The EZ bar skull crusher is an exercise that caters to the triceps. It also happens to be the variation of the skull crusher – an exercise that isolates the triceps brachii.
As the title mentions, this exercise involves the use of an EZ bar to isolate the triceps in order to strengthen them.
- Start by lying down, back first
- Now, begin to lower the barbell towards the forehead
- Once the bar is at your forehead, lower your shoulders and roll your arms back so the bar is behind your head.
- At this point, you should feel the entire back of your arm engage and stretch intensely.
- After you’ve held the bottom position of the lift for a beat, drive the bar back up
- Do 4-6 reps of 4-6 sets
In order to properly do the EZ bar skull crusher, there are a few things you should incorporate while doing the exercises:
Vary the width of your grip when you pick the EZ bar ensuring that you can flex your upper back muscles and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Tuck your elbows in and squeeze on the barbell
You should also ensure that you follow the same path whenever you lower or raise the bar
WHAT MUSCLES DO THE EZ BAR SKULLCRUSHER WORK?
The triceps are the primary target area while doing the EZ bar skull crusher. This is because the movements necessary to do the exercise force the triceps to do most of the heavy lifting – literally.
By gripping the EZ bar in an overhand grip at the starting position, all the weight is directed towards the tricep.
The tricep is then what you use to lift the bar up and down. Therefore with each lift, the triceps are engaged.
The forearms work closely with the triceps to enable the triceps to enforce the movements that raise the bar up and down.
The triceps act as the supporting pivot that puppet the forearms enabling them to move thus completing the exercise.
The elbows give versatility to your movements while doing the EZ bar skull crusher. As such whenever your arms fold towards certain angles, it is because the elbows are engaged.
The elbows are thus what make the unique isolation of the elbows possible.
EZ BAR SKULLCRUSHER BENEFITS
The EZ bar skull crusher is structured in a way that isolates the triceps and allows the muscle to handle a heavy amount of weight – more than any other exercise.
As such, the EZ bar skull crusher allows you to achieve elite levels of tricep strength. This enables you to do a number of things including providing overhead stability.
In the end, the stronger your triceps are, the more you can lift.
As mentioned above, the EZ bar skull crusher is a strengthening exercise however it does also add mass to the arms by targeting the long head of the triceps.
The triceps are divided into three heads with the largest one being the large extensor. It runs along the back of your upper arm.
This therefore makes up about two thirds of the arm. Consequently, building mass along these channels
FACILITATES HIGHER INTENSITY EXERCISES
The strength and increase in mass allows you to handle the most intense of exercises that involve the triceps.
As such, it facilitates the ability to do higher intensity exercises
Unknown to many, healthy joints are intricately linked to hypertrophy. This is because your training volume, technique and produced force make it possible for the muscles to carry the workload rather than joints, tendons or ligaments.
As such, this reduces the amount of strain your joints are put under, thus leading to healthy joints.
It also ensures that you avoid any sort of joint injuries from overexertion.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE EZ BAR SKULL CRUSHER
CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS
- Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and grip the barbell with your hands around shoulder-width apart.
- They can be slightly closer than that, but don’t move them too close together or the set-up will become unstable and you’ll risk an injury to your wrists.
- Brace your core and squeeze your shoulder blades together to stabilise your body. Lower the bar slowly and press up powerfully.
- Bring the bar back down towards your sternum. Keep your elbows close to your sides to emphasise your triceps and don’t arch your back.
- Sit on the edge of a stable chair,weight benches, or step and grip the edge next to your hips.
- Your fingers should be pointed at your feet, your legs extended, and your feet about hip-width apart with the heels touching the ground.
- Look straight ahead and begin.
- Press into your palms to lift your body and slide forward just far enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair.
- Lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Control the movement throughout the range of motion.
- Push yourself back up slowly until your arms are almost straight and repeat.
OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION
- Sit on a bench or chair cupping one end of a dumbbell in both hands directly overhead. This is the starting position.
- Keeping your chest up, core engaged, and back straight, lower the weight behind your head without moving your upper arms.
- Pause, and then press the weight back up to the starting position.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
MOVING THE WEIGHTS TOO FAST
While doing the EZ bar skull crusher, momentum is very important. As such, it is vital that you get your momentum just right.
For instance, lowering the weights too fast without controlling the position of your arms could lead to injuries.
STRAIGHTEN YOUR BACK
Ensure that your spine is neutral through each movement especially as you lower the weight.
It is a common occurrence to arch your back in order to cope with the weight load. However, this causes more harm than good.
An aligned spine ensures that you can perform the EZ bar skull crusher efficiently. In doing so, you also avoid the extra strain that is directed towards your back thus avoiding back injuries
The EZ bar skull crusher is a highly efficient and effective exercise that provides both power and mass.
As such, it’s a great exercise if you’re ready to push your arms to elite fitness levels .