Tip: Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Dumbbells beat a barbell for this exercise. You'll get better triceps engagement and a better stretch, which triggers more muscle growth.

This isn't exactly a "skull crusher" because you do it by lowering the dumbbells to each side of your skull. But basically you keep your elbows perpendicular to the floor while lying on a bench, palms facing each other, and perform extensions. Here are the advantages:

  1. A neutral hand position helps keep your pecs out of the movement – something common with regular barbell skull crushers.
  2. Unilateral stabilization forces more triceps engagement.
  3. You can alter your form easily when you hit fatigue and extend the set, as you'll notice in the video.
  4. They're superior to rope pushdowns because your elbows are away from your torso creating a better stretch.
  5. There's also less torque on your wrists compared to pronated hand position variations.
Mark Dugdale is an IFBB pro bodybuilder and Mr. Olympia competitor. Mark has 22 years of experience on stage and a passion for brutal workouts. He has also produced five documentaries, participated in seminars with prison inmates, and was granted one of the last recorded interviews with Joe Weider. Follow Mark Dugdale on Twitter