How to Do the Dumbbell Floor Press

Many people consider the floor press a “plan b” exercise—something they can do at home when they can’t make it to the gym or don’t have access to a bench. Here are two reasons to add the floor press to your workout even when there is a bench nearby: It’s easier on your shoulders, and it hits your triceps even harder than the standard version of the exercise. But as with the classic bench press, you need to execute the floor press with proper form to optimize your gains and avoid injury.

Exercise Instructions for the Dumbbell Floor Press

 

Muscles Targeted

The dumbbell floor press primarily targets the chest and tricep muscles.

 

How to Do the Floor Press

Lie on the floor holding a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight (palms forward), knees bent, and feet flat. This is the starting position. Keeping your forearms perpendicular to the ground and elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body, lower the dumbbells until your upper arms touch the floor. Pause, then press the weights back up to the starting position.

How to Make the Floor Press Easier

To make the exercise easier, use lighter dumbbells.

How to Make the Floor Press Harder

Use heavier dumbbells, or add a glute bridge. Assume the starting position for the standard floor press, but instead of beginning with your butt on the floor, raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Now match the motion of your arms with your glutes: As you lower your upper arms to the floor, do the same with your butt. As you press the weights back up to the starting position, raise your butt back into a glute bridge. Continue to raise and lower your arms and glutes in tandem.

Bonus Tip

Once you get into the starting position, pull your shoulder blades down and together, and hold them there for the entire set. That will increase your stability, and thereby your strength and power, maximizing the effectiveness of every rep.