Thick Grips and Dumbells make for great floor press variations
The Floor Press A Love Letter…
One of my favourite accessory movements for grappling is the heavy floor press. In BJJ S&C articles the Deadlift and Grip work seem to rule the day. Seeing as you are going to need to go from A2 to A3 pants, rather than looking like some sort of grappling T-Rex you may as well get some upper body work in and get that A3 Jacket to match.
The mainstay of powerlifters for years now, take one look at the position and you quickly see why this movement is a powerful addition to your BJJ program. The floor press was the original means by which old school lifters got the bar into position for a chest press back in the days before anyone thought to attach uprights to a bench. Before I talk about applicability, I talk about actually doing the movement.
Now you maybe thinking the floor press is pretty straight forwards, but there are some technical nuances you need to consider first.
The press requires a stable tight starting posistion with a tight grip, lats activiated and shoulder blades should be pulled down and back. Once in position the bar should be pulled out of the rack. A huge mistake many make is pressing the bar of the j-hooks, this often kills all the tension you just tried building.
Once the bar is off the hooks, do not relax! Two cue I really like are “Tuck the Elbows” and “Pull the bar”. Tucking the elbow is crucial
Depending on our focus I like the athlete to really squeeze and hold at the bottom or explode up when the triceps make contact with the floor
Below is a video detailing all this and more!
Floor presses really allow you overload the triceps without place undue stress on the elbows or shoulder. This is a common complaint among heavy pressers and it makes sense that floor pressing can give your shoulders a well deserved rest with shorter ROM. This shortened row means that stress across the anterior shoulder is kept to a minimum, which why I’ll use it out for athletes with shoulder issues
Applicability to Grappling
As I mentioned before anyone with a grappling back ground can see why it makes sense. A pressing position off the back that requires powerful chest and tricep recruitment often from a dead start his applicability for making a frame when in the bottom position, sweeping and so on. With the addition of rotational floor pressing we can try make the movement more specific.
It teaches tightness and tension on the floor, the lack of leg drive and lack of any real arch mean that movement cannot be assisted, its just you your triceps, your chest and your shoulders. By varying your grip you can further increase tricep recruitment by bring your grip closer.
I usually use it as an accessory exercise for the bench press or sometimes cycle it in to a program as the main pressing movement, often with grapplers peaking them with reverse band floor presses done explosively, give it a try, experiment with it!.
In the video below you can see me doing floor press as part of French contrast complex.
This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ. Thanks to Brad Wendes of http://www.bradwendes.com/ for filming