The dumbbell floor press is an excellent strength exercise that bolsters the chest and triceps simultaneously without a bench.
When I was a beginner, it was my go-to exercise as I often did it to build my upper body muscle and increase my pushing strength.
The best thing about the DB floor press is that you can do it while lying down on the floor; it puts less stress on the shoulder, and people of all fitness levels can do it.
I’ve shared all about dumbbell floor press in this article, such as variations, proper technique, step-by-step instructions, and their benefits.
Whether you train at home or lift in the gym, explore this guide and incorporate one or all floor presses in your workout program.
Dumbbell Floor Press Technique
1. Focus on 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 floor press properly, inhale before pressing the weights up and exhale once you press the weight above your chest (against 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. Brace Your Core
Keeping your core tight during floor presses helps control your body, enable you to press more weight, and allow to focus on contracting your targeted muscle.
3. Don’t Let Your Elbows Bounce On The Ground
Keep your elbows slightly off the floor during the descent phase. 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.
The Best Dumbbell Floor Press Variations
- Both-arm DB Press floor
- Reverse Floor Press
- Squeeze Floor Press
- Single-arm Floor Press
1. Both-arm DB Floor Press
- Start sitting on the floor with your legs straight.
- Grab one dumbbell in each hand and hold them on your thighs.
- Slowly lay down on the floor and bend your knees to a 30-45-degree angle.
- Hold the dumbbells as close as to your chest with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight and directly over your chest.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, squeeze your pecs at the top of the lift, then slowly lower the dumbbells into the beginning position. That’s one rep.
2. Reverse DB Floor Press
- Lie on the floor holding one dumbbell in each hand with a reverse grip, palms facing behind.
- Press the dumbbell directly over your chest until your arms are fully straight.
- Squeezing your pecs, pause for a moment, then return to the start. That’s one rep.
The dumbbell reverse floor press works more on the lower pecs as well as engage the biceps and triceps.
3. DB Squeeze Floor Press
- Begin with sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, lay down on the floor, and hold it beside your chest. Bend your knees to a 30-45 degree angle.
- 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.
- Now, press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms are straight over your upper chest.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, squeeze your pecs at the top of the lift, and then slowly lower them to the start.
4. Single-arm Floor Press
- Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and lie on the floor with your face up.
- Keep your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and right elbow bend.
- Now, press the dumbbell toward the floor until your elbow is extended.
- Hold for a second or two, then slowly return to the beginning position.
Single arm floor press is an unilateral chest exercise that allow you focus more on the weaker side and help build strong and symmetrical pecs.2 Differences in unilateral chest press muscle activation and kinematics on a stable versus unstable surface while holding one versus two dumbbells – Peer Journal.
Dumbbell Floor Press Benefits
Here are the reasons why adding dumbbell floor press can be a good idea.
1. Build Strength and Mass
DB floor press and its variations targets the chest and triceps and help develop strength and size of your upper body.
2. Increase Your Bench Press
If you’re having difficulty performing the bench press, you can try out the DB floor presses. It bolsters the fundamental strength and will help you scale up your bench presses.
3. Shoulder Friendly
This exercise is also helpful if you’ve had any past shoulder injuries, as it puts little stress on it.
4. Minimal Equipment and Less Space
You don’t need other equipment, such as a bench or bar, to perform floor press. You can do it in a tiny 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 presses 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.
You can also do resistance band floor press to hit your pecs and tris effectively.
Dumbbell Floor Press vs Bench Press
Both bench press and floor press are great upper body exercises 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.
- The barbell bench press works on more muscles than the floor press.
- It grows more strength and mass than floor press.
- It allows greater range of motion than lying floor press.
However, the floor press will fit:
- When you don’t have access to gym equipment like a bench, barbell, and weight plate.
- If you have one side weaker than the other, you can do the dumbbell press to concentrate more on the weaker side. For example, doing the single-arm floor press helps you fix this problem.
- If you had any past shoulder issues, then a floor press would be a good option because it put less stress on the shoulder muscles.
Related Dumbbell Exercises:
- 1When to Breathe Out When Bench Pressing – Livestrong