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Triceps Workout (1) – Lying Triceps Press or Skull Crusher

March 21st, 2008 · 11 Comments ·


Lying Triceps Press is an isolation exercise which triceps are worked out. It is probably the best exercise to build size and strength, particularly the large inner head of the triceps muscle. I like the lying tricep extension and I have always performed it as the first exercise for my triceps workouts.


  1. Sit on a flat bench holding an EZ-Curl bar with an overhand grip (palm facing away from body).
  2. Use a moderate weight for a start.
  3. With the bar resting on your thighs, lie back on the bench and bring the bar to your chest.
  4. Push the bar directly over your chest and fully extend your arms.
  5. Keep your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise, lower the weight until it almost touches your forehead.
  6. Use your triceps to extend your arms and bring the weight back up to the original position. The bar should travel in a smooth arc at a regular speed.



  • Make sure your elbows do not move too much, try to keep them the same width apart during the whole movement.
  • Be sure to maximally contract your triceps at the top of the movement.
  • I suggest using an EZ Curl bar because it is generally more comfortable and will place less stress on the wrists then a straight bar.
  • You can also perform this lift with dumbbells.


  • You may need a spotter yo hand you the weight before and after the exercise.


(The guy is wearing slippers. Don’t be like him. Never risk your toes.)

  • It is worth mentioning that lying triceps presses are called “skull crushers” too because the bar can crush our skulls if we are not careful when we lower the weight. Once the bar nearly touches the forehead, push the bar upwards to the extended position. You do not really need to let the bar to touch your forehead.




Category: Triceps

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11 responses so far ↓
  • Oliver // Mar 21, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    It seen like we did at B.Pump class right?

  • LogicYuan // Mar 22, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    a spotter is really important when doing free weights, I almost injured myself the other day doing bench press as I miscalculated the weight,luckily i didn’t break my ribs.

    That is giving me a bit of a phobia now, I’m sticking to machines whenever I’m going to the gym alone…

  • trey // Mar 22, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    LogicYuan, you might want to learn how to dump the weights just in case you cant press it back up again.

    do ask the PTs to show you how, they should be able to teach you to safely dump the weight off your chest if noone is around to help.

  • eksk // Mar 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    hmm i really wonder.. are you there to build your body or to show off how heavy you can lift…. you should be in control of the weights.. not the weights control you…

  • trey // Mar 26, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    you know, some people needs to push themselves hard to get to their goals. Myself for instance, i do not aspire to be a bodybuilder nor do i want to pump weights til the cows come home.

    i train for optimal strength gain and maximum practical strength gains. I leave my ego outside the door of the gym, but i always push myself hard. I do maximal effort training and rarely do i ask for someone to spot me on the major lifts (because i just dont believe in putting the weights on the bar if i cant lift it anyways). Its a fine line balancing those very high effort (90%++ of your max) and getting stuck under the bar.

  • Alan // Apr 2, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    i am 16 years old and i weigh 131 pounds, i train chest and tricepsp on the same day but ever since, i can’t bench as much. before i did 115 on my rep max easy but I am struggling to lift 95pounds

  • needa // Aug 9, 2008 at 10:41 PM

    What is the best workout and the fastest way to remove falb arm..??

  • Mun // Aug 10, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Hi needa, in order to get rid of the flabby arms, you need to incorporate resistance training to firm up the arm muscles and cardiovascular exercise to burn the fat. I will publish few more exercises involving triceps in near future.

    If you work out consistently for 3 times a week, after 2 months, you will notice some results. So, instead of looking for the best workout and hoping to see the result within short period, you need to be patient. Many people give up too soon when they almost reap the fruit of their hard work.

  • needa // Dec 26, 2008 at 11:50 AM

    Thanks Mun..

    I wish there will be more triceps excercise using free weight.
    So tht I can do it at home. Btw, how many set/rep should I do for each training. And how long should I do the cardiovascular exercise ?..

  • jason // Jul 17, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    you should try doing a weight where you can’t lift more than 8-10 reps, do 8 sets of these taking a 1-2 minute break in between each set. Do this 3 times a day, you should see great results.

  • mike // Nov 23, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    I am a little confused. Why do some web sites suggest palm down and others go for
    palm up when doing Skullcrushers. Which is the best for overall tricep definition.
    Thanks in advance.

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