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Floor Press Vs. Bench Press: Which Is Better For Chest Growth?

Arnold

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Get Shredded!

Both are great for building a huge chest, but which one reigns king?​

We all want a huge chest, right? Those popping pecs to jump right out of our shirts. A huge chest can greatly affect the look of our physique and give us everything we want when it comes to that shredded aesthetic. But building a big chest can be challenging and with so many exercises out there, it can tough to weed through and find the most effective. The floor press and bench press are two great chest exercises that can boost chest growth and we’ll explore both to see which one is better.

A strong chest can benefit you in terms of sport specific and those more functional movements by greatly affecting your pushing power and offering nice support and stability. On top of the ability to move and lift better, a strong chest offers the ability for a nice aesthetic and one that others will certainly envy. Both the floor press and bench press can help with this and for those organizing their own training plan, if possible, place both in to see great gains.

Let’s take a look at the floor press and the bench press and see which one of these great exercises reigns king. Both can help boost chest growth and aid in that massive aesthetic but knowing which one can work for your benefit the best will prove most effective for all your gains.

The Floor Press​

The floor press is very similar to the bench press except you are lying on the floor. What this does is shorten your range of motion and is a good one for those with shoulder injuries or certain exercise limitations (1). This is a great accessory exercise for powerlifters as it offers the same motion without doing the exact exercise, being the bench press. This exercise can be done with either barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells.

How To Perform It​

  1. Lay on the floor and tighten your core with a flat back.
  2. When ready, push the bar above your chest, driving your heels into the ground.
  3. Gently lower back down to your chest maintaining an engaged core.
  4. Once at the bottom, repeat for your desired amount of reps.

Bench Press​

The bench press is a great exercise and one of the big three powerlifts. Many variations exist in terms of grip and equipment used, like dumbbell or barbells, but either way this exercise is highly effective (2). Working your chest muscles to the max, the bench press can improve upper body strength, increase power output and deliver muscular endurance to other exercises. Widely popular for its ability to increase muscle growth, this exercise is one to certainly place into your routine.

How To Perform It​

Here are the steps for performing the bench press:
  1. Lie on the bench with your feet planted on the floor.
  2. Grab the bar with your hands a little more than shoulder-width apart. Arch your lower back slightly. While this is debated, an arched lower back can help keep the spine neutral and the back tight.
  3. Lift the bar off the rack and gently lower to your chest as you breathe in. Your forearms should be about 90 degrees from the ground as you touch your chests.
  4. With your feet planted on the ground, initiate the upward movement to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Floor Press Vs. Bench Press​

While the movements of these two exercises are the same, there are some key differences. The floor press doesn’t require a bench and has less range of motion. For those prone to shoulder injuries or certain exercise limitations, this may be the way to go. Because of this, there is less demand on your shoulders.

However, the bench press, since it has more range of motion, allows you to lift more weight and increase strength and size (3). What you’ll find is both exercises are very similar, it is just a matter of if you want to focus more on increasing muscle, or giving yourself a good exercise to limit the amount of shoulder pain you may experience.

Wrap Up​

Both the floor press and bench press can work to benefit your gains and offer the best for your chest growth and development. While each has their own benefits, what both can do are increase strength and size and allow for that desired physique to unfold. Give both a try and work to see which one is best for you as you seek the most for your gains.

References

  1. Answer, S.; Alghadir, A.; Al-Eisa, E.; Iqbal, Z. (2018). “The relationships between shoulder pain, range of motion, and disability in patients with shoulder dysfunction”. (source)
  2. Tungate, P. (2019). “The Bench Press: A Comparison Between Flat-Back and Arched-Back Techniques”. (source)
  3. Saeterbakken, A.; Tillaar, R.; Fimland, M. (2011). “A comparison of muscle activity and 1-RM strength of three chest-press exercises with different stability requirements”. (source)
  4. Pasiakos, S.; McLellan, T.; Lieberman, H. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
 
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