Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Chest, Shoulders
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press Overview

The alternate dumbbell floor press is an exercise used to strengthen the triceps. It will also indirectly target the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and the core to a lesser extent.

The alternate dumbbell floor press is a variation of the dumbbell floor press. Both are great accessory exercises for those looking to increase their bench press. They can also be used as a pressing exercise to grow the triceps.

Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press Instructions

  1. Begin sitting on the floor in an upright position with your legs straight and the dumbbells vertically balanced on the floor.
  2. Pick up each dumbbell and set it high in your hip crease while maintaining a tight grip.
  3. Slowly lay back while keeping the dumbbells close to your chest and bend your knees to roughly 45 degrees and move your feet up slightly.
  4. Press the weights to full extension by contracting your triceps and chest.
  5. Slowly lower one dumbbell under control as far as comfortably possible (the handle should be about level with your chest) while keeping the other locked out at the top.
  6. Contract the chest and triceps to push the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  7. Slowly lower the other dumbbell under control until your elbow touches the floor while keeping the other locked out at the top.
  8. To complete the exercise, simply lower the weights to the ground in “controlled drop” fashion. It should be a smooth motion but not one requiring excessive effort or one that puts the shoulder under unnecessary risk.

Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press Tips

  1. Maintain more tension through the pecs by not locking out the elbows entirely.
  2. Keep the weights slightly tilted at a 45 degree angle in order to keep the elbows in a neutral position.
  3. Don’t allow the dumbbells to collide at the top of each rep - bouncing them together may cause you to lose stability within the shoulder and injure yourself.
  4. Squeeze the dumbbells as tight as possible to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
  5. Don’t bounce the elbows off the floor at the bottom of the rep. Doing so may result in injury due to the compressive forces being generated between the weight and the floor.
  6. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.