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biceps workoutZottman Dumbell Curls. What?

What are Zottman Dumbell Curls? That is a question I have been asked almost anytime I bring them up. Yes they sound weird and chances are they were invented by a guy with the last name Zottman. In reality, it was invented by legendary strongman George Zottman in the 1890’s who had 19″ arms and 15″ forearms. Those measurements would be considered quite large back in that era.These are an amazingly effective movement that literally hits every forearm flexor (bicep, brachialis, brachioradialis) hard. Its like doing a dumbell curl, a hammer curl, and a reverse curl all wrapped up into one movement. This is a rare and unique movement that is almost unknown even among learned trainees. So now that you know the history of the Zottman Dumbell Curl, how does one perform these correctly?

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Zottman Dumbell Curls: The Correct Form

This exercise is very easy to do with poor form. I feel it is best to do this exercise in a seated fashion to take the legs completely away from it.  It can be a very effective exercise if done in the proper manner.  . This video shows exactly how this exercise should be done. The biggest problem I see is letting the elbows flare out in the negative or lowering portion of the movement. The other issue is not letting the elbow fully extend at the bottom and rotating the palm forward to do the concentric or shortening motion of the movement. I use this exercise every 3rd bicep workout, after doing hammer curls and reverse curls. That way the training stimulus is similar, yet varied enough to make it different.

Zottman Dumbell Curls: Part Of Good Arm Training

Zottman Dumbell Curls are just another tool in the toolbox of the hard training athlete. To use a mechanic as an analogy, when you start out as an apprentice mechanic(newbie lifter), you have a very basic set of tools to use. As you advance to a Master Mechanic you have an extensive set of tools(varied exercises). To become a good physique athlete, it takes experimentation to find out what exactly what works best for your body. Zottman Dumbell Curls are a forgotten gem in an old toolbox long ago put away. Just as the kettlebell made a comeback, the Zottman Dumbell Curls should too. Give it a go in your next bicep workout and I promise you will not be disappointed.