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.
3. Cable Skull
If you’ve been in the gym for more than a week, you’ve quickly learned that cables offer something that not even free weights can provide: constant tension. And in no other exercise is that more critical than during skullcrushers. You see, typically at the top of a skullcrusher when your arms are outstretched above you and pointing to the ceiling, it’s important to squeeze and tighten your arms to create tension because otherwise the triceps have the ability to relax to a certain degree. At that angle, gravity is pulling the weight downward into your hands, which are supported by your straight arms. If you’re not careful, that top position can easily become a resting point for your upper arms.
Enter the cables. With the cable version of the skull, you can forget about any moment to rest because the cable, by pulling from the angle of the cable to the bar or rope attachment, you’re always at work. One important tip is that you may need to adjust the bench up or away from the low pulley so that the plates don’t bottom out; if they do, you’ll lose the element of tension the cables are so good at providing. Add to that the fact that incorporating intensity techniques such as drop sets and rest-pause are so much easier to use with cables than other forms or versions. A quick switch of the pin and you’re ready to go, as opposed to having to strip weight off the bar. For a different feel, you can adjust the bench to an incline, which will force your arms back and above your head even more, targeting the long head to an even greater degree — much like an overhead extension. We’re so confident in this cable version of the skull, we trust it could become one of your favorite arm exercises.