Dumbbell skullcrusher

The dumbbell skullcrusher is a triceps exercise that has been a staple of bodybuilders for decades. Skullcrushers are usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of an upper-body or arm-focused workout.


  1. Builds muscle and strength in the triceps
  2. Targets the long head specifically
  3. May be more comfortable for wrists and elbows than barbell skullcrushers

Dumbbell skullcrusher Images


Dumbbell skullcrusher Instructions

Dumbbell skullcrusher muscle diagram
  1. Lie on a flat bench while holding two dumbbells directly in front of you. Your arms should be fully extended at a 90-degree angle from your torso and the floor. The palms should be facing in and the elbows should be tucked in. This is the starting position.
  2. As you breathe in and you keep the upper arms stationary with the elbows in, slowly lower the weight until the dumbbells are near your ears.
  3. At that point, while keeping the elbows in and the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to bring the weight back up to the starting position as you breathe out.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: This is an exercise that you need to be very careful with when selecting the weight. Too much weight with sloppy form and you could be looking at injured elbows. Also, if you suffer from elbow problems this exercise might be too harsh on your elbows, so you may need to look for a substitute such as a close-grip bench press.

Variation: You can perform this exercise in an alternate fashion like alternate dumbbell curls.