Zottman Curls

Zottman Bicep Curls with Globe Gripz.

After receiving good feedback regarding last month’s old-school exercise - Stiff-Arm Circles – I thought you may like another. This month’s exercise has been inspired by natural bodybuilding champion Ian Scammell, after seeing him perform it at Bob’s Gym, Bristol (GB). So, here it is: the all-in-one arm blasting exercise to develop strength and dexterity: Zottman Curls.

  1. Sit or Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward (inverted/ neutral). Now, bend your elbows ever-so-slightly (drag and lock), taking the strain onto your arm.
  2. Curl the dumbbells (one-arm, simultaneously, or alternate arms) toward your shoulders. As you curl turn your palm up (supinate) during the initial phase of the movement.
  3. Once you reach the top, slowly lower the dumbbell back down whilst turning your palm down (pronate), allowing the dumbbell to rotate. Stop just short of locking out your elbow.
  4. Pause, then turn your palms back to the starting position (inverted/ neutral) and begin your next repetition.

The Zottman Curl was devised by strongman George Zottman in the 1880’s and is another gym rarity. Similarly to last month’s exercise, Ian and I are two of only a handful of people that I’ve ever seen perform it. Again, probably because it means lifting far smaller weights (“baby” weights) than you may otherwise do during most other curling motions, however, it’s one of the best overall arm development exercises there is. Both Ian and I (Matt writing and pictured) choose to perform Zottman Curls with Globe Gripz in order to increase intensity on the biceps and forearms, whilst reducing strain on the wrists and elbows.

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Article by Matt Bembridge, Top Personal Trainer and Natural Bodybuilding Champion, for Living Magazine group.

Video performance of Zottman Curls