Floor Press

  • Alternative Names: Barbell floor press
  • Type: Powerlifting
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Triceps, chest, shoulders
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 10-12 reps each
  • Variations: Dumbbell, kettlebell, close grip, landmine, Swiss bar, wide grip, and alternating floor presses
  • Alternative: Floor press with chains, board press, dumbbell floor press

The floor press is a free-weight upper body exercise similar to the bench press but performed by lying on the floor instead of a bench. It puts less strain on your shoulders because the range of motion stops at the ground and so a much safer exercise for those who have a shoulder injury. It is also an effective tricep workout for those who get elbow pain from tricep extension variations like skull crushers.


  • Promotes muscles growth on your pecs and triceps, without causing much strain to your shoulders
  • Increases your upper body strength so that you can stabilize great loads while doing lifting exercises
  • Improves your lockout due to its inherent pause and limited range of motion

Floor Press Vs. Bench Press

Floor Press Bench Press
Movement Involves Lying on the floor with minimal help from your leg muscles Lying on a bench along with a strong leg drive that increases floor press strength
Muscles Worked Triceps, chest, shoulders Triceps, chest, shoulders, back

How to do Floor Press

Have a power rack with the hooks adjusted to an appropriate height. Lie down on the floor so that your head is placed near the rack. Lift the bar off the hooks and lower it towards your upper stomach or the bottom of the chest. Keep your elbows tucked throughout the exercise and squeeze the bar while lowering it. Move the bar down until your upper arm touches the floor and then pause for a second, avoiding any bouncing of the weight. Press the barbell up as quickly as possible, keeping your elbows, wrists, and the bar in line while doing so.

Barbell Floor Press Tips

  • While many perform the floor press with their knees bent, you may do it by fully extending your legs and driving the heels into the floor for increased stability without using leg drive.
  • Have someone help you in lifting the bar off to prevent abduction and protraction of your shoulders.


  1. Dumbbell Floor Press: Performed by holding a pair of dumbbells using a neutral grip.
  2. Kettlebell Floor Press: Similar to the basic floor press except that you push two kettlebells up to the ceiling.
  3. Close Grip Floor Press: Done by holding a barbell with a closer-than-shoulder-width grip.
  4. Landmine Floor Press: Involves lying down on the floor and holding the free end of a barbell that is secured with a landmine attachment.
  5. Swiss Bar Floor Press: Is similar to the basic version except that you do it by holding a Swiss bar.
  6. Wide Grip Floor Press: Performed by holding the barbell with a wider-than-shoulder-width grip.
  7. Alternating Floor Press: Involves lowering a kettlebell to your chest while the other is held above your chest.

Alternative Exercises

  • Floor Press with Chains
  • Board Press
  • Dumbbell Floor Press

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