Contrary to what the name might suggest, skullcrushers won’t send you screaming to the ER—at least when done right. They can, however, help you build massive triceps. Here’s everything you need to know about this popular exercise!
Most exercises have rather literal names: A single-arm overhead dumbbell extension describes the movement pretty well, after all. A few others, however, are named for the part of the body they’ll break if you lose control. In this class we have skullcrushers.
Skullcrushers are actually a family of single-joint triceps exercises, not necessarily just one exercise, because there are so many ways to do them. You can use almost any kind of implement—dumbbells, barbell, EZ-bar, or cables—as well as a variety of angled benches. Each variation provides a slightly different feel and effect, so I’ll guide you through the most popular.
What all skullcrusher variations have in common is simple: elbow extension. The upper arms are generally locked in a position perpendicular to the body, which means both the long and lateral triceps heads—the two biggest—are called into play. As you increase the angle of the bench (i.e., use a more inclined bench), the upper arms move closer to an overhead position, so more of the work falls on your triceps long head. Doing the movement on a decline bench reduces the long-head involvement, so more of the emphasis falls on the lateral triceps head.
CLICK HERE FOR SIX TIPS FOR CRUSHING THE SKULLCRUSHER
Let us count the reasons we’re obsessed with protein. For one, you need enough of this benevolent macronutrient to build and repair muscle. It also plays a role in revving fat-burning metabolism and reducing the hunger pangs that can lead to an attack on the vending machine. Additionally, protein works to slow the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, which can prevent the sudden spikes in blood sugar that are thought to encourage fat storage and sagging energy levels.
Looking to take a break from protein bars? Here’s a BodyBuilding.com recipe for gooey, soft and intensely chocolaty cookies with extra protein.
Double Chocolate Protein Cookies
2 tbsp cashew nut butter
1/4 cup whey protein powder
1/4 almond milk
1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut flour
10 g 85% dark chocolate Directions
1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together with a spoon.
2. Bake as two “blobs,” or four if you want to make smaller cookies. Use a nonstick or silicone cookie tray.
3. Bake at 325 degrees F (160 C) for about 25 minutes, or until the cookies are baked on the top and bottom but not fully cooked through. You want them gooey and soft in the center so they’re chewy instead of dry.
It used to be that eating before bed was considered to be a big no-no for weight-loss. This is no longer the case. In fact, if you’re working out on a regular basis and eating considerately throughout the day, a bedtime snack is ideal for weight-loss and muscle gain. However, this doesn’t mean that bags of chips and ice cream are on the menu. Instead, choose wisely so that your snack fuels your body and assists with important repair processes. We like sugar-free options…
1 cup of 0% cottage cheese with a tablespoon of unsweetened peanut or almond butter
Unsweetened 0% Greek yogurt with cinnamon
Baked chicken breast with steamed broccoli
However, if you absolutely need something sweet, Cellucor athlete and WBFF Fitness ProJen Jewell (BodyBuilding.com) offers this protein treat which pleases both your taste buds and body.
Protein Cookie Delight
• 3/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
• 3/4 cup raw old-fashioned oats
• 1/3 cup light/unsweetened almond milk
• 2 scoops Cellucor Red Velvet flavored whey protein powder
• Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles (optional, but great when not cutting)
• Honey to taste
1. Place berries in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Once finished, mash with a fork.
2. Add remaining ingredients to create the batter. Make sure to stir thoroughly so all ingredients are evenly mixed.
3. Place 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto a plate to form each cookie, then place in microwave for 45-60 seconds.
4. Remove, let cool for a minute or two and enjoy.
NUTRITION FACTS Serving Size: 1 serving Recipe Yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving Calories 262 Total Fat 2.5g Total Carbs 29g Protein 31g
What comes to mind when you see the word “thermogenic?” Heat, probably, since the word itself means “heat generating.” Or maybe you think of a stimulant supplement like caffeine which is known to speed up your metabolism and increase energy expenditure. Maybe you’re taking one of these right now, in the hopes of slimming down. One thing you probably don’t think of is a coconut and especially the oil extracted from its flesh. Not that long ago, coconut oil ruled alongside partially hydrogenated soybean oil as the worst of the “bad fats.” Maybe you know them by their other name: trans fatty acids. These were the fats that were shown in repeated studies to increase the risk for heart disease and obesity, in addition to being linked to everything from depression to infertility. They’re the reason you stopped buying movie-theater popcorn!
Given that reputation, it’s OK if you’re skeptical about what I’m going to say next: Coconut oil is shaping up to be one of the world’s premier natural thermogenic agents. But before you go running to the Cineplex, there’s a catch: The processed coconut oil of the past has about as much in common with the healthy virgin coconut oil as Chief Wiggum does with Robocop.
Intrigued? You should be. Let’s crack open the coconut for a closer look.