This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Don't let the name scare you away from this tried-and-true triceps builder. Proper focus on technique and use of appropriate weights will keep you from bonking yourself on the head when doing skull crushers. By doing skull crushers on the lowered angle of the decline bench, you'll keep tension in your triceps through the entire set, rather than releasing at the top of each repetition.
Lie face-up on a decline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms straight up from the shoulder with your palms facing each other. Your arms will be at roughly a 45-degree angle to the floor, such that even in the starting position you can feel tension in your triceps. (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend your elbows to lower your hands toward the bench. Avoid changing the angle of your upper arm relative to the floor, or letting your elbows bow out (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Bring your hands back to the starting position, again without changing the position of your upper arm, to complete one repetition (see Photo 4).