Power Hooks are my favorite accessory for any dumbbell pressing exercise. I have actually had people argue that if you can’t get a dumbbell in a position to press it you are lifting too much weight. I always ask them if they start barbell bench press by lifting the weight from the floor and muscling it up to their chest.

Why Power Hooks for dumbbell press?
Getting the weight into starting position is not a part of the exercise. Why risk tearing a rotator cuff, rolling off the bench or dropping a weight on your face just trying to get it into the starting position. Power hooks allow you to have a racked dumbbell that is easy to grab and un-rack.

If you use the spin lock dumbbell handles you can add or subtract weight while they are hanging. That makes for a nice feature if you need to change the weight of your dumbbells while in the middle of an exercise.
The Power Hooks are just a sidebar the exercise I am focused on for this section is the chest press from the floor. Doing chest presses from the floor adds an extra element of safety to the exercise.

Why dumbbell press on the floor?
When you are on the floor your upper arms come in contact with the floor at the bottom of the rep range. This takes a great deal of stress off of your shoulder girdle. It is also easier to get the dumbbells to the floor when you reach complete failure and cannot rack them. You simply lower them forward like a hammer curl in reverse. It is a lot safer lowering a dumbbell while lying on the floor than tossing it off the sides of a bench.

Floor Chest Press Technique
There are several variations you can use that all constitute proper form.

  • You can have your hands palms facing each other or palms turned parallel to your shoulders.
  • You can do them one arm at a time or press them both at the same time.
  • You can finish with them touching together at the top or you can press them straight up.


I will describe the way that I like to do them but any of these variations can be incorporated to change the exercise slightly.

  1. To perform the floor chest press lay on a mat with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place your elbows on the floor slightly angled away from your body.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and arch your back while tightening your core.
  4. Maintain that posture while you drive the dumbbells upward.
  5. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
  6. Once you reach the point where you can no longer perform another rep in good form hang the dumbbells on the bar.


Should you reach total failure and are unable to rack the dumbbells place your upper arms on the floor and lower them towards your feet using your forearms to slow the dumbbells as they descend to the floor.


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John Rutnik

John Rutnik is a NFPT Certified Personal Trainer. He holds an AAS in Electrical Technology and has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. John has been involved in physical fitness and weight training since the late 70’s and is an avid outdoors man. He became a personal trainer after rehabilitating himself from a spinal injury he sustained in a car accident and losing 70 pounds. John later obtained ISSA Certifications as both a Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Sports Nutrition and became Lead Fitness Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Schenectady NY. His training philosophy is “no man left behind,” everyone deserves a chance to succeed.