The Skullcrusher exercise is one of the best for isolating the Triceps. The Triceps are the muscles on the back of your arm, opposite the Biceps. Their function is to extend the arm, straightening it out from a bent position. As the name suggests, the Triceps have three heads, compared to the Biceps two. If you’re looking to build big arms, the Triceps are the muscles you should focus on as they constitute a larger proportion of the arm muscles. This exercise will give you a serious Tricep pump, and help towards increasing your pressing strength.
Here’s why the Skullcrusher is such a good exercise, and how to perform it using only your bodyweight.
Isolation is key
When training muscles towards the end of the kinetic chain (muscles closer to hands and feet), it is essential to ensure you isolate the movement. By minimising additional, undesired movement, you can properly target the designated muscle group. For the Triceps, the Shoulder joint will often move to try and make the exercise easier, reducing the load on the Triceps.
The Skullcrusher exercise helps to minimise additional body movement by elevating the upper arm, raising the Shoulder.
How to do the Skullcrusher
If you are a beginner/intermediate, try this exercise on your knees to start with.
Take hold of the Parallette, knuckles facing the sky. Place your knees on the ground, far enough away so your arms make a 90° angle to your body.
Bend your elbows, keeping them tucked at your side and lower down till your forehead is close to your knuckles.
Press back to the start position, pushing your hands towards the floor and squeezing the Triceps throughout the movement.
To make the exercise harder, go on your feet instead of your knees. You can also assume a Pike position, with your hips high in the air which will place more bodyweight on your arms.
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