How to Do Barbell Floor Press Properly

Between bench press and barbell floor press, the former is definitely more popular.

However, if you have a shoulder injury, have no access to a bench, and want an exercise that will still give promising results, the barbell floor press is your guy!

While it might seem easier than its more famous counterpart, do not even start lying to yourself that it is easy.

This exercise will work muscles that the bench press works alright, only this time there is an added layer to intensity.

HOW TO DO THE BARBELL FLOOR PRESS PROPERLY

Here is how to execute the barbell floor press:

  • Get on the floor, right under the barbell. You may spread a mat on the floor if that makes you comfortable. Keep your eyes level with the barbell or slightly under it.
  • Grip the barbell, around shoulder-width apart. Your legs can either be flat of bent at the knee.
  • Release the barbell from the rack and bring it towards your chest.
  • The moment your elbows hit the floor, hold that position for 2 seconds. Take note, this is not your cue to relax. Your arms and lats remain as tense as they were when you were bringing the barbell down.
  • Once you pause, lift the barbell up to lock the elbows. It will take some real effort to lift your elbows with the barbell from the floor, and that there, is the beauty of this exercise.
  • Repeat as many times as you wish.

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR BARBELL FLOOR PRESS

Set the pins low so you can be able to grab the barbell from your lying position.

If you are using weights, you can have someone help you release the barbell from the rack initially, then you can carry on from there.

Use reasonable weight for this exercise or you will be in for a wild ride!

Your body should ‘grip’ the floor, make sure your feet, hips, and upper back remain on the floor.

This is one of the most important elements of this exercise and will determine whether you make any gains or get injured and never attempt it again.

As you lift your elbows up after the pause, keep your shoulders firmly on the floor. Some people always end up lifting the shoulders along with the barbell.

Having the legs bent is better than having them lying flat on the floor. This will wholly involve the upper body in lifting the barbell thus isolating them for this workout.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE BARBELL FLOOR PRESS WORK?

SHOULDER MUSCLES

If there is a group of muscles that deserve to be worked, it is the shoulder muscles. They do way too much in facilitating the upper body movement.

The barbell floor press focuses more on the anterior delt, especially the part when you bring the barbell up.

The extent to which your shoulder muscles are worked is determined greatly by the length of your arms. The longer the arms, the better it this case.

TRICEP MUSCLES

That part when you lift your elbows from the floor is the most important when it comes to activating the tricep muscles.

CHEST MUSCLES

Chest muscles are a tad secondary to this exercise, but teg chest overall plays an important role in the right execution.

You have to push it a bit when bringing the barbell down, while at the same time keeping the shoulders back and down.

BARBELL FLOOR PRESS BENEFITS

ISOLATES THE UPPER BODY

Unless the bench press whose arch and leg drive contributes to the lift, the barbell floor press leaves the heavy lifting to the upper body, quite literally.

This is especially true when you bend your knees instead of laying flat on the floor. This isolation challenges the upper body more and increases your gains from this exercise.

GREAT FOR PEOPLE WITH SHOULDER INJURY

The partial range of motion is a bane to some and a boon to others.

For people with shoulder injuries, the fact that the movement stops just when the shoulder hits the floor ensures that shoulder muscles are not extensively involved.

This way, they will absorb less strain if you have an injury.

GIVES EXTRA CHALLENGE

The highlight of this exercise and what makes it even more special is the fact that your elbows touch the floor.

It adds an extra layer of intensity to the beginning of each press, while at the same time releasing tension from the muscles.

BARBELL FLOOR PRESSES ALTERNATIVES

CLOSE GRIP FLOOR PRESS

This variation emphasizes the shoulder-width grip of the barbell. If you want to engage the triceps solely and leave the shoulders and chest out of it, this is the grip that you go for.

The gains on the triceps will be almost double that of another variation.

DUMBBELL FLOOR PRESS

The dumbbell floor press replaces the barbell with dumbbells. If you cannot find a barbell, or you simply find them too uncomfortable, pick dumbbells instead.

They allow for a wider range of motion which you may find even better.

BARBELL FLOOR PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID

LOADING UP TOO WEIGHT

This is not a workout to be underestimated, keep the weight much lighter than what you would normally use.

LIFTING YOUR SHOULDERS

As you lift your elbows up from the floor, take extra care that the shoulders do not lift right along the elbows.

WRONG FORM

The right form requires you to have your feet, hips, and upper body on the ground. If you choose to bend your knees, make sure your feet are still firmly grounded on the floor.

HIGH RACK

Fix the pins such that you can easily grab the barbell from the rack.

CONCLUSION

The barbell floor press is preferred by all sorts of people, from bodybuilders to athletes, hikers, etc. It reduces joint stress, builds muscle in the upper body, and works the elbows a good one.

You can take it up too, whether you are a beginner or workout pro. Good form is the trick to getting this work out right.