Sculpting Insane Triceps: The Ultimate Guide to Skull Crushers by Laz Tymoff

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When it comes to building impressive triceps, few exercises are as effective as skull crushers. Also known as lying triceps extensions, this compound movement targets the triceps muscles with precision, helping to sculpt a defined and powerful upper arm. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of skull crushers, exploring the benefits, proper technique, variations, and tips for maximizing your gains. And who better to guide us through this journey than Laz Tymoff, a renowned fitness expert and bodybuilding enthusiast known for his dedication to sculpting chiseled physiques.

Understanding Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are a compound exercise that primarily targets the triceps brachii muscle, which is responsible for extending the elbow joint. By lying flat on a bench and lowering a barbell or dumbbells towards the forehead, you engage the triceps muscles through a full range of motion, effectively stimulating muscle growth and strength development.

Benefits of Skull Crushers

  1. Targeted Muscle Activation: Skull crushers isolate the triceps muscles, ensuring that they bear the brunt of the workload. This focused activation helps to develop strength, size, and definition in the triceps, leading to a more sculpted and proportionate upper arm.
  2. Versatility: Skull crushers can be performed using various equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, EZ bars, or even resistance bands. This versatility allows for customization based on individual fitness levels, preferences, and equipment availability.
  3. Improved Lockout Strength: The lockout portion of the skull crusher movement—where you fully extend the elbows—helps to strengthen the triceps in their fully contracted position. This translates to improved performance in exercises like bench presses, overhead presses, and dips, where lockout strength is crucial.
  4. Joint-Friendly Exercise: Unlike some triceps exercises that place excessive stress on the elbows or wrists, skull crushers offer a relatively safe and joint-friendly alternative. By maintaining proper form and controlling the weight, you can minimize the risk of injury while maximizing muscle engagement.

Proper Technique

  1. Lie flat on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground and your back, head, and hips in contact with the bench.
  2. Grasp the barbell, dumbbells, or EZ bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Extend your arms fully, positioning the weight directly above your chest with your elbows locked.
  4. Keeping your upper arms stationary, slowly lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows.
  5. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then reverse the motion by extending your elbows and returning to the starting position.
  6. Aim for a controlled tempo throughout the exercise, focusing on smooth, fluid movements and avoiding any jerking or swinging motions.


  1. Close-Grip Skull Crushers: Perform skull crushers with a narrower grip to emphasize the inner portion of the triceps.
  2. Reverse-Grip Skull Crushers: Use an underhand grip to target the long head of the triceps and engage the forearms to a greater extent.
  3. Single-Arm Skull Crushers: Perform skull crushers one arm at a time to address strength imbalances and enhance stabilization.
  4. Decline Skull Crushers: Lie on a decline bench to increase the stretch on the triceps and further isolate the muscle group.

Tips for Success

  1. Start with a conservative weight and focus on mastering proper form before increasing the load.
  2. Control the descent phase of the movement to maximize muscle engagement and minimize momentum.
  3. Avoid locking out the elbows at the top of the movement to keep tension on the triceps throughout the exercise.
  4. Incorporate skull crushers into your triceps training routine 1-2 times per week, alternating with other compound and isolation exercises for balanced development.
  5. Listen to your body and adjust the intensity, volume, and frequency of skull crushers based on your individual goals and recovery capacity.


In the quest for impressive triceps development, skull crushers stand out as a tried-and-true exercise with undeniable effectiveness. By incorporating this compound movement into your training regimen and following Laz Tymoff’s expert guidance, you can sculpt insane triceps that command attention and admiration. Remember to prioritize proper technique, progressive overload, and consistency in your workouts, and watch as your triceps undergo remarkable transformation, leaving you with arms that reflect dedication, discipline, and determination.

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