The Elite Physique

Skull Crushers

skull crushers
Skull Crushers – The Murderous Workout

The skull crushers, despite its name, can be the exercise that saves your arms.   Let’s find out.  Ask yourself these questions:

1.)  Are your triceps under developed?

2.)  Are you embarrassed by their lack of solidity when you wave hello to a friend?

If your triceps fit the description above then read on.  I’m going to teach you the precise techniques to execute perfect form with the skull crushers.  It’s no secret that skull crushers can combat wimpy triceps and bring your arm size up a solid inch in just weeks.  Once you’ve learned the correct form, which is vital, you’ll need a murderous workout to follow.

This triceps routine is not for the weak.  You’re going to have dig deep and find out what you’re made of.  Are you going to run and scream or are you up to the challenge?  I have faith that you’ll choose the later.

A lot women have a difficult time developing their triceps.   This can be due to a couple of reasons.

1.)  Your triceps are located on the back of your arms and for many people if they don’t see the muscle they don’t train it fully.

2.)  Your triceps can be a hard muscle to develop on many levels.  For most people, the training difficulty lies in the fact that your triceps are underdeveloped and training them means you must use forms of training your triceps are not use to.

I won’t fill your head with all the intricate details of the triceps muscle such as its exact location, function, insertion point and all that other jazz.  You can actually find all that kind of detailed information in Iron Dolls. (  In this article I’m going to drive the focus on what you need to do to master your triceps training by including skull crushers.

To really increase your triceps strength and size you need to use of good ‘ole compound exercises.  Diana Rini at tells us, “Compound exercises can help you make the most of your time in the gym and provide you with a powerful workout for a fraction of the time!”  A few of the exercises you need use to target all the triceps heads fully are close-grip bench presses, overhead extensions, skull crushers, triceps dips, pushdowns, etc.

Skull crushers are an overlooked triceps exercise.  This is not an easy movement and getting the form right can be difficult.  For this reason, my suggestion is to start off using light poundage to learn the form of the skull crushers.  Starting off light will also allow you to actually feel the muscles work.  Once you feel the muscles working during the movement your form will improve greatly.

Skull Crusher Form

1.)  I recommend starting with free weights, using the EZ curl bar for skull crushers.  After you grab the bar lie back on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.

2.)  Using a narrow and prone grip, slightly less than shoulder-width, position the bar over your chest area.

3.)  Bend your elbows and allow the weight to lower to your forehead.  NOTE: As you lower the weight allow ONLY your elbows to bend in the direction the weight is lowering. Your elbows should not sway out; they must stay aligned with your body.

4.)  From the lowered position, use your triceps muscle to contract and bring the weight back to the starting position. As the bar reaches the top of the movement, contract the triceps hard.

5.)  Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the designated reps in that set.

One-Month Triceps Blast Workout

Note: each week’s triceps workout involves different training principles. Please read below the training workout for how to include each training principle each week.

Week #1

Week #2


Parallel bar dips 3 x 10

EZ bar skulls 3 x 10 (DS)

DB overhead ext 3 x 10 (DS)

Pushdowns 2 x 40


EZ bar decline skulls 3 x 8 (TS)

Close-grip press 3 x 8 (TS)

Reverse-grip pulldown 3 x 8 (TS)

Week #3

Week #4


EZ bar overhead ext (21s)

Parallel bar dips (21s)

DB skulls (21s)

Warm up

Close-grip press (Neg)

Reverse-grip overhead ext (Neg)

Kickbacks (Neg)

Skulls 2 x 40

Drop Sets (DS)

Drops sets involve doing as many repetitions as you can and begin decreasing the poundage as you hit muscular failure. Keep this process going until you can’t do one more rep.

EZ bar skulls – Do as many repetitions you can until failure, drop the poundage 30-35% and do additional repetitions until failure and keep dropping the poundage in that manner until you can’t curl any more.  Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat.

Tri-Sets (TS)

A tri-set is using three consecutive exercises for the same body part. Tri-sets take a lot of strength and energy to complete all three in a consecutive manner, so be sure to keep weight poundage within reason.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then do 2-3 more tri-sets.

EZ bar decline skulls are immediately followed by
Close-grip press are immediately followed by
Reverse-grip pulldowns
Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat

Twenty-ones or 21s

Twenty-ones is a training principle in which one set is broken up into 3 different segments of 7 that total 21.  The three different aspects of the full set involve two partials sets and one full range of motion set.

EZ bar overhead ext
7 repetitions from mid-point to contraction
7 repetitions from mid-point to fully stretched
7 repetitions full range of motion
Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat


Eccentric contractions are the lengthening of the muscle.  This is also known as the negative.  The aid of a spotter is helpful when doing negatives.  Use about 35% more weight than you use on a concentric lift.  Explode the weight up and focus on the downward phase of the lift, keeping your lifting pace slow and controlled.

Close-grip press – Lower the bar to your chest slowly and have a spotter help lift it back to the starting point. Rest 2-3 minutes and repeat.

Next, you can download the best training tips online specifically designed for women…


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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