Barbell Skull Crushers: The Versatile Exercise You Need

If you want big, defined triceps, you gotta try the Barbell Skull Crushers workout! This exercise will help bulk up the back of your arms and make them look super strong. But don’t worry, as long as you use your head and good form, you can do it safely without getting hurt.

To get started, all you need is a flat bench and either an Ez-bar or straight bar. You can even change up the bench position to switch things up and keep it interesting.

In this exercise guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about Barbell Skull Crushers such as how to do them right, which muscles they target, and all the benefits you can expect. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to adjust the workout to fit your equipment and fitness level.

Let’s go!

What Are Barbell Skull Crunches?

For those looking to develop their upper body muscle groups like the triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles effectively Barbell Skull Crunches are an excellent option.

It is a compound exercise that requires lying on a bench while extending a barbell overhead with movements resembling skull crushing.

With adaptable options like utilizing different bar types or settings such as flat or declined bench positions available for personalized workout routines that target these specific areas just right, it’s easy to see why this powerful technique has gained so much popularity.

How To Perform The Barbell Skull Crusher Properly

To do the Barbell Skull Crunches, you’ll need a flat bench and a barbell. here are the steps to follow:

  1. Head toward the barbell while you lay on the bench.
  2. With your hands shoulder-width apart and in an overhand grip, hold the barbell.
  3. Hold the barbell over your forehead after taking it from the rack.
  4. Keeping your elbows fixed, slowly lower the bar toward your forehead.
  5. The bar should stop being approximately an inch from your forehead at that point.
  6. Lift the bar back up to the starting position.

Equipment Needed

  • Barbell
  • Bench

Proper Form

Ensuring correct exercise posture is vital both for enhancing performance and minimizing injuries. Here are some pointers for maintaining excellent body position during training:

  • Maintain elbow proximity to the head instead of locking them while extending arms.
  • Select a manageable weight with which you can control throughout movement execution.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Performing Barbell Skull Crunchers

  • Arching your back: Keep your back on the bench to prevent straining your lower back.
  • Moving your elbows: Keep your elbows pointed towards the ceiling throughout the movement to ensure proper form and avoid injury.
  • Using too much weight: Start with a lighter weight to ensure proper form and avoid injury.
  • Letting the bar touch your forehead: Stop the bar just above your forehead to avoid hitting your head and straining your neck.

The Benefits Of Barbell Skull Crushers

  • Targeted Muscles: Achieving strong defined triceps requires targeted muscles. This particular exercise emphatically works the long head of the triceps while simultaneously engaging key muscle groups such as the chest and anterior deltoids.
  • Increased muscle mass and strength: Want to pack on some serious muscle? Then don’t overlook the power of barbell skull crunches! it is a potent compound exercise that allows you to lift heavier weights and focus on specific muscle groups for greater size and strength gains.
  • Improved Stability and Coordination: Level up your stability by keeping your upper arms still and maintaining a stable position on the bench.
  • More versatility: undoubtedly, this exercise is one of the most versatile exercises out there. With various modifications and techniques available it’s easy to create a custom exercise that meets your specific needs.

Best Variations for Skull Crushers Using Barbell

1. EZ Bar Skull Crusher

The EZ curl bar is quite the go-to option when it comes to skull crushers. It works much like a regular barbell but some folks find its grip easier to handle.

For more ideas on utilizing this variation have a look at this article detailing some killer EZ bar exercises for beefing up your triceps.

2. Decline Barbell Skull Crushers

When it comes to prioritizing your triceps during workouts the decline skull crusher is an effective option for achieving targeted results.

As an isolation exercise that creates a slight decline to add extra intensity this variation on the traditional dumbbell extension can help build up impressive muscle and increase overall strength in all three tricep heads.

3. Incline EZ Bar Skull Crushers

The EZ Bar skull crusher exercise in an inclined position is a vital method in developing muscle and strength across the three tricep heads.

The implementation of this workout can be used by individuals who aspire to build larger triceps or bolster their tricep strength.

The advantages of executing these movements are numerous, as they grant you the ability to attain a more profound stretch in your muscles, which in turn may trigger the activation of additional muscle fibers.

4. Dumbbell Skull Crusher

Dumbbell Skull Crushers are the next similar exercise in form and purpose to Barbell Skull Crushers. If you don’t have a barbell, I’d recommend Dumbbell Skull Crushers.

The dumbbell variant provides additional benefits. Because it’s dumbbells, both arms must function separately, so any asymmetries – one arm being stronger than the other – will be noticeable.

Additionally, Dumbbell Skull Crushers place the wrist in a more stable grip position since the dumbbells are rotated in, which is considerably better for many lifters.


If you tired of doing the same old exercises that don’t seem to target the areas you want to tone and strengthen? It’s time to add some variety to your workout routine with barbell skull crunchers.

Hassane Sghir
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