The dumbbell floor press is an underused and extremely valuable chest press variation that will help you get strong and healthy shoulders, chest muscles, and triceps!
Personally, I love doing the dumbbell floor press exercise and prefer it to other horizontal chest press exercises because it greatly reduces the stress on my shoulders.
I have had serious shoulder issues for nearly 10 years. While I was in college (playing Division One basketball at Marist College), I tore the labrum in my left shoulder. I have not had shoulder surgery to correct this issue and I don’t plan to until after my basketball career is done, so I’ve had to manage the health of my shoulders by doing a ton of rehabilitation shoulder exercises at home and limiting how often and how heavy I do chest presses and overhead presses.
Due to that, the dumbbell floor press has become one of my favorite exercises because it is a chest press variation that I can do without causing additional shoulder pain, and that still helps me get stronger and bigger chest, shoulder, and tricep muscles.
How to Floor Press (How to Do the Dumbbell Press on Floor)?
The dumbbell floor press is performed by lying down on the floor and performing a basic dumbbell chest press. By lying on the floor, you reduce the range of motion and you will not bring your elbows past a parallel position to your chest.
When you do the dumbbell floor press, you should start by having your feet bent, and doing a floor press from this position. This helps you create additional power for your floor press.
More advanced versions of the dumbbell floor press involve changing the positioning of your legs and feet to require more core strength and control.
For example, you can do a dumbbell floor press while also doing a glute bridge. Combining the DB floor press and the glute bridge allows you to train two parts of your body at the same time for a more efficient workout.
Another way to challenge yourself is by doing a DB press on the floor with your legs positioned straight and hovered off of the ground. This will challenge your core to a larger extent during the movement. Here is a video of that example:
There are certainly more DB floor press variations as well, but these are the floor chest press options I use.
You should always start with the most basic version first and then work your way up.
Dumbbell Floor Press Benefits
The dumbbell floor press truly is a great exercise. It is also a very underappreciated exercise because there are more benefits of doing the DB floor chest press than many people realize.
Here are a few of the main dumbbell floor press benefits:
It is One of the Best Tricep Exercises
There are a lot of dumbbell floor press benefits, but one of the main benefits of this exercise is that is absolutely one of the best triceps exercises. Due to the decreased range of motion and body positioning of the exercise, the DB floor press will help you get stronger and bigger triceps fast!
Instead of doing pushdowns or other isolation exercises for your triceps, doing the dumbbell floor chest press will make a much bigger difference!
It is a Safe Pressing Exercise for People With Shoulder Issues
The dumbbell floor press is the best upper body pressing exercise for people with a history of shoulder issues such as myself.
As I mentioned before, the main reason that this is a safe upper body press for people with shoulder issues is that when you do the DB floor press your elbows cannot go past a parallel position, and your shoulders do not go through a big range of motion.
Additionally, unlike the barbell bench press or even the barbell floor press, you can do the DB floor press with a neutral grip so your shoulders move in a natural motion.
Lastly, the DB floor press decompresses the shoulder joint, so that it can actually help you get healthier shoulders instead of straining them.
The DB Floor Press Can Help You Improve Your Bench Press Strength
Although I’ve focused on doing the DB floor press instead of traditional bench pressing, the dumbbell floor press is not only for people with bad shoulders
Regardless of the bench press program that you are doing, the DB floor press is one of the best assistance exercises for helping you bench press more weight!
After you start doing the floor press exercise, it is likely that you will notice a quick improvement in how much weight you can bench press! The floor press doesn’t allow you to cheat the movement or use momentum, so your chest, tricep, and shoulder muscles will have to do all of the work.
When you go back to the regular bench press, your old weights will probably feel a lot easier!
The Dumbbell Floor Chest Press Decreases Back Strain
Floor pressing reduces the chance for lumbar hyperextension, something that can happen when you attempt to do heavy barbell bench pressing.
Have you ever seen someone in the gym using their whole body to do a 1-rep max?
“Ego lifters” tend to injure themselves more often than they make gains, and the barbell bench press is one of the main reasons for this issue!
When you do the DB floor press, your back has to remain in contact with the floor, and there is no way you can cheat or use momentum to complete the movement.
Therefore, you are at a much lower risk of straining your back while doing the dumbbell floor press than other pressing exercises.
Concluding Thoughts – DB Floor Press Benefits
The dumbbell floor press is my favorite upper body pressing exercise because it is safe, makes you stronger, and makes your joints healthier.
Whatever your reason for wanting to try the dumbbell floor press, I am confident you will certainly see an improvement in how your shoulders feel on a day-to-day basis after you start adding this exercise to your workout program.
Along with this, I am also confident you will also see improvements in the size and strength of your shoulders and chest!
Read Next: The Best Dumbbell Chest Exercises