HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Dumbbell Floor Press

How To: Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press

Hit a plateau on the bench press? Can't struggle up any more weight on the dumbbell bench press?

The floor press is the answer.
The floor press is an excellent movement (essentially a partial range of motion bench press) used to build power in the top half of your pressing movements.

Movement: Compound

Targets: Chest & Triceps

Required: Dumbbells

Optional: N/A

Dumbbell Floor Press Form:

Lay on the floor with a pair of dumbbells.

Lower the dumbbells down to your chest until your elbows touch the ground.

pause for a second at the bottom of the movement with your elbows resting on the ground.

Drive through your chest to power the dumbbells back up to the starting position, with arms fully extended.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Dumbbell Floor Press Variations

Unilateral Floor Press

Instead of pressing with two dumbbells the unilateral incline dumbbell bench press will have you holding and pressing one dumbbell at a time.
This is a fantastic core exercise and is often used for overcoming a lagging side/correcting dominance.

You'll find when pressing one dumbbell at a time your core will need to be engaged the whole time to maintain your position on the bench, with the weight of the dumbbell you'd normally press being reduced significantly.

See also
How To: Incline Dumbbell Curl

Barbell Floor Press

Instead of pressing a pair of dumbbells unrack a barbell from a low set of J hooks and lower the barbell down to your chest, with elbows touching the ground before exploding and powering the barbell back up.

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Common Dumbbell Floor Press Mistakes

Bouncing The Weight

As you lower the weight down to your chest you must remain in control at times.
This means lowering the weight, pausing for a second before driving  it back up - if you're using momentum to bounce the weight off your chest you'll be shooting yourself in the foot as this momentum takes tension off the chest.

No tension on the chest = no progress!

Flaring Your Elbows Out

When performing any pressing exercise, whether it be a dumbbell press or a decline barbell press it’s imperative you keep your elbows tucked in by your sides.
Flaring your elbows outwards is often a sign that the weight is too heavy (as you’re trying to muscle the shoulders in to assist with moving the weight).
Flaring the elbows on both chest and triceps exercise places your shoulders at a high risk of injury not to mention you’re only going to applying a small amount of tension to the chest as the shoulders are trying to take over and lift the weight.

See also
How To: Plate Front Raise

If you find yourself constantly flaring your elbows lower the weight and consciously practise tucking your elbows in to your side on each repetition until it becomes natural.

Lifting Too Light

If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.

Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.

High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.

“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press
  • Chest Dips
  • Weighted Push-Ups

Any Questions Regarding The Dumbbell Floor Press? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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