How to Do the Dumbbell Floor Press

Learn the proper form needed to complete the dumbbell floor press with these strength training Pro Tips.

July 19, 2019

Learning body mechanics is important in strength training. Exercises can be specific and involve different parts of the body. The dumbbell floor press is a great introduction to the chest press.

Your positioning when performing this exercise can help create a simple and effective way to strengthen your chest, shoulders and core.

According to performance enhancement specialist Jowan Ortega, this total-body exercise won’t allow your arms to move past your shoulders, which can help reduce joint stress.

“The dumbbell floor press is a great starting point to introduce proper form and technique,” Ortega says.

This strength training exercise requires two dumbbells of the same weight. For this upper-body exercise, you’ll be lying down with your entire body on the ground, so an exercise mat is optional.


Begin the exercise by sitting on the floor. Grab the weights with your palms on top, not under. Then curl the weights simultaneously to your chest with your arms bent, but not directly touching your body. Keep your legs extended in a straight line.

After you’re comfortable with the weights at your chest, slowly lie down, with your entire body in a straight line. Do not lift your back up, as it should remain in contact with the ground at all times.

After settling into your position, bend your knees. Your legs should make a triangle shape with the ground. Then follow these steps:

  • Raise the dumbbells above your chest, keeping your arms straight at the top. Your palms should be facing forward; toward your knees and legs.
  • Inhale, then lower your elbows to the floor, but keep your elbows near your side. Do this in a slow, controlled motion. Your elbows should touch the ground or floor mat.
  • Exhale and then repeat.

Remember to rotate your wrists when pushing the dumbbells toward the ceiling.

Looking for another upper-body exercise? Find a spotter and check out these Pro Tips on how to do a bench press.