to completely abandon this exercise, so as not to jeopardize elbow joints.
  • Use the optimal working weights that you will be able to properly perform for 12 reps per set without failure.
  • Performing the skull crushers, do not put your feet on the bench. The feet need to firmly rest on the floor, as the loss of balance during the approach with large working scales is fraught with serious injury.
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