Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Chest, Shoulders
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dumbbell Floor Press Overview

The dumbbell floor press is a variation of the floor press and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the triceps and chest.

Primarily, the dumbbell floor press will target the muscles of the triceps. The limited range of motion effectively takes the chest somewhat out of the equation of the press.

However, the chest can still be indirectly targeted when using the floor press. Simply focus on squeezing the pecs at the top of the movement.

Floor presses, in generally, are particular helpful for those looking to build stronger triceps to help with locking out more compound press variations. They can also be beneficial for bodybuilders trying to add mass to their triceps.

Dumbbell Floor Press Instructions

  1. Begin sitting on the floor in an upright position with your legs straight and the dumbbells vertically balanced on the floor.
  2. Pick up each dumbbell and set it high in your hip crease while maintaining a tight grip.
  3. Slowly lay back while keeping the dumbbells close to your chest and bend your knees to roughly 45 degrees and move your feet up slightly.
  4. Press the weights to full extension by contracting your triceps and chest.
  5. Slowly lower the weight until both elbows touch the floor then press both dumbbells back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  7. To complete the exercise, simply lower the weights to the ground in “controlled drop” fashion. It should be a smooth motion but not one requiring excessive effort or one that puts the shoulder under unnecessary risk.

Dumbbell Floor Press Tips

  1. Maintain more tension through the pecs by not locking out the elbows entirely.
  2. Keep the weights slightly tilted at a 45 degree angle in order to keep the elbows in a neutral position.
  3. Don’t allow the dumbbells to collide at the top of each rep - bouncing them together may cause you to lose stability within the shoulder and injure yourself.
  4. Squeeze the dumbbells as tight as possible to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
  5. Don’t bounce the elbows off the floor at the bottom of the rep. Doing so may result in injury due to the compressive forces being generated between the weight and the floor.
  6. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2022 - 13:40

This looks just the same as the dumbell bench press? You sure this is mainly for triceps and not chest?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2022 - 16:48

I would say that this is more for chest and triceps. It's meant to be easier on the shoulders. The stretch isn't as deep on the bottom because of the floor, but they still work when you press.

Burdell Byrd
Posted on: Sat, 02/26/2022 - 06:46

Glad that I found these.. this is what I used to start my first workout years ago.. I fell off the wagon and is back these will help me out for starters.

Noah Griffiths
Posted on: Mon, 11/08/2021 - 02:00

in the tips it says to keep the dumbells at a 45 degree angle. Is this rotating horizontally or vertically?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/08/2021 - 18:31

Hi, Noah. You can keep the weights in the same position throughout the movement. If you want to rotate, then rotate from horizontal to the 45 degree angle.

Jack Harrington
Posted on: Tue, 06/22/2021 - 12:53

Can this be used as a primary chest exercise as I can’t acquire a bench

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:06

Hey Jack - you can add these as well as pushups to your routine for chest

Posted on: Mon, 12/14/2020 - 22:06

Is it normal if I don't feel too much soreness in my pecs ?

Mustafa Hasan
Posted on: Sun, 11/01/2020 - 11:57

Is it normal that i feel tension in my bi and forearm more than in my pec?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/02/2020 - 09:35

Hey Mustafa - this could be due to improper form or how you're holding the dumbbells

Posted on: Thu, 10/22/2020 - 17:20

When i do this workout there seems to be some kind of pain in my elbow it feels more like a strain. I made sure im doing everything properly as well as making sure i dont over do myself. I will take any suggestion at this point because i cannot do this workout anymore because of it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 10/23/2020 - 09:34

Hey James - elbow pain can be a variety of things from improper form, using too heavy of weights, upping your weights too soon, etc. I'd recommend using light weights that don't cause your elbow to hurt and/or taking some time away from this movement to allow your elbow to recover.

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2019 - 13:13

How is this different from the bench press? I've just been doing the bench press on the floor (because who has a bench? This is meant to be a dumbbell only workout), but now they are meant to work different muscles even though they are effectively the same?

Posted on: Sat, 04/13/2019 - 02:47

Are both the woman and man at the bottom of this page on steroids? Or just the guy is roided?

Person #1
Posted on: Sat, 06/24/2017 - 07:41

Am I able to put a pillow under my head while doing the workout?

Posted on: Tue, 06/18/2024 - 03:21

Its fine to put a pillow. As long as it's not some sort of really thick and stiff one that's straining your neck forward then you shouldn't have a problem

juan espinoza
Posted on: Sat, 11/30/2013 - 01:50


Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 08:01

try working out and food.

Monuj Saikia
Posted on: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 22:05

I love gym......bcz i like gym......

Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2013 - 02:11

I reached the point that the weights I am now pressing are to heavy for me to get the dumb bells into the starting position to do the presses by myself. Any suggestions. Home alone.

Posted on: Thu, 08/22/2013 - 04:51

@ Glen please i know you can make it if you can try and sharpen your Triceps so that you can fill the said Dumbells, without triceps workout u can't do it in proper way so workout on your Tricp,

Posted on: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 17:13

Start with the dumbbells elevated on a stack of big books or a box. I use two steo-up benches, one on either side to get started. I also have two big pillows that i use to drop the weights onto at the end of the set.

Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2013 - 00:59

I like the exercise but I have come to a point where I can no longer get the weights up off the floor to the starting position to perform the exercise. I am home alone so I can not enlist any help. Any ideas??

Posted on: Thu, 06/27/2013 - 22:57

can you do this on a bench and just keep your arms above 90 degrees?

Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 00:39

Doesn't the whole idea of the floor press defeat the purpose of chest workouts? Shouldn't you break a 90 degree angle with your arms for it to work?

Charles Tichkins
Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 06:54

Floor bench press targets the triceps while minimizing chest action.

Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 20:32

Whats the difference between a dumbell bench press and a dumbell floor press?

Stevo Greener
Posted on: Mon, 03/18/2013 - 06:59

The Bench....

Posted on: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 17:09

One diff. Is that you are less likely to damage your shoulder with the floor press. On the bench, if you don't have a spotter, you might torque your shoulder at the end of a set when you are tired.

Posted on: Tue, 12/03/2013 - 18:53

The difference is the angle between the upper arms and the torso. Watch the videos carefully. The angle for the floor press is wider (about 70 to 80 degrees) than the bench press (about 50-60 degrees). The bars of the dumbbells in the floor press line up with the upper chest at the bottom position, while in the bench press, the bars line up to the mid chest (about 1 inch above the nipples) or the nipples.

Bob Lesher
Posted on: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 09:18

I'am in my sixties can I put on muscel, I have workout for years but I stoped eightyears ago. Is there hope of getting back in shape i would like to keep in shape long as I can.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 16:03

While it may not be as easy to put on muscle as it once was, you can certainly begin training again pending a doctor's approval. I mention this not because of your age, but because it's something that EVERYONE should do before beginning a strength/diet routine.

Posted on: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 07:13

whey good

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 13:20

When i do this exercise i dont feel the burn in my chest afterwards !! is that normal ? instead i feel all the tension on my arms !

Posted on: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 06:26

Try to do a wider lift. That is, Make the dumbbells farther apart from each other

Posted on: Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:47

On which exercise should I focus as a beginner for mass gain?
Should Bench Press or Floor Press be my first priority?

Posted on: Tue, 08/05/2014 - 18:44

any reply on this?

Posted on: Mon, 08/27/2018 - 20:49

Bench Press will give you greater mass overall as it enlists several upper body muscle groups in addition to the chest and arms, but you have to feed the muscle. Search online for builder diets: most builder diets recommend six meals and/or protein supplements daily witn fresh, healthy food non-processed foods.