Four Alternatives to the Skullcrusher


We took an incredibly good triceps move — the skullcrusher — and made it even better. Here are the four variations you need to build sleeve-busting arms.

2. Partial Skull

Partial Skull

As you know, we’re big fans of the partial reps technique simply because it allows you to monumentally overload a muscle to spark growth. For those who’ve never attempted partial reps or find them odd because of the shortened range of motion, the triceps are a good place to incorporate them. For one, partials are about breaking the full range of motion into smaller components and blitzing the target muscle within those isolated ranges. Best performed inside a power rack, partials can mean a few inches at the top of the move or halfway down — or anywhere in between. The great thing about using a power rack for the partial technique is that you can adjust the safeties to different levels without worrying about the bar crashing down on you, nor do you need a spotter to assist you, so they’re great if you train alone. In fact, because you’re working in a shortened distance, you can actually move more weight than normal within each level as compared to the amount of weight you could lift through a standard full range of motion.

However, the partial reps technique is angle specific, meaning you have to train in as many different angles as possible to get the full-range effect. What happens is that once you’ve blasted your triceps at various angles throughout the skullcrusher’s path of the bar, your triceps will have gained strength at each angle, making you better able to handle a full-range skullcrusher with a heavier weight. The stronger you are at each smaller component or distance, the stronger you’ll become overall and the bigger your arms will become.

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  • Mike Rebel Carman

    These are not alternatives, they are variations!

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