6 Best Skull Crusher Alternative Exercises for Gains

Best and effective skull crusher alternative exercises for gains (Image via Unsplash/Total Shape)
Best and effective skull crusher alternative exercises for gains (Image via Unsplash/Total Shape)

The skull crusher is one of the most effective exercises you can do for building biceps with the use of equipments like dumbbells, barbells, and EZ bar. However, this exercise comes with its downsides.

They include excess strain on the joints and higher chances of getting injured if you fail to complete the repetitions. Moreover, if you regularly perform this exercise for a prolonged period, your muscles could get used to it, depriving you of all the benefits of this workout.

Effective Skull Crusher Alternative Exercises

We have curated a list of the six best and most effective skull crusher alternative exercises you can do for better gains and strength:

1) Parallel Bar Dip

Parallel bar dips are a versatile skull crusher alternative exercise that targets several muscles in the body, including the shoulders, arms, triceps, and back.

How to do it?

Position your body between two parallel bars while holding them with each hand in a neutral grip. Keep your chest lifted and shoulders rolled back throughout the movement of the exercise.

Pull yourself off the ground till your arms are completely straight on the bars. Lower your body till your elbows create a 90-degree angle without letting your legs touch the ground. Repeat.

2) Overhead Triceps Extension

The overhead triceps extension works on the triceps. You can easily modify the weight of the exercise according to your ability.


How to do it?

Start off by standing with your feet shoulder-distance apart and holding a dumbbell with both hands. Bring the dumbbells over your head till your arms are completely straightened.

Slowly lower the dumbbells at the back of your head without flaring your elbows outwards. Bring the dumbbells back while in the upward position without moving the upper arms. Repeat.

3) Cable Triceps Pushdown

The cable triceps pushdown is a good alternative exercise to the skull crusher and effectively works on the triceps.

How to do it?

Start off with an engaged core, and adjust the rope attachment of the machine at your shoulder level. With tightened abs and tucked-in elbows, bring the attachment towards the floor till your arms are fully extended.

With controlled movement, bring the attachment back to the initial position. Make sure your back stays erect throughout the movement. Repeat.

4) Diamond Push-up

This is a modified form of push-up that is a good alternative for the skull crusher.


How to do it?

Assume the push-up position on the ground, and bring your hands together underneath your chest. Position your thumbs and index fingers such that it creates a diamond shape.

Extend your body upwards till your arms are completely straight, and your body creates a straight line. Lower yourself to the starting position, and repeat.

5) Barbell Close Grip Bench Press

The barbell close grip bench press is one of the dynamic skull crusher alternative exercises you can do for gain and strength.

The position of your arms during the this exercise makes all the difference in terms of the muscles that are targeted. The narrower grip of the exercise ensures that you effectively target your triceps.

How to do it?

Assume your position on the bench, with your back flat and feet pressed on the ground. Grasp the barbell with both hands shoulder-distance apart or closer. Bring the weight over your chest before driving it back to the starting position. Repeat.

6) Triceps Kickback

The triceps kickback is another decent alternative exercise for the skull crusher, It aids in strength and gain, as it involves intense movement of the triceps extension.


How to do it?

Clutch the dumbbells in both hands, and slightly bend your knees. With a straight spine and engaged core, bend forward from the waist above till your upper body is parallel to the ground. Straighten your elbows to bring the weight backward without moving the upper arms before returning them to the starting position. Repeat.

Bottom Line

Skull crushers are one of the most efficient exercises to build the triceps and strengthen the upper body. However, if due to any reason such as injury or monotony, you are not able to include them in your workout routine, there are alternatives you can do.

The aforementioned exercises are some of the best skull crusher alternatives you can include in your workout routine for gain and strength.

These workouts are as effective as the skull crusher and also come with a few added benefits. They can up your arm routine to a whole new level.

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Edited by Bhargav
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