The lying tricep extension is also called the skull crusher. It is perhaps one of the best tricep exercises to perform to isolate and strengthen your triceps while you build size.
When you use this exercise, it will allow you to quickly bulk up and use heavier weights to tone your upper arms. When you’re able to use heavier weights, then you can increase the growth of your muscles quickly.
The most important point to remember with this exercise is your technique. It is a must that you use correct technique with the tricep extension, or else you will be wasting your time.
Technique is everything! If you do not perform the exercise correctly, then you will not see the results in size and definition that you are looking for.
Lying Tricep Extension Tutorial
Here are the basic steps to perform the lying tricep extension as a part of your regular workout:
1. Start by gripping a barbell in a close grip with your palms facing forward.
2. Lie back on a workout bench with your feet planted on the floor and your arms extended over your head.
3. Move the barbell back slightly so that the weight is behind your head.
4. Slowly begin to lower the weight until it is close to touching your forehead. Make sure to keep your elbows tight and close to your body at all times.
5. Return the weight to starting position.
6. Repeat this exercise for 10 repetitions in 3 sets.
As you can clearly see, the tricep extension will help you to isolate the tricep muscles and provide real results in a short amount of time.
You can also perform the lying tricep extension with a slight variation in a reverse grip. This will help you to target the tricep muscles differently and mix up your workout routine so that you do not hit a plateau.
** I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your technique in the tricep extension. It is called the skull crusher for a reason!
If you are not careful when performing this exercise, then you are likely to injure yourself or strain your upper body. At the very least, using the right technique will ensure that you see a serious return on the exercises that you perform.
** Focus on keeping your elbows tucked in tight to your body the entire time. If you push your elbows out, it will engage your shoulders in the exercise, so you will not see results in defined triceps.
** At the top of the motion of the tricep extension, your arms should be a slightly behind your head and not straight overhead. Using this correct technique will make a world of difference in defining your upper body.
Cable Tricep Extension
You can perform the same exercise with a cable instead of a barbell.
1. Pull a weight bench close to the cable machine at the gym.
2. Lie down in the same position with your feet flat on the floor, and use a narrow overhand grip to hold the bar attached to the cable.
3. When your arms are fully extended, pull the cable bar directly over your torso to create a 90° angle. This is the starting position of the exercise.
4. Begin to slowly bend at the elbows while keeping your upper arms in the 90° position.
5. Lower the cable bar until it is close to touching your forehead.
6. Flex and contract your triceps to return to your starting position. This is one repetition.
7. Perform a complete set of 10 repetitions in 3 sets to finish the exercise.
Although the cable tricep extension is slightly different, it is often best for beginners if you are not comfortable holding a large weighted barbell over your head.
Since the cable has weight resistance, it will allow you to effectively isolate and work your triceps without having to use a spotter to hold the barbell for safety.
Your biggest priority in the tricep extension should be safety. Always start out with a lighter weight until you build your strength and grow more comfortable performing the exercise.