Floor Press

Floor Press

The floor press is an exercise with a wide range of benefits; it can help rehab injuries, build muscle, and improve upper body strength.

It specifically targets areas like the chest, shoulders, and triceps, and is known as being an incredibly versatile exercise.

The Forgotten Press

The floor press has been around for over 100 years and is actually older than the actual bench press. However, it is often called “the forgotten chest builder” because the bench press so often is used instead. Many other forms of pressing have become more popular overtime, and overshadowed this classic press. However, there are a great deal of people who still incorporate this exercise in their workout routine, but they are primarily bodybuilders who have access to fitness education programs.

To warm-up for the floor press, it is necessary to stretch out your triceps, shoulders, chest, and back. Some stretches include the standing tricep stretch, shoulder pull, cross body shoulder stretch, and others. When you are appropriately stretched, consider doing a few reps of the exercise itself without adding any weight. This will help you calibrate the form and make sure that your muscles are warm and ready.

Pressing Step-by-Step

To do the floor press, start out lying on the floor on your back. You should position yourself under the bar so that the bar is lined up on top of your eyes. Then, grab the barbell above you with your grip at shoulder width. Push your body into the ground to stabilize the bar.

Next, extend your legs. By extending your legs instead of bending your knees, you are avoiding putting stress on the spine. It also will allow you to focus on dynamic arm injury and not impulsively push with your legs. When your legs are extended, you should be driving your heels into the ground.

Now, with your shoulders locked, have someone help you with the lift-off to get the bar up and out of the rack. Then, move the bar down in a rowing fashion toward your lower chest. Now you can start the press. With your elbows tucked at 45 degrees, lower the bar in a controlled fashion until your upper arm hits the ground. Then explosively push the back up while keeping your wrists, elbows, and the bar all in alignment. 

The other variation of this exercise involves not using a rack. It is the same form, except you’ll want to use bumper plates to add height. Then, roll the bar up over your legs until it is around your lower chest. Repeat the same form as previously described.

Here are some of the many benefits of this exercise:

  •  It develops strong triceps and shoulders. Because you are not pushing against the floor to the same amount with your feet, you don’t get as much power from your lower body. This makes your triceps and shoulders work harder to carry the weight.
  • It puts a lot less stretch on the shoulders. Because your elbows will be against the floor, there is less chance for shoulder injury because they are properly supported.
  • It develops explosive energy. It forces you to use your muscles explosively instead of relying on momentum and then has the potential to make you much stronger, much quicker.


This was once an incredibly popular exercise, but it has flown relatively under the radar since the bench press popularized. This exercise can help build muscle in the chest, tricep, and shoulder area while simultaneously reducing shoulder and back strain. It is suitable both for bodybuilders and weightlifters, and those looking just to get back in shape with a trainer.

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