How To Do Cable Skull Crusher Properly

How To Do Cable Skull Crusher Properly

The cable skull crusher is a remarkable movement for gaining overall triceps size.

It is a single-arm movement that will allow you to work the triceps unilaterally, providing greater benefits in terms of both strength and muscle gains.


For this exercise, choose a weight that allows you to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions and begin by using a weight that you can control for 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.

  • Set the pulley to the highest height setting on the cable machine. Face the cable machine and grab the handle with an overhand grip.
  • Take a step backward to move the weight off of the weight stack. Your posture should be tall, with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips with a neutral head and neck position.
  • Your chin should also remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. Evenly distribute your weight and grip the floor with your feet to create a stable foot position.
  • Your upper arms should be against your ribcage and your lower arms should be in contact with your upper arms. Maintain neutral shoulder blades.
  • Pre-tension your shoulders and hips, and engage your core. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.
  • While maintaining your alignment, squeeze your triceps to begin straightening your elbows.
  • Finish the movement by squeezing your triceps, while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Movement should only occur at your elbows.
  • Slowly bend your elbows to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the cable skull crusher for your desired number of times.


This is an isolation exercise rather than a compound motion, which makes it great for targeting your triceps.

The primary muscle group worked by this exercise is your triceps.

There are a variety of secondary muscle groups that activates during cable skull crusher. These are: biceps, forearms, lats, abs (rectus abdominis), obliques, pecs, and traps (trapezius). These secondary muscles engage to stabilize and support the pushdown motion.


The cable skull crusher exercise offers an effective way to train the triceps, below are some other benefits of this routine.

Whether you are throwing a ball, lifting heavy objects at work, or simply want to boost the aesthetic appeal of your arms, this exercise can help you get stronger to accomplish your goals.

Strong triceps help with shoulder stability and improve your range of motion.

Depending on the pulley attachment, cable skull crusher builds grip strength as you can maintain an overhand grip or a neutral grip throughout the pulldown, activating muscles in your hands and forearms.

The triceps exercises offer almost unmatched versatility because you can change up the load, angle, grip positioning and body positioning easily.

With the ability to change all these variables, it is less likely that you will get bored by using the cable machine, as you’re mostly limited by your imagination on how you can use it.

The cable skull crusher is an ideal exercise for all athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone attempting to build arm strength.

The main benefit of the cable skull crusher is the working of the triceps that comes with the motion. Unlike other triceps exercises, the cable skull crusher activates all three heads of the triceps, which means that your entire triceps will become stronger through this exercise.


Cable skull crusher, is one of the most effective exercises to work your triceps.

As mentioned before, this is because they move your triceps through a full range of motion while also providing early phase loading to maximally stimulate all three individual heads of the triceps.

However, the cable skull crusher is not the only exercise that will max out the major muscle of your upper arms. Below are more alternatives.


The reverse dip is a great bodyweight exercise for the triceps that moves the muscle through its full range of motion.

Be sure to lower down to full extension and push all the way back up. Do not buck with your hips.


The rolling triceps bench extension is a multi-joint exercise that allows you to extend your triceps all the way back and beyond your head to maximally extend the long head of the triceps.

While performing this routine, remember to keep your elbows in at the sides of your head throughout the movement.


The rope pushdown will allow you to place your hands in a neutral position to stimulate your triceps from a unique angle.

Do not let your elbow flare out to the sides; maintain a neutral lower back position.


The straight bar triceps pushdown is an effective mass builder that allows you to forcefully contract the muscle in the fully extended position.

Do not allow your elbows to drift away from your sides and forcefully contract the triceps in the bottom position.


Avoid flaring your elbows outwards. This can put unnecessary stress on the shoulder as well as the chest muscles.

Avoid excessive elbow movement as this will shift the focus of the exercise to your lats.

Avoid too much weight as overdoing this exercise can strain your muscles, making them sore and may cause injury.

Avoid straining your back. Always remember that this is a triceps workout and not back training. Do not bend your back while pushing down the weights.


The cable skull crusher is a fantastic isolation exercise. It is the perfect option to include in your triceps workouts, and you will definitely see a difference in your muscular development.

Also consider trying out the different alternatives to see which one works best for you or if possible, include them all for variety in your training.