You Should Do This: Floor Press

The Floor Press:

It’s nothing more than a bench press without the bench. <—like you couldn’t figure that one out. 

Why It’s Awesome:

  • Limits the range of motion at the shoulder joint. It’s pretty hard to “dump” (approximation the Humerus) the shoulder forward with these.
  • MUCH easier on the lower back than the bench press cause the legs are out of the equation.
  • The floor provides MUCH better feedback than the bench for maintaining shoulder tightness (packing) and driving the shoulders down into the ground to press the weight.

Full Pause or Touch and Go? 


Full Pause Floor presses are GREAT for building speed, starting strength and learning to stay SUPER tight at the bottom of the bench.

If you pause on the floor and  lose ANY tension…


Stay tight?

It flies up. 

Touch and go:

You can get tons of volume without the stress on the shoulders and low back that you can get with the bench..<—-if you’ve ever been “arched out” you know what I’m saying..

So it’s really not a question of full pause vs touch and go, but instead, what are you trying to accomplish.

Key Points:

  • Start tight, finish tight.
  • Shoulders should NEVER come off the ground or rise up towards the ears.
  • Vertical forearms the WHOLE time.
  • Heels, Heels, Heels. always press BOTH into the ground.
  • NEVER cross your legs…it shifts your hips and hence your spine is slightly torqued at the hips and things like to move up and downstream. Do you really want a rotated spine when there is no need?
  • Elbows need to come all the way down to the floor. None of that I kinda touched the upper triceps and pressed back up stuff…
  • VERTICAL FOREARM THROUGHOUT. Don’t flex that elbow, 90 degree elbow angle at the bottom. <–you don’t want the bells pointed at your face on the bottom.


What Do TIGHT Shoulders Look Like? 


Not This: 

Floor Press Variations You’ll Maybe Like Love:

Full Pause:

Pete Rubish, absolutely killing a ton of weight. 

The KEY to these is to STAY TIGHT.

NEVER, EVVVVVVVVVVVVER relax on the floor.

The goal is to come to a full stop while maintaining maximal tightness through the whole body.

This means:

  • Shoulders packed tight
  • Lats on (hands screwed into the bar)
  • Breath held in the chest and belly.
  • Glutes tight
  • Feet pressing into the floor.
  • CRUSHING the bar.

Touch and Go:

Lightly, as in, not slamming your elbows into the floor and bouncing off the bottom, tap the floor and GO.

BTW: when you’re pressing the bar or bells, don’t think about pushing the bar away from your chest. Think about pressing yourself away (shoulders down) from the bar.


If pressing with a bar bothers your shoulders…try these.

Still an issue?

Move to a Neutral grip.

Still hurt?

Fix your damn shoulders or just accept reality and dominate pushups.

Single Arm:

Upper chest killers….just remember to keep the shoulders, both of em, driving into the floor.

In Praise of the Floor Press as a Bench Builder:

This is 100% my experience.

The floor press is the best bench press indicator exercise for most people.

For me, and most of my clients, when the floor press goes up, so does the bench.

I’ll leave you with this. Its Kenny Patterson floor pressing a sh@t load of weight like its nothing.

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