How to do a Dumbbell Skullcrusher

Authored by Fitbod

About Dumbbell Skullcrusher

Sets Logged
5,327,876
Popularity Rank
12th
Difficulty
Beginner
Triceps Strength
88 mSCORE 16th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles
None

Instructions: How To

Dumbbell Skullcrusher is an isolation exercise that targets your triceps. Unlike some skull crusher variations, the use of dumbbells prevents you from compensating for any differences in strength between sides, as well as adding some instability to the movement.

  1. Lie your back onto a bench while squeezing your shoulder blades together and placing your heels firmly on the ground underneath your knees.
  2. The bench should be in contact with your head, shoulders, and butt.
  3. Position the dumbbells over your shoulders, palms facing inward, and your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Keep your core braced as you lower the dumbbells overhead by flexing your elbows while keeping your upper arms vertical to the ground.
  5. Once the dumbbells have been lowered to just above your forehead, exhale to return the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Limit Range of Motion at the Top

    Make sure you’re keeping tension on your triceps at the top of the movement. Many lifters will lock out their arms with the weight directly over their elbow. This gives your triceps time to rest between reps. Limit your range of motion so there’s always tension on your triceps.

  • Elbow Drift

    Don’t allow your elbows to move much during this exercise. A little movement is fine, but you want the weight to pivot around your elbow as much as possible. Try shifting your mindset from lowering the weight directly onto your forehead, to arcing around towards the top of your head.

Reps & Weight: How much to lift

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    10
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    12.5
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    12.5
    lbs
    15
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    15
    lbs
    20
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Reps & Weight