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Zottman Curls Guide: How to do them and Master the 3 Variations

Zottman curls is an effective dumbbell workout that converts your forearms to firearms. If you want to quickly bulk up your biceps, then Zottman curls will be the ideal solution for you. By doing this exercise you can target three major muscle groups, brachioradialis brachialis and biceps brachia. No wonder, it is one of the favorite workouts amongst athletes and bodybuilders. Training forearms is very tough, it is not that easy as it seems. It is the most neglected part of your body.

Zottman Curls will first focus on your forearms and then slowly pump up your biceps. The name Zottman is derived from George Zottman, a strongman from Philadelphia. He introduced Zottman Curls also known as dumbbell curls. While working on your biceps, it will simultaneously work on your lower and upper forearms. If you want to maximize and focus on your arm growth then you must start doing this workout. Let us look at how to do Zottman Curl and get that balanced and aesthetic physique.

How to do Zottman Curls

How to do Zottman Curls

You can do this workout anywhere at any place. You just need a pair of dumbbells. 

  1. Stand on the floor with hip-width apart. Pick up the dumbbells hold them with palms and they should face in the forward direction.
  2. By keeping an erect spine, curl the weights upwards.
  3. Twist the dumbbells and bring them down.
  4. Repeat this movement with many reps.
  5. If you are a beginner choose lightweight first. If you are at an advanced level then you can go with heavyweights. 
  6. Do not rotate the dumbbells quickly. Just slow down a bit.
  7. Your head and neck position throughout the movement should be neutral.

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Zottman Curls Variations

Reverse Zottman Curls

Reverse Zottman Curls

The whole setup position of this variation is the same as that of standard Zottman Curls. Except here, when you are lifting the dumbbell, your palms should face down. Twist it and then curl them down with palms facing you. You are just reversing your palm position in this variation.

Resistance Band Zottman Curl

Resistance Band Zottman Curl

The only difference in this form is replacing dumbbells with a resistance band. Stand on the band. The feet should be shoulder-width apart. Pull the band handles upwards by keeping the same palm position as you did in the standard version. Then, bring it down. Keep on repeating the movement for around 5 reps. 

Reverse Grip Barbell curl

If you do not like the rotation part of Zottman curls, then skip it and go with a barbell. When you are keeping the palms away from you on the barbell, that means you are targeting on brachioradialis part with a low focus on the biceps. Lift the barbell towards your chest, pause a bit and slowly bring it down. This also targets your lower arm muscles. Do this movement 2-3 times and begin with a lower-weight barbell.

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Zottman Curls Targeted Muscle Groups

Zottman Curls Guide: How to do them and Master the 3 Variations

The primary target muscle of this exercise is the biceps brachii. The muscle and short head and long head. Both of them work together simultaneously and contribute to lifting heavy weights and pulling motion. The other targeted muscle is the brachioradialis. It plays a crucial role to supinate, pronate and flexing your forearms. The secondary muscle group brachialis is also targeted by Zottman curls. While in curling motion, the Zottman curls also work on your ab muscles to activate and stabilize your body.

Benefits of Zottman Curls

Benefits of Zottman Curls
  1. It is a biceps and forearms-based exercise. So if your main focus is these two muscles, then go for it. Increasing biceps hypertrophy should be a major aim and Zottman curls do it for you.
  2. The exercise also helps you carry out other workouts effectively like lat pulldown and barbell row. You can expect improvement in your gym-related performance.
  3. As the exercise works at the upper and lower arm at the same time, it is a huge benefit. You can primarily work on both group muscles at the same time.

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