Thoughts on the Floor Pullover and Press

I just watched an excellent video on the Floor Press on Chris Duffin’s YouTube channel and it got me thinking about one of my favorite “new” exercises, the Floor Pullover and Press.

What Is the Floor Pullover and Press?

The Floor Pullover and Press is how lifters used to floor press before the bench press was invented and it’s still a contested lift in the United States All Round Weightlifting Association. I call it the Floor Pullover and Press rather than just Pullover and Press to differentiate it from the pullover and press done across or length ways on a utility bench; usually with an EZ Curl bar. While that is a fine lift as well, it’s not what I’m talking about here.

Here’s a look at how to perform the lift:

Technical Considerations

The thing about the Floor Pullover and Press is because you’re not coming off of a rack, you have to learn to get a stable position with the bar already in your hands.  In talking to Eric Todd on the USAWA Facebook page, he advised me to really drive my elbows down hard and explosively to load the bar. Then once you have the bar in the top position, you are allowed to reset your shoulders and hands before beginning the Press portion of the lift.

The other wrinkle is in the Pullover and Press, you’re not allowed to have your feet bent which again removes your ability to root.  So this turns the Floor Press into something akin to a Larsen Press.


As mentioned in the video on Chris’ channel, this is by necessity going to be a light movement because you’re not setting up in the rack. For me the value is in learning to reacquire a stable position after doing the Pullover. That means it might be a great option for speed day if you’re a fan of conjugate.

I LOVE IT as a great warm up tool. It not only mimics the bench press  but also warms up my shoulders. A proper warm up should have exercises that mimic the main lift of the day without wearing you out. The Floor Pullover and Press fits the bill nicely.

Plus it makes me conscious of what I need to do to acquire a stable position rather than just going through the motions when I get to the bench. I use it now in place of Around the Worlds and Halos as a more specific bench warm up movement.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on



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