Decline Close-Grip Bench to Skull Crusher

Type of exercise:Strength
Measurements:Reps, Weight
Primary Muscle:Triceps
Secondary Muscle:Chest, Shoulders,
Equipment:Decline Bench, Barbell or Dumbbells or E-Z Bar


  1. Lie down on a decline bench and secure your legs so as not to slide off. Grab hold of a barbell with hands closer than shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward. Use a spotter or a bench with posts to hold up the barbell. Hold the barbell above your chest, arms locked. This is your starting position.

  2. Lower the bar to your chest as you inhale.

  3. Lift the bar back to the starting position while exhaling.

  4. Keeping your upper arms still, bend your lower arms back, effectively curling the barbell back to your head. Lower the bar until it is close to your skull. Inhale as you do this.

  5. Return to the starting position by reversing the arc in Step 4 while exhaling. This completes one repetition.

  6. Repeat for as many reps as needed.


You can do this exercise with dumbbells or an E-Z Bar instead. You can also do it on a flat bench.


  • When lowering the bar to your chest or skull, do not bounce the barbell off. You should only make a light touch.
  • Keep all your movements slow and controlled.
  • Always use a spotter. If none is available, use less weight.