Is the EZ bar necessary for the Skull Crusher? Here's an effective way to build your ideal triceps.


The skull crusher is an effective exercise for training the triceps . Since it is an exercise that can easily injure the elbows, it is effective to use an EZ bar that puts less strain on the elbows. Some people who want to incorporate the skull crusher may have the following concerns:

  • Want to know an effective way to train your triceps?
  • Want to know more about the Skull Crusher on the EZ Bar?
  • I want to gather information about training equipment to use at home.

In this article, we will explain in detail how to do the Skull Crusher using an EZ bar, how to set the appropriate weight and number of repetitions, and variations. Let's safely create the ideal triceps with the Skull Crusher using an EZ bar.

What is Skull Crusher?

Man doing muscle training

The skull crusher is an effective exercise for training the triceps, also known as the triceps extension . The skull crusher is performed by lying on your back on a bench, lowering the barbell close to your forehead, and bending and straightening your elbows. This exercise focuses on the triceps and is effective for building toned arms.

Due to the nature of the training, it is easy to put strain on your elbows, so you need to be careful not to lose your form or set too much weight. Although it is common to use a barbell in the Skull Crusher, you can reduce the risk of injury by using an EZ bar, which is less likely to hurt your elbows.

Parts trained with Skull Crusher

The Skull Crusher is a training that focuses on the triceps. The triceps is located behind the biceps and is known as the upper arm. It is divided into three parts: the long head, the medial head, and the lateral head.

The Skull Crusher involves repeatedly straightening your elbow, so it focuses on training the outer head. By training the outer head, which is located on the back of your arm, you can aim for strong and toned upper arms .

What is the EZ bar used in the Skull Crusher?

The EZ bar is used when performing the skull crusher. The EZ bar is bent in the shape of the letter W, and is designed to reduce excessive strain on the wrists. Compared to a straight bar, it is easier for the wrist to maintain a natural angle when bending the elbow, reducing the risk of injury.

The key to the Skull Crusher is to grip the EZ bar so that your thumb is lower than your pinky when you bend your elbow. This will further reduce strain on your wrists and allow for more effective training.

If you're looking for a reliable EZ bar, then REPFitness is the product for you. Made from high-quality materials and with a great design, it's suitable for beginners and advanced users alike.

>> REPFitness Ruckable EZ Curl Bar

How to do the Skull Crusher

Man doing skull crusher on EZ bar

Skull crushers put a lot of strain on your elbows, so it's important to choose the right weight and do it with the right form. Here's how to do it with an EZ bar:

  1. Set up a workout bench and EZ bar
  2. Grip the inside of the EZ bar with your right hand.
  3. Lie on your back so that your head is slightly over the bench.
  4. Lift the bar and tilt your arms slightly above your head.
  5. Exhale for 1-2 seconds as you lower the bar
  6. Inhale and bring the bar back into position
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6

When raising and lowering the EZ bar, keep your elbows still and move slowly.

Points to note when doing the EZ Bar Skull Crusher

Man using an EZ bar

Even if you use an EZ bar, the skull crusher increases the risk of injury if you do not use the correct form or the appropriate weight. Here are five things to keep in mind when doing the skull crusher with an EZ bar.

  • How to use the EZ bar correctly
  • Do it with the correct form
  • Avoid using recoil
  • Don't lift too much weight at the beginning
  • If you feel pain, don't push yourself

Let's take a look at the points to note for each.

Tip 1: Use the EZ bar correctly

When doing skull crushers, it is important to hold the EZ bar correctly. The EZ bar is bent in the shape of the letter W to reduce strain on the wrists. For skull crushers, hold the inner part of the W shape close to your wrists so that your wrists are at a natural angle.

When you lower the bar and bend your elbows, make sure that your thumb is lower than your pinky, which will prevent excessive strain on your wrists. By being conscious of bending your wrists when you straighten your elbows and bending your wrists when you bend your elbows, you can train more safely.

Tip 2: Use the correct form

If you do not use the correct form, the skull crusher can hurt your elbows and wrists. Paying particular attention to the correct positioning of your elbows and wrists makes for a safe and effective workout.

First, be careful not to open your elbows outward. If you do this exercise with your elbows open, it will not be effective for your triceps and will put extra strain on your shoulders. It is important to keep your elbows closed at all times. Also, bending your wrists can cause injury. Be sure to keep your wrists upright and not lying down.

Tip 3: Don't use recoil

When performing skull crushers, it's important not to use momentum to lift the weight, as this will cause uneven loading of the muscles and will not properly work your triceps.

Especially when handling heavy weights, it is easy to use recoil, so it is necessary to control the movement. When lowering the weight, lower it slowly as if you are defying gravity, and be aware of lifting it while firmly contracting your triceps.

Tip #4: Don't lift too much weight at the beginning

When doing skull crushers, it is important not to lift too much weight from the beginning. The skull crusher is an exercise that is likely to cause elbow injuries because the weight is also applied to the stretched muscle. If you handle too much weight, your form will easily collapse, and you may end up with the weight on your forehead.

To prevent injury, it is best to start with an appropriate weight and gradually increase the load. If possible, you can train more safely by using assistance at first.

Tip 5: If you feel pain, don't push yourself

When performing the Skullcrusher, it is important not to push yourself if you feel any pain in your shoulder or elbow. Continuing to ignore pain can increase your risk of injury and slow your recovery.

If you feel repeated pain, you may not be using the correct form, so you need to review your form. Using weights that are too heavy or overworking can also cause pain, so be sure to train with the right frequency and weight. If the pain continues, it is also important to consult a specialist doctor.

Skull Crusher Weight and Repetitions

Weight training equipment

Skull crushers require a lighter load than dumbbell curls, which are used to train the biceps .

The average weight for beginners is 10-15kg for men and 5-10kg for women. It is recommended to start with 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions. The bar alone weighs about 10kg, so if the bar is too heavy, you can also use a lighter bar or dumbbells.

Once you get used to it, gradually increase the load, aiming for 15-25 kg for men. Women who want to tone their upper arms should use a lighter load and do more repetitions. However, the appropriate weight and repetitions will vary depending on your training goals and individual strength levels, so adjust as needed.

Variations due to different bench angles

Woman training on a bench

The Skull Crusher allows you to subtly change the parts of your body you train by changing the angle of the bench. By using three angles - flat, incline, and decline - you can effectively train your entire triceps.

Angle variation 1: Flat

The skull crusher using a flat bench is the most basic method. It has the advantage that it is easy to grasp the relative positions of your elbows, shoulders, and grip, and that it is easy to learn the correct form.

It is especially recommended for beginners and those who find it difficult to maintain the correct form when using dumbbells. The flat bench allows you to train the entire triceps in a balanced manner, and the form is highly stable, minimizing the risk of injury.

Angle variation 2: Incline

Skull crushers performed on an incline bench put more stress on the long head of the triceps. The incline bench creates a larger angle between the torso and upper arm, which puts more stress on the long head.

However, it has the disadvantage that it can be difficult to grasp the relative positions of your shoulders, elbows, and grip, so it is best to first master the correct form on a flat bench before attempting this exercise.

Angle variation #3: Decline

The Skull Crusher on a decline bench provides a firm workout to the entire triceps. The decline bench puts less than a 90-degree angle between the torso and upper arms, so the load is evenly distributed across the rest of the triceps. The decline position is ideal for balancing the entire triceps.

If you want to change the angle of the bench for training, we recommend the REP Fitness AB-3000 2.0 FID Adjustable Bench. It can be adjusted to eight different angles from -12 degrees to 85 degrees, and also has a decline position.

>>Uchinogym AB-3000 2.0 FID Adjustable Bench

Variations due to differences in equipment used

2 dumbbells

The effects and actions of the Skull Crusher vary slightly depending on the equipment used. There are three equipment that can use the Skull Crusher:

  • barbell
  • dumbbell
  • cable

The basic training flow is the same. Understand the features of each equipment and choose the method that suits you best.

Equipment Variation 1: Barbell

Skull Crusher generally uses a barbell. In particular, the use of an EZ bar makes it easier for the wrist to maintain a natural angle, reducing the strain on the wrist and elbow. By using an EZ bar, the wrist naturally rotates inward when bending the elbow, making forearm supination smoother.

The barbell method is more effective for building muscle strength because it allows you to handle heavier weights than other equipment. Using an EZ bar allows you to train with heavier weights more safely.

Equipment variation 2: Dumbbells

The skull crusher is a training method that can be easily done at home, and it is also recommended to use dumbbells. The skull crusher using dumbbells strongly stimulates the long head of the triceps.

Because the palms face each other, the stretch to the long head of the triceps is stronger, allowing for effective training. The movement is simple: lie on your back on a bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand, and bend and straighten your elbows.

The dumbbell skull crusher is convenient to use with "adjustable dumbbells" that can be finely adjusted. It is an ideal item for home training because it can be stored in a small space.

>> REP X PÉPIN FAST series adjustable dumbbells

Equipment Variation #3: Cable Machine

The advantage of using a cable machine for skull crushers is that they allow you to put a sustained load on your triceps compared to other methods. The cable pull-up keeps the muscles under strain even when your elbows are extended, so you can train them more effectively.

When using a cable machine, you lie on your back on the bench, just like when using a barbell. Gripping the bar, pull the cable up, and pause at the top for one second to maximize the muscle training effect.

If you are interested in cable machines, check out the following link. By attaching them to a power rack, you can do cable training and increase variety.

>> REP Fitness Plate Loaded Lat & Low Row

Differences between the Skull Crusher and other events that are easily confused with it

Man working out with dumbbells

The skull crusher is a typical exercise for training the triceps, but there are other exercises that use similar movements to train the same parts of the body. We will explain the differences between these exercises and three that are particularly likely to be confused.

  • Differences from a French Press
  • Difference from dumbbell pullover
  • Difference from Lying Triceps Extension

Let's take a look at the differences between each one.

Type 1: Difference from French Press

The skull crusher and the French press are both exercises that work the triceps, but there are differences in the movements and effects they have.

The skull crusher involves lying on your back on a bench, fixing your elbows and moving your forearms up and down, giving a strong stimulus to the medial and lateral heads. On the other hand, the French press involves standing upright and moving a weight such as a dumbbell up and down over your head, giving a strong stimulus to the long head.

Even when doing the same exercise to train the triceps, you can put targeted stress on different parts of the body.

Event 2: Difference from dumbbell pullover

The dumbbell pullover is an exercise that trains the pectoral muscles and latissimus dorsi, and targets different muscles than the skull crusher.

In the dumbbell pullover, you move your arms up and down with a slight bend in your elbows, stretching your latissimus dorsi, while in the skull crusher, you move your forearms up and down with your elbows fixed, focusing on your triceps.

The dumbbell pullover and skull crusher are training exercises used for different purposes.

Exercise 3: Difference from Lying Tricep Extension

The lying triceps extension is an exercise that performs a similar movement to the skull crusher, but the way the bar is lowered is different.

In the Lying Triceps Extension, the bar is lowered above the head, and the shoulder joint is also moved when the elbow is extended, so the long head is trained more effectively. On the other hand, the Skull Crusher is lowered above the forehead, so the medial and lateral heads can be trained intensively.

Get your perfect triceps with the EZ Bar Skull Crusher

The skull crusher is an effective exercise for training the triceps. It is a training that puts a lot of strain on the elbows, but using an EZ bar can reduce the risk of injury. This article provides a detailed explanation of how to do the skull crusher using an EZ bar, how to set the weight and load, and other variations.

The Skull Crusher is an exercise that you can train at home with just a training bench, a barbell, or dumbbells. Learn the correct way to do the Skull Crusher, the appropriate weight, and the number of repetitions to achieve your ideal triceps.

For those who want to diversify their at-home training, the Uchino Gym website introduces a variety of equipment. If you are interested, please check out the link below.

>> Uchino Gym Official Website

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