The Zottman Curl


The problem with biceps is that, compared to the muscles on the rest of your body, they can’t lift that much weight – and that limits your growth. But if you’re gonna curl ’em (and we know you are), you might as well go all out – like Ruben Studdard at an all-you-can-eat buffet. And nothing takes your biceps growth further than the old-school Zottman Curl.

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand as you would to begin a curl, with palms facing forward [1]. Keeping your elbows tight against your sides, curl the weights up as high as you can. Now turn your wrists over so that your palms face the floor (as in the top position of a reverse curl) [2]. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position [3], turning your palms forward again at the bottom. That’s one rep. Perform two sets of eight to 10 reps at the end of your upper – body workout, resting one minute between sets.

Named after 19th – century strongman George Zottman (who used to perform the exercise with 50 – pound dumbbells), this curl targets all the muscles that flex your elbow joint in one fell swoop. You hit the primary movers for a standard biceps curl on the way up (the biceps and brachialis), and the main muscles for the reverse curl on the way down (including the brachioradialis in your forearm), effectively combining the benefits of two exercises at once. Plus, rotating your wrists at the top and bottom positions stimulates even more growth, taking this curl past the edge.

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