What’s The Difference Between Skull Crushers And Lying Tricep Extension?

The lying tricep extension is also known as the skull crushers. That is doing tricep extension lying on the floor is good as doing the skull crushers exercise. Yes, these two exercises are similar, and they work the similar muscles.

In the following paragraphs, you will learn more about how to do the lying tricep extension exercise. You will know how to do the tricep extension lying on the floor or lying on a bench. More so, you will also get to know how to do the same exercise standing on your feet.

Interestingly, there are many tricep extension alternatives listed in this article. These include dumbbell close grip bench press, chair dips, tate press, lying tricep extension, and many others.

Lying Tricep Extension - Triceps Exercise

Knowing different types of triceps exercises makes it easier to get various exercises that work best for you. Let’s get started!

lying tricep extension dumbbell

The lying tricep extension is good at working your entire tricep muscles. And it doesn’t just work the triceps only but other muscle such as shoulders,  serratus anterior, and abs also benefits from the exercise. The use of dumbbells is good at defining those muscles and making them stronger. This is how you do the lying tricep extension exercise with the use of dumbbells;

  1. Start by lying on the bench and make sure that your back is against the bench.
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells in a neutral grip above your chest.
  3. Then lower bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells until they are closer to your ears or at the level of ears.
  4. Make sure that you squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat to meet the target number of your reps.

How Can I Do Lying Tricep Extension Barbell?

This is an isolation exercise and it is also known as the skull crushers. It is another exercise that is ideal for primarily targeting the triceps muscles. Other muscles that you work with include the back, shoulders as well as abs. Using the barbell makes the exercise more intense and that means more strength. Below are the ways of going about the exercise;

  1. Lie on a bench and keep your back against the bench. Your feet can be planted on the floor.
  2. You might need a spotter to help you with the barbell.
  3. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip.
  4. Then press the weight upward until your arms are fully stretched above your forehead. Continue pressing until the barbell passes the forehead slightly.

Overhead Triceps Extension

This is a strength exercise that primarily targets the triceps muscles. The other muscles that you work with include the shoulders and  serratus anterior. Interestingly, you can do this tricep overhead extension exercise while seated or standing. follow the steps below for instructions;

  1. While standing, hold a pair of dumbbells in front of you and make sure that your feet are at shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise weight up until your arms are fully stretched.
  3. Then lower the weight behind your head and make sure that you don’t lock your arms.
  4. Return your arms to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the moves as much as you can.

Lying Tricep Extension Vs Skull Crushers

The lying tricep extension is also known as skull crushers. Therefore, these two are triceps isolation exercises. The form of doing the exercises is similar but they benefit your muscles differently.

Skull crushers targets all the 3 head of triceps; lateral, medial and long head. It is good for defining the muscles and making them thicker. The lying tricep extension also makes your triceps muscles become thicker. This exercise is good for primarily targeting the long head which is located in the back of the triceps. Then the medial and lateral triceps become the secondary muscles.

As much as the exercises are similar they hit the tricep muscles differently. But the difference is not that significant. If you want to develop your triceps, you can always do both exercises to hit your triceps.

Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

The cable overhead triceps extension is another isolation exercise that is good for strengthening the triceps muscles. The cable tricep extension or tricep cable extension exercise generally makes you build bigger and stronger arms.

Lying Tricep Extension - Cable Triceps Exercise

It is beginner-friendly and using a machine makes you focus better. Below are the steps you can follow to do the exercise;

  1. Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart and grasp the rope extension with both hands. You must be facing away from the machine.
  2. Then raise the rope over your head.
  3. Lower the rope behind your head until you feel a stretch. Pause in that position for a second before raising your arms to the starting point.
  4. Repeat as much as you can.

Lying Tricep Extension Muscles Worked

The lying triceps are good at hitting the triceps muscles. However, it doesn’t end there, it also hit other various muscles but in a secondary level.

As you lift up the weight, you also exercise your shoulder muscles. The same movement also gives the serratus anterior and the latissimus dorsi some exercise. Other muscles that you can affect with the lying tricep extension are the abs.

Therefore, the lying tricep extension hit up several muscles. As you strengthen your triceps, other upper body muscles also benefit largely.

Lying Tricep Extension Alternatives

The lying tricep extension exercise is ideally good for the triceps muscles but you can always try other alternative exercise that targets the same muscles. And there are a lot of exercises that you can do in place of the lying tricep extension. Below are some alternatives;

Dumbbell Close Grip Bench Press

This is a good alternative to the lying tricep extension exercise. The dumbbell close grip bench press is a strength exercise that primarily targets the triceps. Other muscle groups that it works with include the shoulders and chest.  But the exercise might be a bit difficult for beginners. Follow the steps below to do the exercise

  1. Lie on your back on a bench and plant your feet on the floor.
  2.  Grasp a pair of dumbbells and keep your hands closer above your chest.
  3. Press the dumbbells up above your chest until the arms are fully stretched.
  4. Then lower the weight to the starting position above your chest.
  5. Repeat the moves to reach the number of desired reps and sets.

Tate Press

This is another exercise that you can do in place of the lying tricep extension. The Tate press primarily works the triceps. Then secondary, it works the shoulders and the chest muscle groups. This is how you do the Tate press;

  1. Start by lying on your back on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bring the dumbbells above your chest with elbows pointing sideways and the palms facing forward. Sides of dumbbells should be touching each other.
  3. Press the dumbbells up above the chest and keep the dumbbells closer to each other.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the moves as much as you can.

Chair Dips

If you want to work your triceps without using weight, chair dips is one of the best exercises to do. The chair dips primarily work your triceps muscles.

Lying Tricep Extension - Chair Dips

In addition to that, the exercise also works the trapezius, pectoralis major, and serratus anterior. It is an easy exercise that does not need a lot of equipment. Follow the steps below to do the exercise;

  1. Stand in front of a chair and make sure that you are facing away from the seat.
  2. Then sit on the edge of the chair and plant your hands behind your hips at the edge of the seat.
  3. Keep your hands secure on the chair and then lower your body towards the floor and make sure that your elbows don’t bend for more than 90-degree angle.
  4. Raise your body up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the moves as much as you can.

Lying Tricep Extension Floor

The tricep extension can be done while lying on the floor. With this position, you still hit the triceps muscles. Other muscles that you work with include the shoulders, serratus anterior, and other arm muscles. This is how you do the tricep extension while lying on the floor;

  1. Lie down on the floor with a dumbbell in both your hands and keep your feet rooted on the floor.
  2. Bring the dumbbells up above your chest with your arms fully extended towards the roof.
  3. Lower the dumbbells towards your face until they touch your ears.
  4. Return the dumbbells to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the moves as much as you can.

Besides these exercises, other alternatives that you can do include lying tricep press, diamond push-ups, push-ups, tricep extension machine, and many others.

Final Thoughts

The lying tricep extension exercise is one of the best exercises for primarily working the triceps muscles. Doing the tricep extension exercise lying down is good as doing the skull crushers. As discussed above, the skull crushers are also known as the lying tricep extension.

The two exercises or rather the same exercise does not only work triceps but also work other upper body muscles. For instance, other muscles that get worked by tricep extension include shoulders, serratus anterior, abs, lats, and many other muscles.

The interesting thing about the tricep extension exercise is that there are a lot of alternatives and variations that you can do. Some of them are Tate press, chair dips, dumbbell close grip bench press, and more.

Do you know the difference between the lying tricep extension and skull crushers? Have you tried doing the exercises? Share your experiences below.

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