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Thread: Skull Crushers

  1. #1
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    Skull Crushers






    Anybody have pain in there elbows when doing skull crushers? They kill my elbows even with very light weight. What exercise should I do to replace these? It really is a great tricep exercise.

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    Try cable tricep extensions. Make sure you keep your elbows locked though.

    Also, if you have pain, maybe your tendons or ligaments can't support the weight that your muscles can? If not, make sure you don't have anything wrong with the area around your elbows. If nothing's wrong, when was the last time you took a little break from lifting?

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    Sounds like you've got some tendonitis started up there. It sucks cuz once you get it never really goes away. Something will always aggravate it when you least expect it.

    I have a similar problem (though I have tendonitis in many more places as well) - I had to take a break from skull crushers and close grip presses because I just couldnt' support that angle. Same w/ tri dips. If it just plain hurts, I'll stop for awhile. When I can work back, I currently do the following :

    Super set of:
    - cable rope grip tri pressdowns
    - cable rope grip OH tri extensions
    DB tri kickbacks

    And all of these I focus on the tricep - i.e. visualize it and go for full extension and control so I can get a sicko burn on it. As noted above - these allow you to isolate the movement of your elbows by locking them at your sides -this helps to support and protect them from the additional stress of being the only support point like they are on presses & skull crushers.

    Also in terms of volume, I usually train tris & chest so I'm hitting them a lot overall. I don't need to do a crapload of accessory work.

    Additionally, right now if it really hurts, I'd ice it at least a couple times /day, ibuprofin (don't load it - it can be rough on your stomach lining in large amounts) helps, and also make sure that you've got enough water intake and good EFAs in your diet to support joints / tendons.

    If you're using any winstrol or any AIs like arimidex, etc, those will also dry the fuck out of your joints and further irritate the tendonitis you've already got going.


    All posts are for entertainment. Consult a doctor before using any medication.

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    instead of lowering the bar to your forehead or nose, drop it back further. It will take some pressure of your elbows. It helped me a lot. I watched evan centopani and guy cisternino (sp) do them like that.
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    RE: skullcrushers

    Instead of skull crushers, do a dumbbell extension using one dumbbell with both hands. The trick here is to let your elbows find their natural plane, do not keep them close to your head. In so doing you will feel less pain in your elbows. Have you had your elbows checked? Do any other exercises bother them? If so, check with a doctor, don't let the problem get worse!

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    WOW! There was a shit load of good information you guys and gal came up with. I'm going to try them all and try the cable work some of you suggested. Also I'm going to find those videos captnstabbin suggested.
    I don't think I have tendonittis since this is the only exercise I feel the pain in. No other exercise bothers my elbows at all except this one and it has always been like that now that I remember.
    Again, great information and thanks.

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    I assume you're doing them lying down. I always found it better for my elbows doing them up right or at a 45deg incline. For some reason I was able to achieve more stability this way.

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    As suggested above, try lowering the bar behind your head instead of on top of your head. Similar to this. Barbell Lying Triceps Extension (aka skull crushers)

    Also set your elbows where they are comfortable but vertical to your body when you raise up the weight. I notice if I try to tuck my elbows closer to me it actually hurts them so I leave them out a little. From my experience it is ok to let your elbows come out from your body. Also make sure you are not using too much weight. Its easy to throw a bunch of weight on there and try to "lift it" but in reality you want to flex your tricep and sqeeze it at the top. Dont be afraid to reduce the weight to get good form. If you are lifting too much weight and not getting good form, you will only hurt yourself. Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Try NOT doing them! Tada!

    I'm personally not a fan of them. Unnatural movement, unnatural load. But that's just me. There's just way safer exercises if you want to trash your tries...which I don't know why you would but...again, that's just my 2 cents.
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    Merkaba,
    What different tricep exercises do you suggest for the tris? I am very limited at home but have been loving skull crushers and 2 handed tricep extensions. Always looking for more ideas. Especially the ones that work the best.

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    I do dips,then close grip bench, then skulls, then overhead extensions, then maybe if not blown out to do one arm bent over extensions.
    "Train like God is watching"

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    Close grip bench kills my wrists so I dont do those.

    Oh yeah I forgot to mention I have been doing dips on my custom built dip rack. I have been experimenting and trying to find a good way to get dips in on chest / tricep day without being totally trashed. I will probably switch around when I do dips. Maybe put them after chest or even right in the beginning. Currently I have been doing dips last but dang I am so destroyed that most of my dips are assisted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ectomorph141 View Post
    Close grip bench kills my wrists so I dont do those.

    Oh yeah I forgot to mention I have been doing dips on my custom built dip rack. I have been experimenting and trying to find a good way to get dips in on chest / tricep day without being totally trashed. I will probably switch around when I do dips. Maybe put them after chest or even right in the beginning. Currently I have been doing dips last but dang I am so destroyed that most of my dips are assisted.

    I would do dips first. I'm destroyed to after a few exercises and can't get but maybe a few dips in. I do them first just like when I do back I do chin-ups first because once I destroy my back I can't do not one chin up.

    I may have to take Merkabas idea and just not do them. I tried everything and some helped but the problem didn't go away. I'll find other replacements like just not doing them lying down. Standing up or sitting up I'm good. Thanks everyone for there input.

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    I have elbow problems - in both of them - myself and I can do any triceps exercise I want as long as I let my elbows find their natural plane instead of holding them close to my head in an unnatural way. That's the key! You have to experiment with a light weight on each exercise to find what angle allows you to use that exercise pain free. Why miss out on the mass building benefits of key exercises?

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