You have probably done some sort of horizontal pressing, such as pushups, bench press, dumbbell press. But have you done the dumbbell floor press? Often overlooked for other presses, the dumbbell floor press also develops pressing strength and works the pecs, triceps and shoulders. It helps with lockout strength because it has a shorter range of motion than a traditional bench press. Read on for videos and descriptions of how to do the floor press.
How to Properly Execute the Dumbbell Floor Press
- grip your dumbbells from a sitting position and roll back to lay flat
- lay on your back with your elbows to your side
- elbows should be slightly tucked, not directly out from your shoulders
- press the dumbbells toward the ceiling until your elbows are straight and above your chest
- do not let the dumbbells make contact with each other
- control the return to your start position
- from here, press the dumbbells into your legs to roll up
- do not flop your arms out to your side to set the dumbbells down. That’s unnecessarily hard on your shoulders
When to Floor Press
The floor press can be your main lift if you would like it to be. In that case, warm up well and then begin with a medium weight. You can increase the weight each set.
If you will also be bench pressing or heavy dumbbell pressing in your session, I recommend doing the floor press after, as an assistance exercise.
How Heavy to Go On the Floor Press
Since I consider the floor press an assistance or accessory exercise, and you won’t do it in competition like the bench press, I suggest keeping the reps between 6-12. No one’s going to ask you at a party, “How much you floor press, bro?” Keeping this in mind, consider it’s utility to you: to help with your bench press or pressing strength. You can go fewer than 6 (and therefore heavier than that) IF you can do this safely. Have an exit plan and/or a spotter. Remember that it’s not necessary to max out on these.
Can’t get enough of how-tos? Check out this super challenging leg exercise.
Let me know how you like floor presses! If you have questions about how to use them, feel free to comment below or email me! email@example.com
See How to Do More Exercises Below
About the author
Kathryn Alexander is a strength coach and personal trainer in Austin, Texas. She loves hiking, college football, and the feel of a perfectly knurled barbell. Read more about Kathryn here.