Before we get into today’s new triceps skull variation, I want to remind you that you that we just launched my new brand-new monthly programming resource, Practical Program Design Mastery, which is designed to teach personal trainers how to design effective training programs for real client scenarios.
Since I’m dedicated to making good information as accessible as possible to trainers working in the trenches, this whole month I’ve reduced the cost of PPDM to only $19/month. However, this promotional price ends at midnight, THIS Friday, May 31st. That means you only have 48 hours left to take advantage of this price and be a founding member of Practical Program Design Mastery.
Constant Tension Tricep Skull Crushers
There are lots of triceps skull crusher exercise variations, from performing them on an incline bench, to performing them on a flat bench with your humerus (biceps bone) remaining perpendicular to the floor and lowering the weight to your forehead, or keeping your humerus closer to a 45-dgeree angle toward your head and lowering the weight behind your head. All of those are fine triceps skull crusher variations, as they each hit the triceps maximally during different points in the range of motion due to the mechanics involved.
You see, since free weights are just enhanced gravity, the point at which your triceps are working the hardest (i.e., being maximally loaded) during any all triceps skull crusher variations (using dumbbells, and EZ-bar or a barbell) is when your forearms are at a 90-degree to the force of gravity. This is because this is that point within the range of motion where the lever arm (moment arm) is the longest, therefore your triceps have the least mechanical advantage over the load when your forearm is parallel to the floor.
That said, I developed this triceps skull crusher variation to maintain your forearm at or close to a 90-dgeree angle to gravity throughout the entire range of motion. Although this triceps skull crusher exercise variation doesn’t create a stretch on the triceps – you’d need to do other overhead triceps exercise for that, it does maximally load the triceps through a much greater portion of the range of motion involved in the exercise than other skull crusher variations. This is because it’s the only free-weight skull crusher variation that keeps your forearm at or close to parallel to the floor throughout the majority movement.
Note: I do have you angle your arms at the top of each rep to make sure it doesn’t become a pullover motion that’s limited by other muscle groups. And, you can play around with slightly increasing or reducing that angle at the top of each rep depending on your preference.
When performing this exercise, start with your elbows as low as you can while maintaining your forearm parallel to the floor. As you drive your arms towards your head, keep your forearms parallel to the floor until the top of your biceps gets roughly even with your chin. Once there in the range of motion, begin extending your elbows at a slight upward angle so you finish at the top of each rep with your humerus at roughly a 45-degree angle on each side of your head.
Nick’s Upcoming Live Events
In Toronto, Ontario on June 1-2, 2019 teaching at the Strong Summit.
In Mexico City, Mexico on June 28-30, 2019 teaching at the One Fitness Weekendcongress.
In Portland, OR on August 16-17, 2019 teaching at the NSCA Northwest Regional Conference
In Pomona, CA on August 24, 2019 teaching at the NSCA Southern California State Clinic.
In Bangkok, Thailand on October 10-14, 2019 teaching at the Asia Fit Conference.