Banded Floor Press
How to Do the Banded Floor Press | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form, Common Mistakes and Variations | Home Strength Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN the Banded Floor Press
Pectoralis Major & Triceps
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Anterior deltoid (front of shoulder muscle)
- Coracobrachialis (small muscle near biceps)
- Anconeus (small muscle at back of elbow)
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE Pectoralis Major And Triceps
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Lay on the ground and press your arms up, that's it!
THE FLOOR PRESS WORKS MULTIPLE MUSCLES & JOINTS AT ONCE
The floor press exercise works the pectoralis major (the largest chest muscle) and your triceps muscles.
This exercise is a compound movement - meaning that it works more than one joint (shoulder & elbows joints) and multiple muscle groups. In the floor press, the upper arm moves in towards the middle of the chest and the elbow will straighten. Compound movements are time efficient and more functional. Functional exercises involve movements that we use in our daily lives, movements that require coordinating the movement of many muscles and more than one joint at a time.
The floor press is done lying face up with the knees bent. This stable position makes it easy to use heavier bands for training the large chest muscle. In this position the focus is on the muscles of the arms, the muscles of the core and legs are relatively still and don’t help very much. The upper arm movement is limited by the floor, this makes the exercise safer for the shoulder joints.
Other exercises that work the pectoralis muscles may involve letting the arm move back behind the torso, this can strain the soft tissues on the front of the joint, especially when heavier resistance is used. In the floor press, the upper arm rests on the floor between each rep. This takes out any momentum that may be used to help the muscles as the next rep begins, which basically means this is a built-in way to make sure we don't subconciously cheat the move - our muscles will HAVE to do the work.
The pectoralis major muscle is a large fan-shaped muscle on the chest. It attaches to the collarbone, sternum (breast bone), the cartilage of the first 6 ribs, and the upper arm. The angle of the arms can be easily adjusted during the floor press to target different portions of the pectoralis major.
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
TRAINS OUR CHEST & TRICEPS TO DO THEIR MAIN JOBS IN LIFE
The floor press is a very functional exercise. The exercise trains the pectoralis major and triceps to do two of their main jobs - moving the arms and stabilizing the joints.
The Floor Press uses the pectoralis major as a prime mover to pull the arm in towards the body, and as a stabilizer of the shoulder joint and shoulder blade (held in depression) as the band is pressed up, and it uses the triceps as a prime mover to extend the arm (straighten the elbow) and as a stabilizer for the elbow joint.
STRENGTHENS ABILITY TO KEEP SHOULDER STABLE WHILE DOING STUFF WITH HANDS
The primary functions of the pectoralis major are to move the arm and to stabilize the shoulder. The shoulder is the least stable joint in the whole body, and your hand depends on it to hold the arm still when you use your hand. Imagine trying to write if your shoulder was moving. The other problem with the poor stability of the shoulder joint is that it can lead to more wear and tear on the joint surfaces.
BALANCES OUT BICEP STRENGTH FOR BETTER MUSCLE COORDINATION
The triceps lies along the backside of the upper arm and balance out the biceps brachii muscle which lies along the front of the arm. Even though these two muscles move the elbow in opposite ways, the biceps bends the elbow and the triceps straighten the elbow, they coordinate their activity to control the movement and stabilization of the elbow joint.
If one muscle is a lot stronger than the other muscle, it can interfere with the position and movement of the joint, and can possibly cause damage or an injury to the muscle or the joint. Many people put more time and energy into exercising their biceps than they do their triceps.
It is important to work the muscles that do opposite movements equally in order to prevent imbalances that may lead to injury. In order to keep the joints and muscles of the arms healthy, it is important to include exercises for both the biceps and the triceps in your exercise program.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR SIDE CHEST & TRICEPS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
PECTORALIS MAJOR - CHEST MUSCLE
1. BRINGING YOUR ARM ACROSS YOUR BODY, TOWARDS THE MIDLINE (HORIZONTAL ADDUCTION)
- Reaching across to fasten a seat belt
- Putting a belt into pants (reaching across to the opposite side in front of the body)
- Lifting objects in front of the body
- Carrying heavy objects in front: grocery bag, child
- Picking up your pet chicken
2. BRING YOUR ARM UP AND ACROSS (upper fibers of the pectoralis)
- Touching the opposite ear - putting on an earring
- Using blow dryer on opposite side of the head as hand
- LOWER FIBERS BRING THE ARM DOWN AND ACROSS
- Reaching the opposite hip
3. MEDIAL (INTERNAL) ROTATION OF THE ARM (ROTATING THE UPPER ARM INWARDS)
- Rotating arm down to empty a can
4. CAN ASSIST IN DEPRESSION (MOVE DOWN THE SPINE), DOWNWARD ROTATION, AND PROTRACTION (MOVING FORWARD AROUND THE RIBCAGE, AND STABILIZATION OF THE SHOULDER BLADE AND STABILIZATION OF THE SHOULDER JOINT
- Control during all arm and hand activities that require strength and/or precision - writing, knitting, using a screwdriver
1. THE TRICEPS MUSCLE’S PRIMARY FUNCTION IS TO STRAIGHTEN THE ELBOW (ALL THREE HEADS)
- Washing windows - straightening the elbow
2. THE LONG HEAD ACTS TO PULL THE ARM DOWN FROM A FLEXED (THE ARM IS REACHING OVERHEAD OR OUT IN FRONT OF THE BODY), AND MOVES IT BEHIND THE BODY (THIS ACTION IS NOT USED IN THE FLOOR PRESS EXERCISE)
- Pulling a cord down to open the curtains
- Pulling yourself up when climbing a ladder
3. ALL THREE HEADS HELP TO STABILIZE THE ELBOW JOINT
- Control during all hand activities that require strength and/or precision - writing, knitting, using a screwdriver.
4. THE LONG HEAD HELPS TO STABILIZE THE SHOULDER JOINT
- Control during all hand activities that require strength and/or precision - writing, knitting, using a screwdriver
The pectoralis and triceps work together for shoulder adduction, internal rotation, elbow extension, and stabilization of the shoulder blade, shoulder joint and elbow joint in activities like pushing a stroller or lawnmower, pushing a door open.
HOW THE FLOOR PRESS SHAPES OUR BODY
Defined chest and upper arm (back of arm).
This version of the chest press is done lying on the floor and using a band, making it an option that can be done almost anywhere. The floor offers a stable surface to work off of which makes it easier to use heavier resistance bands than in a standing position.
Little note from me: I find this particular exercise is best done with dumbbells once you build any amount of strength- it is difficult to get enough tension on the band for such a short range to truly challenge the triceps & chest. But it'll work for a beginner and in a pinch, like a hotel room! :)-
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Pectoralis Major: Place your right hand over your left chest. Straighten your left arm and pull it in across your body. You should feel your pectoralis major muscle under your hand. Try pulling the arm across and up - you should feel the muscle activation close to your collarbone. Pull across and down and you should feel the lower part of the muscle contract.
Triceps: Place one hand on the underside of the opposite upper arm. Bend your elbow. Place your hand on the edge of a table or on the wall. Press into the surface as if you were trying to straighten your elbow. You will feel the triceps muscle activate.
PROPER FORM: Banded Floor Press
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
Main set (3: Light/Med/Heavy):
X-Heavy Band (I recommend getting this too if you plan to use resistance bands frequently).
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
Moderate strength band
SETS & REPS:
2 sets of 8-10 must fatigue the muscle.
Moderate pace up and slower down
BODY POSITION FOR THE bANDED Floor Press
Place the resistance band on the floor. Lie down so that the band lies under the upper back and on the outside of the shoulders/arms.
BODY STANCE: Lying face up on the floor. Knees bent. Stabilize your upper body by pulling your shoulder blades together and down your back. This provides a good stable base to work off of. This movement should not feel gripping or tight, just stable. This becomes more important as the resistance you are using increases, the intent is to have the weight on the shoulder blades as opposed to the more flexible - and smaller bones of, the rib cage.
Neutral spine - you should be able to slide a hand between your low back and the floor.
FEET: Feet flat on the floor.
HAND/GRIP: Hold one end of the band in each hand with a pronated grip (should be comfortable, can be slightly angled in). The band comes up on the little finger side of the hand and crosses the palm towards the thumb side.
ARM: Your elbows should be about 60 -70 degrees away from your side, elbows bent slightly more than 90 degrees.
NECK: Neutral and relaxed throughout the exercise.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO bANDED Floor Presses
CUE: The arms should be very controlled, not wavering.
The hand should be in line with your elbow as you press up- not in front of the elbow or behind the elbow.
Push your hands up towards the ceiling.
Your upper arm moves inward so that it ends up in line with the front of your shoulder or in a bit further so your hand is lined up with the middle of your collar bone.
As your arm moves in the elbows straighten but avoid locking them.
Your hands will be a few inches apart at the top of the movement.
Squeeze your pecs at the end of the movement.
Slowly return to the starting position by bending your elbows and moving yours arms back out to the side.
Repeat to complete the reps.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
Bend your elbows and release the band. Roll to your side and press up into sitting.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH THE bANDED Floor Press
Guess what? Good news! Many avoids are the same for most movements. Once you learn the basics, there's really only a few extra avoids for each individual movement.
1. Avoid arching/hyperextending spine
AVOID: Avoid hyperextending or arching the back.
- This can cause low back joint injury, muscle strain or damage over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Maintain a neutral spine position.
- If your ribs lower ribs flare upwards or your belly is lifted up - this indicates you are arching your low back. Your pubic bone and front hip bones should be in one plane - can check by placing fingertips on pubic bone and set base of the palm on hip bones - your hand should be flat.
- To prevent arching - avoid taking the arms up too far overhead: move arms down
- You should not be able to feel your low back pressed on to the floor, you should be able to slip your hand between the floor and your low back.
- Lower your tailbone to the floor and lengthen the front of your torso, activate the core muscles gently to hold this position.
- Press the back of your shoulders into the floor.
- Relax the muscles of the lower body (especially the gluteus maximus) concentrate on the core and upper body.
2. Avoid bending at your wrists
AVOID: Avoid bending at your wrists.
- Poor alignment (bent forward or backward) or repetitive movement through the wrist can lead to joint and/or soft tissue irritation or injury over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Your wrists should be in line with your forearm and should be still throughout the exercise.
3. Avoid pushing Feet Into Floor
AVOID: Avoid pushing down into the floor with the feet.
- This is an attempt to use your legs to stabilize the body, you want to try to limit the muscle activity to the arms.
WHAT TO DO:
- If you feel you are pressing into your feet when you press the weight up
- Activate your core muscles, anchor your shoulder blades into the floor
- Lift your legs up to the table top (hips and knees at 90 degrees, feet off of floor) position
4. Avoid hunching shoulders
AVOID: Avoid hunching the shoulders up towards the ears. Decreased space between the shoulders and earlobes.
WHAT TO DO:
- Pull the shoulders down to keep the space between the ear and the shoulder during the entire rep - this opens up the shoulder to avoid tendon irritation and decreases the activity of the upper traps.
5. Avoid rounding of shoulders
AVOID: Avoid lifting your shoulders off of the floor.
- Rounding the shoulders (shoulder blade protraction, upper arm internal rotation, humerus- upper arm bone, glides forward) closes down on the space in the shoulder joints and can result in irritation of the tendons.
WHAT TO DO:
- You should be able to feel the back of the shoulders should be firmly planted on the floor.
- Potential causes
- Chest muscles are too tight - unable to get shoulders to the floor: stretch pec muscles and try again. If you cannot maintain the correct position, switch to a chest press position and add pec stretches and exercises for scapular retraction to your program.
6. Avoid locking elbows
AVOID: Avoid locking the elbows when the arms are out straight.
- This puts too much force through the joint and may result in long term damage over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the elbows slightly bent, even at the end of the movement.
VARIATIONS OF the Banded Floor Press
Alternating Banded Floor Press
Complete the press with one arm and then the other arm.
- The “non-working arm” can rest down in the starting position; or
- The “non-working” arm is held at the end position (arm straight up) to work the muscles to hold the arm and shoulder still.
Iso Holds Banded Floor Press
Hold at the end for 3-5 seconds, hold midway 3-5 seconds.
Partial Range Pulses
Partial Range Pulses Banded Floor Press
Push all the way up, lower to half way down, do 5 pulses from mid-range to top. Lower down for next rep.
Quick press up and slow lowering down - increases the speed of the concentric contraction (increased power) and slows down the eccentric phase.
Slow Eccentric Banded Floor Press
This is just purposefully slowing down the lowering portion of the movement. You can take a full 5-10 seconds to lower the band for each rep. This is a good way to fatigue the muscle, especially if the band you are using doesn't feel heavy enough.
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
The main functions of the pectoralis muscle are to move and stabilize the upper arm. The pectoralis major muscle helps to move the arm into horizontal adduction (bringing the arm towards the midline of the body). The upper fibers of the pectoralis major help to lift the arms up and the lower fibers of the muscle help to pull the arms down. The pectoralis muscle also helps to stabilize the shoulder joint and contributes to scapular (shoulder blade) depression and stabilization.
The triceps muscle is made up of three portions, the lateral, medial, and long heads. All three heads of the triceps cross the elbow joint. The long head of the triceps also crosses the shoulder joint. This muscle makes up 2/3rds of the muscle bulk of the upper arm. The triceps lies along the backside of the upper arm and balance out the biceps brachii muscle which lies along the front of the arm.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE Banded Floor Press
The scapular retractors and depressors become active during setup for the exercise. As the movement begins the leg muscles, and glutes work to push down as the weights are pressed up. The muscles of the trunk and the arms (upper and forearm) work to stabilize the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints. The pectoralis major is the prime mover, acting concentrically to pull the upper arm inward towards the midline. The anterior deltoid and coracobrachialis can contribute, this is dependent on how much resistance is used. The triceps work to straighten the elbow as the hand pushes upwards towards the ceiling.
The triceps and pectoralis major work eccentrically to control the return to the starting position.