How To Do Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Dumbbell Floor Press is an upper body strength exercise that targets the triceps as well as the chest. It’s great as a supplemental strength-building movement and it’s one of the best substitutions for Bench Press if your home gym doesn’t have a bench.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Dumbbell Floor Presses including the muscles worked, benefits and even a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Dumbbell Floor Presses

Equipment Needed

  • Dumbbells

Muscles Worked

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Shoulders (Anterior Delt)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Sit down on the ground with dumbbells in each hand.
  • Lay on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Engage your lats and set yourself up basically the same as you would for Dumbbell Bench Press.
  • Lower the dumbbells down until the triceps lightly tap the floor and then press it back to extension.
  • Keep the elbows at roughly a 45-degree angle to the torso (don’t let them flare out wide away from the body).
  • Repeat for the designated amount of reps.

Coaching Points

A good spotter can be worth their weight in gold to help you get set up (and even take one dumbbell at the end of the set). This becomes more true the heavier you get in weight.

Control the rep down to the floor and lightly tap the floor with your triceps. Don’t go crashing your arms into the floor and unnecessarily hurt yourself in the process.

Benefits of Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press limits the range of motion compared to a regular Bench Press. This will alleviate some of the stress placed on the shoulders. This makes it a great lift for in-season athletes who can benefit from a reduced amount of stress on the shoulder joint.

The reduced range of motion also places more of an emphasis on the triceps, similar to how Board Bench is done to focus on lockout strength.

Another benefit of Dumbbell Floor Press is that it can serve as a great Bench Press alternative for anyone who doesn’t have access to a bench. I went a full year with no bench in my garage gym and Floor Presses became a staple in my own programming.

Dumbbell Floor Press Variations

Floor Press

Floor Press – done with a barbell – is a close variation of the dumbbell version. You can do them on the open floor like Dumbbell Floor Presses and use your hips to help you drive the barbell up to the starting position. However, if you have a power rack to rack and unrack the bar (like with Bench Press) I would suggest using it.

The movement itself is basically exactly the same, just using a barbell in place of dumbbells.

Dumbbell Floor Press Alternatives

Need an alternative for Dumbbell Floor Press? Here are a couple of options that you may be able to use as a substitute.

Close Grip Bench Press

Considering Floor Press is essentially Close Grip Bench Press laying on the floor, it’s easy to see why it would be an obvious alternative.

If you have a bench and boards, and really want to mimic a Floor Press you can do a Close Grip Board Press. You’ll need at least one, preferably two, spotters to pull this one off though. One to spot you and one to hold the boards in place while you bench.


Man Doing Dips on Dip Rack Attachment

Dips will always be one of my favorite alternatives for any movement that emphasizes the triceps. Dips are a strength-building powerhouse of an exercise especially if you include weighted dips.

If you want to build a big bench, make sure you’re incorporating Dips into your workout plan.

More Links and Info

Looking for more upper body strength-building exercises? Horton Barbell has dozens of Upper Body Lifts in its Exercise Library.

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