There is a common notion that in order to develop big arms that it is the biceps muscle which must be constantly targeted and shocked through training. Although, strictly speaking this isn’t false, by simply targeting the biceps muscle you will only really ever achieve 50% of what you’re aiming for. In order to develop bigger, fuller arms which look healthy and proportionate, you must also include exercises which bring about growth to the triceps region.

The triceps are situated on the rear of the upper arm and are considered the opposing muscle group to that of the biceps. Although deemed not as important when considering the so called ‘beach muscles’, they have the ability to add real size to your arm if developed through training. The muscle itself has three heads, those being the lateral, medial and long. Not only can targeting this muscle add tone shape and size to the rear of your upper arm, but it can also assist you in lifting more during other exercises such as the shoulder press and bench press to name but a few.

The Lying Triceps Extension

One exercise that really targets the triceps muscle and should be included in an effective arm session is the lying triceps extension exercise, or as it’s more commonly known; the skull crusher. As this exercise is potentially dangerous to perform and is often performed poorly by individuals, here at FitnessBeans we thought we’d break it down into several simple steps, so you can perform it to the best of your ability each and every time you undertake an arm workout. So without further ado, let’s see what’s required of you during the movement;

How To Execute
  1. Lie on a bench in a supine position.
  2. Select a barbell with a suitable resistance to perform the exercise.
  3. Grasp the barbell with a narrow overhand grip.
  4. Position the barbell directly over the shoulders region with arms extended.
  5. This is your start position.
  6. To perform the exercise, lower the bar towards your forehead by bending at the elbows.
  7. Prior to touching your forehead, extend your arms and return to start position.
  8. This is one repetition. Repeat until required repetitions are completed.
The Lying Triceps Extension Exercise Video

There is an obvious danger with this exercise in that the bar hovers directly above your forehead during the majority of the movement. With this in mind, always select a suitable weight and where possible recruit a spotter. Furthermore, take care during the eccentric phase to ensure a slow, controlled downward phase.

Final Word

The lying triceps extension exercise or skull crusher really does have the potential to add strength and size to the rear of your arm and bring about positive benefits to other areas of your training. It is for these reasons and these reasons alone, that you should always consider this exercise when working out your triceps. Just make sure the popular alternative name of ‘skull crusher’ is never making reference to your forehead! Train hard but train safe.