Good morning, afternoon, or whatever time of day it is that you might be reading this post. For me it is good morning, I am sneaking this post in before heading off to another long shift at the hospital for a shift and after taking a nice morning walk with my dog earlier (okay truth is the walk was more consistent with a chaotic tug of war between man and beast for supremacy, but hey perception is everything). I am really starting to become a huge advocate of incorporating some daily walking into the regular routine for both recovery and restoration from more difficult training and also as a great way to maintain a well developed aerobic energy systems base. This is huge for me because I am about the biggest hater on aerobic training there is not because I don't think it is beneficial or necessary, but because I literally hate it. I find it boring, but have found it bearable if I have a good podcast to listen to as I walk.

My plan is to incorporate is into my own training plan over the next couple weeks and see if I notice a difference in my recovery between training sessions. If I feel that it is really something others can benefit from I will start pushing it on my clients.

Really quick before getting to the nitty gritty about how to perform this exercise of the week and what it looks like I want to share the reason why I love using this exercise in a lot of client programs.

I love the floor press because it is probably the only horizontal pressing exercise that anyone in the world can do correctly and without risk of injury or me clawing my eyes  while still allowing the development of upper body strength. It comes in handy for me as a coach and trainer because most of my clients are women and most of them do not have the prerequisite upper body strength or shoulder stability to perform a bench variation horizontal press or even a push-up, but the floor press allows them to still train this motion without worrying about poor form and compensations.

I promise as well ladies that getting a stronger upper body does not have to come at the price of bulky arms and a masculine chest. I know, Tracy Anderson (pronounced idiot)  has probably told you not to lift a weight above 5 pounds or you'll end up looking like the next Schwarzenegger, but I promise that that ill informed, pseudo-science spreading, poorly-educated woman is incorrect in her assumption.

The floor press places clients in a position that one both controls ROM and provides a ton of stability which allows for clients to handle heavier loads and acquire upper body strength without the risk of injury. We can then use the upper body strength and increased shoulder stability we have created with this exercise to progress to more difficult exercises such as a DB Bench Press or a lower positioned incline push-up.

It can also be useful as an accessory motion to developing a stronger lockout at the top of a bench press.

I highly recommend this exercise if your someone who struggles with their upper body strength and is unsure where to begin to develop it especially when transitioning from machine to free weights. I also recommend it to those folks who might be having or have had nagging shoulder injury. A few weeks of regressing to a pressing motion that has a smaller ROM, doesn't force the humerus into an anterior glide, and a more stable position may give your shoulder that little bit of time to rest and heal that it needs while still allowing you to train with adequate intensity to receiving a training effect.

Check it out below!

How To Perform the DB Floor Press

  1. Grab two dumbbells, sit down on the ground with one dumbbell on each side of you, and place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Lay back and simultaneously curl the dumbbells toward you. So that now you are in a position where your elbows and the back of your arms are flat against the ground and dumbbells are held in your hands stacked directly over your wrists and elbows.
  3. Begin the motion by driving the dumbbells up and together over your chest. When your arms are fully extended the dumbbells should be touching right at your body's midline.
  4. Lower the dumbbells by allowing them to come down and apart but always keeping the dumbbells stacked over your wrist and your wrist over your elbows. When the back of your arms touch the ground you have performed one entire repetition
  5. Repeat this process for the prescribed repetitions

Below is a video of me demonstrating the entire setup and movement. I apologize for the people in the background shot this video at a commercial gym so I had to work around other people.

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training