Lying triceps extensions, also known as skull crushers and French extensions or French presses, are a strength exercise used in many different forms of strength training. Lying triceps extensions are one of the most stimulating exercises to the entire triceps muscle group in the upper arm. It works the triceps from the elbow all the way to the latissimus dorsi. Due to its full use of the Triceps muscle group, the lying triceps extensions are used by many as part of their training regimen. Triceps extensions are isolation exercises, meaning they use just one joint. While compound exercises are recommended for developing all the muscle groups involved in the functional movement, triceps extensions can be beneficial for fixing imbalances in the triceps or rehabilitating from injury. In bodybuilding, this exercise is used to target the triceps for growth.
Target muscles :
- Deltoid ( anterior , posterior)
- Pectoralis major
- Stabilizers( latissmus dorsi , teres major , wrist flexors)
Alignment: Lie on a flat bench with feet on the ground and head hanging just off the top of the bench, so that the edge of the bench rests in the pit between neck and head. Take the barbell with an overhand grip (palms away from body) and hold it out above the head so that the arms are supporting the weight. Do not hold the arms straight over the face at 12 o’clock, but rather at an angle more like 10 o’clock, with feet at 3 o’clock. All of the weight should be on the triceps. Now bend the arms at the elbow, bringing the bar down close to the top of the forehead. Keep the elbows in the same position, do not let them sway outward. Press back up to starting 10 o’clock position. Try to avoid moving your elbows too much; try to keep them the same width apart during the whole movement.
Breathing: inhale during bending your elbow , and exhale during elbow extension.
Concentration : lying triceps presses are called “skull crushers” because the bar can crush your skull if you’re not careful when you lower the weight. Be carful during the lowering motion and keep the width between your elbow constant during the whole set
Duration : Start with one to two sets of eight to 12 repetitions, performed every other day. Add sets, reps or weight as you become stronger.
Errors: elbow flare , using the wrong resistance and bending your rest , all can increase the risk of injury.