Tip: The Athlete's Floor Press

Crank up the effectiveness of the floor press with this simple twist. Bonus: You'll be able to lift more weight too.


The floor press is a classic bench-building, triceps-focused lift. It's also a great alternative for people who suffer from low back pain, especially extension-based pain.

But for my athletes, I've found that the standard floor press doesn't have the greatest transfer when it comes to sports performance. The good news? One simple adjustment will not only make the exercise more athletic, it'll make you stronger in this position! Check it out:

Floor Press With Glute Bridge

Simply perform a glute bridge before you unrack the weight. Really focus on staying tight in the core by using your abs to pin the ribcage down. Contract your glutes hard to hold your hips in position.

You'll notice a couple things:

  1. Your core is challenged hard, so you must focus on maintaining the bridge position throughout the lift.
  2. You're actually stronger in this position than a regular floor press. Try a rep without the glute bridge and a rep with it. You can lift slightly more in the bridged position. This probably has to do with energy transfer. A regular floor press doesn't utilize the lower body or core as much.

This variation is much more athletic for a few reasons:

  • Energy transfer from lower to upper body. Pretty much all athletic movements use ground force to initiate a movement. This creates a need to produce energy and transfer it from the ground, through the lower body, and then to the upper body.
  • Challenging static hip stability while dynamically pressing with the upper body. Many sports require joint stability in one area while simultaneously performing a dynamic movement.
  • Direct sport-specific transfer to ground athletes such as MMA fighters and wrestlers. Think of a wrestler pinned on the ground. You're not just going to use your arms to get a guy off of you; you're going to use your whole body. Bret Contreras thought of the hip thrust while watching MMA fighters. When they're on the ground, they thrust to get someone off. This takes that to the next level.