Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredEZ Bar
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

EZ Bar Skullcrusher Overview

The EZ bar skullcrusher is a variation of the skullcrusher and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the triceps.

The triceps can be trained in many different ways to promote growth and overhead extensions, such as the EZ bar skullcrusher, are an effective way to target the long head of the tricep.

Having bigger and stronger triceps are not only important from an aesthetic standpoint but can also help contribute to better performance on pressing motions such as the bench press.

EZ Bar Skullcrusher Instructions

  1. Select your desired weight and sit on the edge of a flat bench.
  2. To get into position, lay back and keep the bar close to your chest. Once you are supine, press the weight to lockout.
  3. Lower the weights towards your head by unlocking the elbows and allowing the ez bar to drop toward your forehead or just above.
  4. Once your forearms reach parallel or just below, reverse the movement by extending the elbows while flexing the triceps to lockout the weight.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

EZ Bar Skullcrusher Tips

  1. Don’t overextend through the lumbar spine as you lower the weight, keep some tension through the abdominals.
  2. Exhale as you extend the elbows and lockout the weight overhead.
  3. If you experience elbow pain during the movement, consider implementing a slight angle (incline or decline) or adjust elbow position (in versus out).
  4. You may slightly reduce tension through the ligamentous portions of the triceps during the movement by keeping the bar just above your head and not locking out directly over your line of sight.
Posted on: Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:16

This is Rippetoe version isn’t it.

I’ve been doing something between that and regular skullcrusher, from starting position of skullcrusher I angle my arms towards my head and keeping them fixed like that I lower the bar behind my head,only forearms are moving. This helped me with my elbow pain, gives incredible stretch for long head and blown my arms huge. This technique in the video is definitely better than regular skullcrushers.

kevin w jones
Posted on: Sun, 03/14/2021 - 21:25

If this form is good enough for Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength then it's good enough for me. It's also easier on my elbows.

Brianne Toma
Posted on: Mon, 11/02/2020 - 13:49

That's not a skullcrusher. The bar goes to the head...hence..."don't smash your face" is pivotal.

Qashif khan
Posted on: Mon, 12/16/2019 - 12:03

Can i do skullcrusher by allowing bar at nose level.its also called nose skull crusher.
Is nose skull crusher same as traditional skull crusher?? By switching to this variation, is it work same tricep muscle head??

Henry Michel Jr.
Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2019 - 21:18

This mans form is incorrect.

Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2019 - 21:33

My thoughts exactly. This is not a skull crusher. I’m a little shocked to see this here.

Posted on: Fri, 06/03/2022 - 14:52

The only part of the arm that should be bending/moving is the elbow. That will isolate the triceps properly. The bar should travel down and touch the forehead just above the nose (hence skull crusher).

In this video, the lifter is using a lot of deltoids and working the pecs.

Rob Smith
Posted on: Fri, 10/04/2019 - 14:35

Care to enlighten?

Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2024 - 06:55

By allowing his humorous (upper arm) to drop to the parallel position, he is engaging his lats. To properly engage the long head of the triceps, it needs to be used with the lats. Just dropping to the skull fits the name "skull crusher" more aptly, but is inferior to the technique demonstrated.

Posted on: Sun, 10/14/2018 - 00:41

I just wanna know that we don’t go heavy right on weights since it’s for toning out?

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2014 - 09:17

Weekly one day is the rest is nesescery

Posted on: Thu, 08/15/2013 - 17:10

You can do this same exercise with a dumbbell, am i right?

Posted on: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 10:24

Yes. If needed, halve the weight and use 2 dumbbells. Just remember to keep good form.

Posted on: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:03

U can try doing it with slower movements like count to ther while doin the muscle movement I'll feel more pumped up n shreds the muscle

Avery Addison
Posted on: Thu, 09/13/2012 - 17:42

well i just started to get serious about lift weights i need some help like a good upper body workout with out taking like 2hours. my friend and i use to do a good workout like |bench press-3sets,8reps||mix hammer/ regular curls-3sets,5 reps||military press 3sets,10-15reps||push ups 3 sets,10reps|<- heavy weights,short rests :I but it isn't making as much progress. so i need to know a great work out to do and we only got pull up bar,bench press,3 dumbbells,1 ez-bar, and mat for push ups(etcs.) PLEASE HELP

Posted on: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 18:07

That comment bellow urs was meant to b a reply to u

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:31

Get some good books, with some anatomy in them. Concentrate on "proper form". Try "super sets", like Curls, then Extensions, very short or no break, then another set. do all sets, 3 for beginning. 4 or 5 as you progress. The reasons for the books is to get you to THINK exercizes. always try to do at least 3 different exercizes for each body part you work, but WORK 'em. the more you read about what worked for these athletes, the more you trial and ere, and learn and grow. There's no shortcuts. Do the work. Good Luck. Oh, and by the way, when I was 67, I worked out about 6 hrs daily---warm-ups, "P-90-X", Crunches w/25@ plate (20 sets of 50) on a swiss ball, then finish up with weights on my "Champs" gym. then eat, shower, and take a 3 mile walk. Everyone thought I was in my 40s ! Cougars were disappointed that I was older than they were. Dumb broads and their obsessions ! ha,ha!

Posted on: Sun, 06/25/2023 - 19:31

Hahaha. Funny. And good work out tips. I'm 57 and just getting back into working out. Starting to do heavy weights and working more cardio. So hopefully I'll look 40 when I get to 67.

Salman Mohiuddin
Posted on: Tue, 07/17/2012 - 04:28

Can straight rod be used instead of EZ Bar.

Posted on: Sat, 05/05/2012 - 19:52

I found this exercise excellent for keeping technique compared wit say the french press as you can see what you are doing all the way and it also gave a much better pump after in the triceps