Cranium Crushers Are Nice For Your Triceps—Right here's Do Them


The cranium crusher is an outstanding train for focusing on the triceps (tricep brachii), that three-headed muscle operating the higher again of every arm. And, comprising over half the muscle groups in your arms, it is no marvel triceps are an necessary muscle group. Whether or not it is growing your energy and muscle aesthetic to bettering shoulder stability and selling enhanced synergy between different higher physique muscle groups, be certain to offer your triceps some love on the fitness center flooring! 

Given the precarious place during which the burden is held, you’ll be able to think about the place its identify stemmed. However concern not, with correct execution, the cranium crusher is a secure and really efficient train.

Under, consultants share the right way to carry out a cranium crusher.

Meet the Skilled

  • Laura Flynn Endres is a private coach and the founding father of the net group health recreation, Get Match Accomplished.
  • Dayna Douglas Hunt is a former Olympic athletic therapist and energy and conditioning coach.

How To Carry out A Cranium Crusher

Skull Crushers

The cranium crusher requires just a few items of apparatus, together with dumbbells or a barbell, in addition to a bench, though a flooring mat can even do the trick.

Private coach Laura Flynn Endres breaks down the right way to appropriately carry out a cranium crusher:

  • Seize two dumbbells of alternative and lie face up on a bench or the ground
  • Prolong your arms towards the ceiling with palms going through inward and the dumbbell shaft vertical
  • Guarantee your higher arms will not be transferring forwards and backwards as throughout (to keep away from loading the shoulders) as you flex your elbows and decrease the dumbbells down. Exhale right here
  • Proceed this part with management till the dumbbells attain simply behind your ears
  • Start to reverse this motion by straightening your arms and pushing the dumbbells again as much as the beginning place. Be certain to not lock your elbows on the high.

Olympic athletic therapist and energy and conditioning coach Dayna Douglas Hunt gives some key tricks to shield your type. “Maintain a impartial backbone all through, and if you’re mendacity on the mat, be certain your toes are flat, and your knees are bent.” She additionally stresses holding your elbows tight and pointing them towards the sky to deliver the elbow and shoulder perpendicular. “You need to preserve your elbows and shoulders nonetheless in order that your weight, wrist, elbow, and shoulder are in line.” One other consideration is to slowly decrease the burden again down with management to really feel the contraction in the back of your arms.

Be conscious of the elbows wandering away from the physique, decreasing the burden to your brow (extra related with a barbell) quite than behind your head, and performing the movement too shortly with out correct muscle management.

What Muscle tissue Are Labored

As beforehand defined, cranium crushers are a single-joint train isolating the triceps. “They’re additionally a “push” train and are subsequently appropriate for exercises in push-pull applications, and likewise work as an opposing muscle group train for those who’re engaged on the biceps, for instance,” says Flynn Endres. After all, the core, which stabilizes the physique and prevents the again from arching, performs a task in executing the cranium crusher correctly.

“Other than together with in a push/pull day, cranium crushers match completely into an upper-body routine and likewise on compound days as an adjunct or a burnout motion,” says Douglas Hunt.

Modifications and Variations

First, follow perfecting the motion earlier than loading on the burden. You can even loop a resistance band round your wrists to create some stress and not using a heavy load. When you perceive the motion, Flynn Andres suggests switching to dumbbells and dealing as much as 15 reps with management. “At this level, you’ll be able to improve the burden.” One other tip – maintain one dumbbell with each fingers by the bell to make sure each arms work collectively and decrease the shaft previous the brow. This gives a safer group for many who really feel shaky, beginning with two dumbbells.


  • Use an EZ curl bar designed to isolate the triceps and biceps. The identical as utilizing one dumbbell, the bar will decrease towards your brow, so work inside a secure vary. 
  • Use a cable rope rather than weights, keep a impartial grip to change how the triceps work. Flip the palms down on the high of the motion and maintain for a second to actually really feel the muscle groups contract on the high of this motion.
  • To alleviate stress on the wrists, alter to a reverse grip with an EZ bar and carry out the identical motion along with your palms going through up.
  • Carry out on an incline bench to recruit extra of the muscle fibers on the lengthy head muscle
  • Overhead extensions assist you to deepen the movement of the train to recruit much more of the muscle.
  • Tricep cable pushdowns are an efficient variation for elbow ache as they scale back among the stress.

Who Ought to Keep away from Them

Earlier than making an attempt a cranium crusher, there are just a few contradictions to think about. “Because the identify suggests, cranium crushers require little bit of management to truly keep away from crushing your cranium, and so I desire for my purchasers to start out with mild weights to make sure they will management the eccentric  (decreasing) portion of the train,” explains Flynn Endres. “For those who really feel unstable in any respect, it’s safer to start out with tricep workouts like kickbacks with a band.” Additionally, if in case you have a energy discrepancy between every arm, utilizing two dumbbells for this train won’t be the most secure possibility.

“Cranium crushers additionally put a whole lot of pressure and stress on the elbows, so these needs to be prevented if you’re coping with ache or tendonitis of the elbow,” cautions Douglas Hunt. “You are additionally placing a whole lot of stress on the grip of your wrist, so be conscious in case your wrists are in ache.”

The Takeaway

Cranium crushers are a single-joint train designed to isolate the triceps and are common as a part of an upper-body or push/pull routine. The train is often performed on a bench however will also be carried out on a mat utilizing both dumbbells or a barbell. Kind is vital to make sure your security and precision in execution, and you need to pay specific consideration to sustaining a impartial backbone and holding the elbows in towards the physique. On condition that stability and management are required all through this motion, cranium crushers needs to be slowly constructed up earlier than including heavy weights. Cranium crushers can even worsen current elbow and wrist ache, and a modification or variation of the train could also be a safer possibility.

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