Arm Exercises

Instant Muscle: Two Curls in One

The Zottman curl is a time-tested biceps builder.

Instant Muscle: Two Curls in One

George Zottman was a 19th-century strongman known for his incredible arm strength (he could clean and press a 175-pound dumbbell while sitting in a chair). The curl variation that bears his name can raise the caliber of your guns, as it combines a conventional curl movement with a reverse curl for one all-encompassing biceps and forearm blast.


Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your elbows at your sides, curl the weights up as normal. At the top, rotate your palms 180 degrees to face downward, then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. Because you’re limited by how much weight you can reverse curl (which will always be less than what you can lift with your palms facing up), you’ll need to use a fairly light weight, but the overall muscle activation you’ll get will make up for it. The Zottman curl creates incredible tension in your biceps, brachialis (the muscle between your biceps and triceps), and brachioradialis (your main forearm muscle), leading to faster muscle growth.


For an even greater forearm challenge, thicken the grip of the dumbbells by wrapping towels around the handles or attaching rubber sleeves such as those sold by Grip4orce (