mark sandor skull crusher tutorial for horseshoe triceps

Sandor teaches you how to up the intensity of skull crushers to increase tricep hypertrophy. 

Are you up to date with our 7-Part Mutant Mark Sandor series? Then, get ready to sculpt your dream body with loads of tips and killer exercises from the Mutant Athlete! Check out his secrets for getting beastly biceps and a V-taper for elite bodybuilding aesthetics. Now it’s time for Mark Sandor’s input on the skull crusher! This movement has other variations and alternatives, including bodyweight skullcrushers and EZ bar tricep extensions, which we’ll cover in this article. 

For this part of the series, Sandor talks about how you can build a bulging horseshoe tricep using skull crusher gauntlet sets. Working on your triceps helps to strengthen your upper body and makes daily pull and push activities easier. In addition, research shows that doing workouts that target your triceps can increase your bench pressing strength since your triceps are targeted as a secondary muscle during presses (1).

Skull crushers sound intimidating, unlike burpees, which don’t sound as bad as they are. But don’t worry; they only get their name from what would happen if you don’t perform them properly – which we’ll review in this post; thanks to Sandor! Nevertheless, skull crushers are an effective way to add mass to your triceps.

We’re learning a lot from this Mutant full-body workout series, and we’re excited to share this Mark Sandor’s ultimate skull crusher tutorial. Here’s what you need to know about skull crushers, how to do them correctly, and some variations of this movement. We also include tips on doing gauntlet sets of skull crushers from Mark Sandor.

Mark Sandor Skull Crusher Gauntlet Set

@mutantnation Say hello to your best tricep day ever! Try this insane finisher 💪 #Tricepsworkout #TrainingTips #GymWorkout #GymTok ♬ original sound – MUTANT Nation – Supplements ☣️

Mark Sandor’s skull crusher gauntlet set is a great way to train for muscle hypertrophy. It’s the perfect way to end a tricep workout to work your posterior arm muscles to fatigue. It involves doing a drop set, every single set, until failure for three sets. Use this routine to get the much-coveted tricep horseshoe look. Mark Sandor says:

“If you guys want massive arms, you have to do this tricep finisher.”

You can do this routine if you need to break from a plateau. Below is a step by step by step guide.

  1. Line up three sets of dumbbells before your bench in declining order of 10lbs starting from the heaviest.
  2. Pick up the first set of dumbbells, lie back, and bring them to a position above your collarbone. Mark Sandor uses an incline bench for this routine.
  3. Keep your shoulders stable, and then slowly bend the dumbbells past your head. The Mutant athlete reminds you to keep your elbows up for the proper form
  4. Return the dumbbells to the initial overhead position by straightening your elbows to complete the rep. Ensure that your humerus bone is fixed.
  5. Do quick reps to failure and immediately go to the next set of dumbbells and repeat the above. Do this ‘till you get to the last set of dumbbells.

Sandor stated:

“So we’re gonna do that for a total of three sets. That is gonna pump a lot of blood into your triceps, absolutely blowing them up.”

How to Do Mark Sandor’s Skull Crusher to Get That Horseshoe Tricep

Skull crushers are also called lying tricep extensions because you lie on your back to do this exercise. In addition, they work on your triceps because you need your triceps to extend your elbow and do overhead throwing movements (2)

Doing this exercise has some risks, like the dumbbell falling on your head, hence the skull crusher. So ensure you always use proper form and start with a weight you can handle effectively before increasing it as you get better. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do skull crushers with proper form.

  1. Sit on your exercise bench with the dumbbells in both hands. 
  2. Lie back and bring the dumbbells up to a position above your collarbone.
  3. Bend your elbows until the weight passes your head, and your elbows point up. Ensure that your shoulders are stable the whole time.
  4. Hold this position for about two seconds, and then straighten your elbows to bring the dumbbells back into the initial overhead position and end the rep. Ensure that your humerus bone is fixed throughout this movement.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Mark Sandor’s Skull Crusher

bodyweight skull crushers

The first skull crusher error to avoid is using a loose grip. It might be the most important, too, because we don’t want the dumbbells slipping from your hands and making the name of this routine come true. So ensure that your grip is firm throughout the exercise.

You should also avoid lowering the weight towards your face when doing this routine. Instead, take it behind your head as you bend your elbows to get a full range of motion. When raising them back, be wary not to hit your head on the way up. 

Variations of the Skull Crusher

There are many ways to do the lying triceps extension exercise. Below are some variations that you could use to switch up your workout and make things more interesting.

Bodyweight Skullcrushers

Bodyweight skullcrushers might be a better fit if your joints are aching from doing the regular skull crusher. This exercise isolates and works the triceps and is done with a Smith machine or a barbell in a squat rack. In this exercise, you stand back and let your skull meet the bar by creasing your elbows at 90 degrees. 

Barbell Skull Crushers

Besides bodyweight skullcrushers, some people may find it easier to do their skull crushers with barbells instead of dumbbells. You could switch this up and do an EZ bar tricep extension with a modified barbell version. Please note that both the curl bar and the straight bar could put more strain on your wrists

Final Word

In conclusion, adding skull crushers to your workout routine effectively builds tricep muscles and helps you achieve bodybuilding goals. They’re typically done with dumbbells or barbells, and you can either lie flat on a bench, or do this workout at an incline. In addition, skull crushers come with many variations that you can use to switch up your workout, such as bodyweight skullcrushers.

Mark Sandor’s skull crusher gauntlet set takes this workout to the next level, pushing the triceps to failure and maximizing blood flow for increased muscle hypertrophy. Make sure to give your triceps the attention they deserve with this challenging exercise.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay tuned for more Mark Sandor Mutant exercise guides! 


  1. Stronska, K., Golas, A., Wilk, M., Zajac, A., Maszczyk, A., & Stastny, P. (2022). The effect of targeted resistance training on bench press performance and the alternation of prime mover muscle activation patterns. Sports biomechanics, 21(10), 1262–1276.
  2. Seroyer, S. T., Nho, S. J., Bach, B. R., Bush-Joseph, C. A., Nicholson, G. P., & Romeo, A. A. (2010). The kinetic chain in overhand pitching: its potential role for performance enhancement and injury prevention. Sports health, 2(2), 135–146.