Barbell Skullcrusher

  1. Take a shoulder width grip. Break at the elbows. Try to keep your elbows tucked in. Don't let them flare out.
  2. Stop the bar a few inches from your forehead and extend your elbows back up.
Difficulty Intermediate

Barbell Skullcrusher: A Comprehensive Guide


  • Choose a barbell and weight appropriate for your strength level
  • Lie flat on a weight bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground
  • Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Extend your arms straight up and position the barbell over your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent

How to Perform

  • Lower the barbell towards your forehead by bending at the elbows
  • Pause at the bottom of the movement, keeping the barbell close to your head
  • Using your triceps, extend your arms back to the starting position
  • Repeat for desired number of reps


  • Keep your elbows close to your head throughout the exercise
  • Maintain control of the barbell and avoid letting it drop too quickly
  • Keep your upper arms stationary and focus on moving only at the elbow joint
  • Make sure to fully extend your arms at the top of the movement for maximum activation of the triceps

Things to Avoid

  • Bouncing the barbell off your forehead
  • Using too heavy of a weight, causing loss of form and control
  • Flaring your elbows out too far from your head
  • Allowing your lower back to come off the bench during the exercise