T Nation



Does anyone here do skullcrushers on a regular basis? Do you guys find they have good carryover to the bench press?



I've noticed my lockout ability increasing after incorporating skull crushers on an incline using a continuous tension technique.


F**k my elbows


I do some form of lying extension every week; either dumbbell, barbbell, kettlebell, etc. . . I have to have some sufficient time warming up my elbows first though. I do them mainly for hypertrophy work for triceps. Although I am sure they do help with lockout in the long-run though.


Even when my weight was improving, skull crushers did nothing for me. Better tricpe exercises in my experience have been JM presses, Rollback extensions, and whatever the hell these are:

That is me by the way that Louie is choking to death.


I never found they really did much for me. Obviously if you can only skull crusher 50 lbs then your bench will be weak, but once you get over something like 115 or 135 lbs it doesn't seem to matter. I trained a few times with one of my friends was a good bencher naturally (500ish raw) and his skull crusher was about the same as mine when I was benching 150 lbs less than him.

I have dropped skull crushers for the past 6 months and my bench has not suffered, indeed it is improving (although I don't think it is improving just because I dropped the skulls) but i have not found much transfer between skullies and bench press.


Destroys my elbows.


Same here, I've never been able to do any kind of extension other than PJRs without elbow pain.


I've gotten decent results with skullcrushers. Shot up from 300 to 350ish and then it seemed to taper off a bit. No elbow problems if I use the football bar, neutral grip. JM presses on the other hand, kill my elbows.


My elbows hate them too....but they give you a pretty horseshoe on the back of your arm.


Thanks for the response! I'm so fucking jealous you got to train at Westside Barbell... do you still workout there?

what exactly are rollback extensions? Is that the one where its like a dumbbell press but in the bottom portion of the lift you roll the dumbbells up by your head?


Thanks for the response Tim... I'm a big fan of your articles! After reading that I'm probably not going to bother adding them back into my routine. I'm only interested in triceps exercises that have the best carryover to the bench press. What exercises have you found that have worked better for you?



Are you benching raw or in a shirt?

I bench raw, and one of my go to moves are the floor presses. They directly translate to my bench, and help get the weight out of the bottom. I like to use a modest weight, around 65-75% of my 1RM. This weight lets me work at higher reps and focus on technique and generating the power out of my tris.

I also use a closed grip dumbbell press to hit the tris. If you have hex dumbbells, they work the best, but any work. If you lie flat on a bench with the dummbells on your chest and palms facing each other, you can hold the dummbells together (touching). I focus on keeping the edge of the dumbbell closet to my face at my nipples or a little below, and driving straight up, which almost feels like i am pushing the weight towards my feet. This is a great move to go heavy. But it is also good to use for speed reps to get a sick pump. The limited range of motion really forces the triceps to continually work without assistance from stronger muscles.

Get your reps up with rope pushdowns to relieve some elbow stress.


Rolling DB Extension @ 0:35


Thanks for the solid advice. I'm a raw bencher. My sticking point is about 2/3 the way up. I'm going to try both of these exercises.


Awesome thanks for the clarification!