The floor press is a pure upper body movement that allows you to press massive weights without undue shoulder stress, maximizing your training efficiency and protecting your shoulders for long-term training and strength gains.
The floor press is the original horizontal barbell press, even predating the bench press. At one time lifters attacked the lift with gusto, putting up some impressive numbers, including George Hackenschmidt’s 361-pound strict floor press back in 1899. Unfortunately, as the bench press grew in popularity, interest in the floor press outside of powerlifting circles waned to the point of relative obscurity.
Upper Body Power: Floor presses negate leg and lower body drive, creating a pure upper-body push. All the stress is focused on the chest, triceps, and shoulders, overloading them for pure strength gains.
Improved Lockout: The limited range of motion and inherent pause of the floor press will help you if you tend to miss in the middle of your bench press.
Easier on the Shoulders: You’d be hard pressed to find a big bencher without some degree of shoulder dysfunction. Most athletes flare the elbows in pressing movements, fixing the humerus into internal rotation. To accommodate this position the scapula rotates up and out, forcing scapular stabilizers to work overtime while rubbing on the supraspinatus ligament.
This creates a marked decrease is sub-acromial space and increases impingement in the shoulder. The floor press reduces the range of motion of the shoulder and subsequent injury risk while still training a massive press.