Skull Crusher Form

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by Becca Egan, BS, NASM-CPT

Exercise: Skull crushers

Muscle Groups Targeted: Triceps

Importance: Tricep isolating movement

Proper Form:

  • Start lying on your back on a bench or stability ball, one dumbbell in each hand, palms either facing each other or towards your knees.
  • Extend your arms straight above you with your hands SLIGHTLY behind your shoulders.
  • Without moving your shoulder at all, bend at the elbows and lower the weight to your forehead or either sides of your head.
  • Make sure your upper arms are within your body and not flared out to the outside.
  • Once the weight is at the low point, contract your tricep and bring the weight back to the top starting position.
  • You can also preform this movement using a straight bar or EZ bar. Same rules apply, make sure not to move at the shoulder joint and keep the elbows in. The bar will go to your forehead or crown of your head.


Make sure the upper arm is not moving during the entire movement. If you need to help yourself to not move it, preform exercise one arm at a time using your opposite hand to stabilize your working arm by holding at your upper arm so it doesn't move back and forth during the rep.

Sample Workout:

10 skull crushers
10 narrow chest press (elbows close to the body)
10 chest flies
30 seconds of battle ropes

Complete 3-5 sets for an upper body burner!

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