Bodyweight Skull Crushers is a great exercise to help you build your triceps when you do not have any access to dumbbells or barbells. This lift is useful that it gets commonly used by prisoners when they are inside their cells.
This lift works best for people who have already built a solid foundation of strength and size.
If you are just starting out with lifting, your first focus should be on using heavy compound movement for several months before you add this exercise into your training routine. Until you have built your body a solid foundation this lift has little to offer compared to compound movement training like Bench Press and the Over Head Press.
If you have been lifting for awhile and feel your triceps need some further development, then this is the perfect exercise to add to your routine.
There are multiple different topics we will cover on this exercise.
This article will cover how you perform Bodyweight Skull Crushers with video, image, and a written step by step description detailing each step required for you to do it.
The equipment you need to be able to perform it. The different muscles that it uses. Some of the benefits you get when including it into your training routine.
We will then cover some different training tips to help make sure you get the most out of this lift.
Bodyweight Skull Crushers How to Guide
Step by Step Description
Step 1: Use an overhand grip and place your hands on the bar or whatever elevated surface that you are using. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart or slightly closer (close grip push-up position).
Step 2: Your elbows should be pointing down and have your hands close to one another. Moving only at your elbows will help to keep the focus of the exercise on your triceps.
You are now in the starting position.
Step 3: Inhale and lower your body towards the bar by bending only at your elbows (make sure you do not bend at your shoulders). Keep lowering your body until your forehead is between both of your hands. Pause in this position for one second.
Step 4: Exhale, now press from your triceps bringing your body back up to the starting position by extending at your elbows.
Congratulations you have now completed one repetition. Repeat for the selected number of reps you have chosen.
The Bodyweight Skull Crusher gets rated at an Intermediate difficulty level.
You should spend a few months working on compound movements like different Push-Up variations before adding this lift to your routine.
You will need either a fixed barbell, a bench or suspension cables so you can do this exercise. You can also perform this lift on a staircase railing at your home or even a bench.
According to T-Nation the best way to perform this exercise is using suspension straps.
Optionally a weighted vest or clothing can also be used for progressively increasing the amount of weight you are lifting.
The Primary muscles that get worked by this lift are your Triceps.
You will also work your Forearms and Core when you do this exercise.
Benefits of Bodyweight Skull Crushers
Since you are essentially performing a plank, your core gets a good workout too.
If you cannot access a gym and do not have weights at home, you can still use this lift to isolate and increase the size of your arms.
Make sure you have decent strength in your triceps (close grip push-ups can help here) before attempting this lift. If your arms give out when you lower your body, you are going to smack your head on to the bar.
To increase the difficulty of this exercise, you can add resistance with weighted vest/clothing, or by lowering the height of the bar or straps you are using.
Keep your core tight and your body straight(avoid raising or lowering your hips) the entire time you are performing this exercise. Keeping your core tight will also make it easier for you to maintain your stability.
There are a couple of ways that you can perform this exercise. To increase the difficulty more your feet a bit further away from the platform you are placing your hands on. When you lower your body, you are going to allow your head to dip below the bench. Your upper arms will form a 90-degree angle with the torso.
Alternatively, Slide your feet closer so when you lower your body the head will be above the platform. Putting your feet closer will keep your arms closer to the torso and mimic an angled triceps pushdown. Many people find this variation is easier on the shoulders and elbows.
- Tiger Bend Push Up
- Frog Push Up
- Cobra Push Up
- Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
- Weighted Bench Dip
- Straight Bar Skull Crushers
- EZ Bar Skull Crushers
- Dumbbell Skull Crushers
Since this lift is an isolation exercise, you should not perform it until the end of your workout after you have completed all your heavy compound lifts.
If you are looking to give your triceps, some extra size and definition try using this lift for at least four weeks to see the different benefits you can gain.