Floor Press (How To & Alternatives)

Floor Press

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 its 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 Floor Presses including important coaching points and alternatives.

How To Do Floor Presses

Equipment Needed

  • Barbell
  • Squat Rack

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Set your barbell up in the rack at the proper height to be able to rack and unrack the bar safely*.
  • 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 Bench Press.
  • Grab the bar using a close grip**, hands right about on the edge of the knurling.
  • Unrack the bar, lower it down until the triceps lightly tap the floor and then press it back to extension.
  • Repeat for the designated amount of reps.

Coaching Points

*Always test your barbell height with an empty bar. I’ve been doing Floor Presses for twenty years now and can still struggle with nailing the best height on my first try.

**Floor Press is generally done using a close grip to emphasize the demand on the triceps, however you can go with a wider grip if you choose to.

Floor Press Variations

Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press is arguably the more popular version of the two different Floor Press variations probably due to its much easier setup.

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

Floor Press Alternatives

Close Grip Bench Press

Considering Floor Press is essentially Close Grip Bench Press laying on the floor, its 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.


Dips will always be one of my favorite alternatives for any movement that emphasizes the triceps. Dips is 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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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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