Dumbbell Floor Press Technique, Variations, Benefits

The Dumbbell Floor Press is a compound workout that works on several muscle groups, especially the triceps and chest. In this article, I’ll share how to do different variations of dumbbell floor press with the step-by-step instructions, image and video, and their benefits.

The DB press floor is suitable for all fitness levels, and whether you are a beginner male or female, you can include different dumbbell floor press variations in your workout routine to build strength and mass.

You’ll see everything about the DB floor press in this article, such as:

  1. Technique
  2. Muscles Worked
  3. Variations and How to do them
  4. Benefits
  5. Alternatives
  6. Dumbbell Floor Press vs Bench Press
Related: No Bench Dumbbell Workout Plan With PDF

Dumbbell Floor Press Technique

1. Breathing

The way you breathe during any exercise matters a lot. Because the wrong way of breathing affects your performance, and sometimes it can physically disturb you. That is why breathing properly is an essential part of weight training.

To perform the dumbbell press floor properly, inhale before pressing the weights up and exhale once you press the weight above your chest (against the gravity).1 When to Breathe Out When Bench Pressing – Livestrong

During the middle of the exercise, inhaling or exhaling shifts the focus from the targeted muscle to your breath, creating tension and strain in the body and affecting your blood pressure.

2. Bracing Core

The core is the mid-section of the body, and keeping it tight during weight training is pretty necessary for the proper execution of the movement.

So whether you do squats, deadlift, bench press, or floor press, bracing the core before lifting the weight can reduce the risk of injuries and help you perform each rep efficiently.

3. Don’t let your elbows bounce on the ground

Keep your elbows slightly off the floor during the workout. And don’t let them drop or bounce on the floor when you lower the dumbells back to the start.

Letting elbows bounce at the bottom of the lift will degrade your form and may result in injury due to the compressive forces being created between the weight and the floor.

So, perform each rep in a controlled fashion.

Dumbbell Floor Press Muscles Worked

The DB floor presses work on several muscles simultaneously, such as the chest, triceps, front deltoid, and core. However, the pectoralis major and long triceps head are the two most common muscles.

Dumbbell Floor Press Variations and How to do Them

  1. Both-arm DB Press floor
  2. Reverse Dumbbell Floor Press
  3. Dumbbell Squeeze Floor Press
  4. single-arm Dumbbell Floor Press

1. Both-arm DB Press floor

Dumbbell Tricep
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Kenyon Erickson
  1. Start with sitting on the floor with your legs are straight in front of you.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a n underhand grip and hold them on your thighs.
  3. Slowly lay down on the floor on your back and bend your knees to 30-45 degree angle.
  4. Hold the dumbbells as close as to your chest with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward. That’s the starting position.
  5. Now, slowly press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight and directly over your chest.
  6. Hold for a couple of seconds, squeeze your pecs at the top of lift then slowly lower the dumbbells into the beginning position. That’s one rep!
  7. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.

2. Reverse Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell reverse floor press works more on your lower chest and helps you build a defined chest at home.

How to:

  1. Lie on the floor holding one dumbbell in each hand with a reverse grip, palms facing behind.
  2. Press the dumbbell directly over your chest until your arms are fully straight.
  3. Squeezing your pecs, pause for a moment and then lower the dumbbells to complete your first repetition.
  4. Shoot for a couple of sets of 10 to 12 reps.

3. Dumbbell Squeeze Floor Press

  1. Begin with sitting on the floor with your legs are straight in front of you.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, lay down on the floor and hold them besides your chest. Bend your knees to 30-45 degree angle.
  3. Hold the dumbbells as close as to your chest with your hands close to one another. Your palms should be facing each other. That’s your starting position.
  4. Now, press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms are straight over your upper chest.
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds, squeeze your pecs at the top of lift, and then slowly lower the to the start. Aim for three sets of ten to 15 reps each.

4. Single-arm Floor Dumbbell Press

A dumbbell allows you to do a unilateral movement and help you utilize the maximum range of motion during the chest press.2 Differences in unilateral chest press muscle activation and kinematics on a stable versus unstable surface while holding one versus two dumbbells – Peer Journal.

So, if you want to develop your one muscle specifically, you can incorporate a single-arm dumbbell floor press into your one-dumbbell workout program.

  1. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, lay down on the floor on your back and bend your knees to 45-degree in front of you..
  2. Hold the dumbbell at your side to your chest level and keep your other arm at your comfortable position.
  3. Now, press the dumbbell toward the floor until your elbow is fully extended.
  4. Squeezing your pecs, hold for a couple of seconds, and then slowly return to the beginning position. There’s your one rep!
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

Benefits of Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell floor press can be an excellent exercise if you work out at home without a barbell and bench.

This exercise is also helpful if you’ve any past shoulder injuries as it put little stress on it.

Here are some of the crucial benefits of floor presses:

1. Dumbbell Floor Press Build Strength and Mass

DB floor press and its variations help you improve the strength and muscles of the chest and triceps.

So, you can do it if you want to build muscles at home with dumbbell exercises.

2. DB Floor Press Help You Scale up For Bench Press

If you’re having difficulty performing the bench press, you can try out the DB floor press. It will enhance your muscles and grip strength and help you scale up to perform bench press more efficiently.

3. Dumbbells Allow a Better Range of Motion

Doing floor press with dumbbells allows controlling the range of motion.

Performing floor press at the perfect range of motion puts decent muscular strength on the triceps and chest, which is often overlooked in regular training.

4. Floor Press Requires Less Space and no other Equipment

You don’t need other equipment, such as a bench or bar, to perform floor press.

You can do it in a small area of your bedroom or living room with only a pair of dumbbells.

DB Floor Press Alternatives

Pushup and its variations are good alternatives to dumbbell floor press that you can do at home without equipment. They also work on the chest and triceps and help you build a solid upper body over time.

Moreover, you can use a resistance band to make pushups more challenging and effective.

Dumbbell Floor Press vs Bench Press

Both bench press and floor press are great upper body workouts for growing strength and mass.

However, the bench press is a more helpful and effective workout for muscle-building than the floor press. Here’s why:

  • Bench press allows you to use heavier loads.
  • Barbell bench press works on more muscles than floor press.
  • It grow more strength and mass than floor press.

However, the floor press will fit:

  • When you don’t have access to the gym equipment like bench, barbell, and weight plate.
  • If you have one side weaker than the other, then you can do the dumbbell press to concentrate more on the weaker side. For example, doing the single-arm floor press help you fix this problem.
  • If you had any past shoulder issue then floor press would be a good option because it put less stress on the shoulder muscles.

The Takeaway

The floor press is an efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your triceps and chest at home without a bench. You can do this once or twice a week – depending on how frequently you work out.

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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