How To Do Bodyweight Skull Crushers Properly

For an average gym- goer, the pieces of equipment that come to mind when training your triceps is mentioned include barbells, and dumbbells.

However, what happens if one cannot get access to these pieces of equipment? Would you believe that you can use your own body to train your triceps?

While the traditional skull crushers use the equipment mentioned above, the bodyweight skull crushers as suggested by its name uses your bodyweight as the main resistance in exercising your triceps.

It is one of the best bodyweight triceps workouts for people of all fitness levels. Compared to the dips and push ups, which are compound exercises, the bodyweight skull crusher is most recommended for your triceps since it is an isolation exercise.

HOW TO DO BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS PROPERLY

In order to do the bodyweight skull crushers properly, you will need a knee to waist-high platform on which to place your hands.

Consider using a workout bench, a study chair or a box. However, make sure that, whatever you use, won’t move while you are exercising.

Place your hands on the platform about shoulder-width apart, walk back and into the push-up position, with your knees, hips, and body straight. Move your feet a little further back, so that your shoulders are now behind your hands, rather than directly above them.

Brace your core and pull your shoulders down and back for stability. Rotate your arms, so that your elbows are pointing down towards the floor.

Keeping your body straight and rigid, bend your arms while keeping them tucked into the side of your body.

Lower your head down to your hands. Your upper arms should remain mostly stationary, and your elbows should be the only joint moving. Remember, you are not doing a push up.

Without dropping your hips or losing core tension, extend your arms and push yourself back up to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS TIPS TO CONSIDER

While bodyweight skull crushers are considered great for your triceps, they can be hard on your elbow joints.

It is normal for your triceps muscles to hurt during this exercise; however, you should not feel pain in your joints.  In order to correct this problem, try moving your hands out a little wider or reducing your range of motion.

If your elbows still hurt, avoid this exercise and consider another alternative instead.

Consider having a warm up before staring this exercise. A warm-up will reduce your risk of injury and additionally fire up your muscles and nervous system to make your workout more productive.

Always lower yourself using a controlled descent.

Always maintain a neutral spine. If you begin to extend your lumbar spine, try placing the platform higher.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS WORK?

As mentioned earlier, bodyweight skull crushers mainly work your triceps brachii or simply triceps.

The triceps have two main functions: elbow extension and shoulder extension. They have three distinct heads, which gives them the horseshoe shape they are famous for.

Bodyweight skull crushers work all these three triceps heads but slightly put more emphasis on the long head. The is because the long head has to work hard to stabilize your shoulder joint and prevent it from moving during the exercise.

Additionally, apart from the bodyweight skull crushers working your triceps, it also involves your latissimus dorsi and rectus abdominus muscles. Both of which act as stabilizers to keep your shoulders and torso steady while your elbows extend and then flex.

BENEFITS OF BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS

Here are some of the great advantages of adding bodyweight skull crushers to your workout routine.

DIRECTLY IMPACTS YOUR TRICEPS

Your triceps will be thoroughly worked by the end of your reps and sets. By continuously progressing this exercise, your triceps will get bigger and stronger.

WORKS THE CORE

Because you are leaning at an almost perilous level, you have to engage your core to keep your body rigid and straight. This gives you a great core workout.

THEY HAVE A PROGRESSION MODEL

As you get better at this exercise, you will naturally progress to its advanced levels. The more you lower the bar, the tougher it gets because you are taking on more and more of your body’s weight.

IT DOESN’T NEED COMPLIMENT EXERCISES

By performing bodyweight skull crushers as little as twice a week you will not need any other exercise to work your triceps.

ALTERNATIVES OF BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS

If you enjoyed the bodyweight skull crusher, consider these other bodyweight triceps exercises to improve your upper body training.

DIAMOND PUSH-UPS

You don’t really need to use strength training equipment in order to develop more muscular triceps. This modified push-up will provide the back of your upper arms with a very effective workout.

They are so-called because you place your hands close together and your fingers and thumbs form a diamond shape.

CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS

Just like dips, bench presses are typically viewed as a chest exercise. However, if you bring your hands in and adopt a narrower grip, they become a powerful triceps exercise.

PARALLEL BAR DIPS

Parallel dips will really hit the abdominal head of your pecs, that is, your lower chest. You can increase pec engagement by really leaning forward into each rep and getting a good stretch at the bottom.

COMMON BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS MISTAKES TO AVOID

USING YOUR ABS AND HIPS

This mistake removes tension from your triceps and turns the bodyweight skull crusher into an ab exercise.

USING MOMENTUM

While you will have a natural rhythm to each rep, using momentum will take tension away from your triceps.

CONCLUSION

Skull crushers are one of the most common exercises for direct triceps training. If you are looking to spice them up or are in search of a new challenge, give the bodyweight skull crusher a try.