Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Biceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Zottman Curl Overview

The standing Zottman curl is a variation of the standing dumbbell curl and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the biceps.

The Zottman curl utilizes different hand positioning at different portions of the lift to capitalize on the strength of the lifter and maximize arm growth. The first portion, the regular curl, allows the lifter to focus on their bicep strength. The lowering portion, after already using a heavier weight than one would typically use in a dumbbell reverse curl, allows you to overload the forearms.

Bicep isolation work is particularly helpful for those looking to achieve aesthetics and building a balanced physique.

Zottman Curl Instructions

  1. Select the desired weight from the rack and assume a shoulder width stance.
  2. Using a supinated grip, take a deep breath and curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders.
  3. Once the biceps are fully shortened, rotate the forearms to a pronated position (palms down) and slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Zottman Curl Tips

  1. Don’t allow the elbows to shift behind the body. Similarly, make sure the shoulder doesn’t shift forward in the socket as you lower the weight.
  2. Maintain a slight bend in the elbow at the bottom of the movement in order to keep tension through the biceps.
  3. Rotate the forearms slowly, excessive velocity may cause issues within the elbows or wrists.
  4. Using a slow eccentric (lowering portion) of the exercise can help to improve tension and mind muscle connection.
Noah Griffiths
Posted on: Tue, 11/09/2021 - 02:50

say goodbye to your biceps after this

Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2022 - 14:31


Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2019 - 23:39

lol at his legs

Posted on: Mon, 09/28/2020 - 21:52

Chicken legs

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/2016 - 02:59

i did this exercise yesterday after watching a video of this, and I really like it. I will try it more often. I recommend it.

Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 03:10

Hi everyone. I'm a new contributor to the 'comments' postings, therefore I'm the 'new kid on the block' so to speak, so I'd like to know if the 'green thumbs up' and the 'red thumbs down' icons are related to 'Facebook', or are the just annonymous? I'm not on Facebook, so I wouldn't be able to read or reply to any replies to my posts. I would like to read any 'fors' or 'against' comments so that I could reply. Or does one just click on the 'reply' link to add a comment to a post?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 16:38

The articles are not connected to Facebook

Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:54

OK, many thanks Joey.

Posted on: Sat, 02/23/2013 - 21:11

Maybe I'm missing something, but why do this exercise at all? You are missing out on the negative half of the bicep curl, and the positive half of the forearm reverse curl! I'd rather do, say, 5 strict, slow, full-range reps of the biceps curl, followed, without stopping, by 5 strict, slow, full-range reps of the reverse curl, followed ( if you wish) by 5 strict, slow, full-range reps of the hammer curl. Feels good to me!

Posted on: Tue, 04/28/2020 - 11:06

Pronation is one of the functions of the biceps. Yes, regular curls and reverse curls perform most of the same functions as the Zottman curl on their own, but they're both missing the pronation. Zottman curls are used along with regular and reverse grip curls, not in replacement of.

Posted on: Wed, 11/07/2012 - 17:47

This exercise is awesome! Not only will you feel it in your biceps but afterword you will feel it in your forearms! I recommend this exercise to everyone!

Posted on: Sat, 03/10/2012 - 08:36

hey there,

why is this workout under the intermediate level? I mean, does that mean that a begginner would not be able to do as such? or should not be doing as such?

Thank you much for all these information! =).

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 03/10/2012 - 12:39

In general it's best for beginners to focus on building strength with barbell and dumbbell curls before trying variations. Of course, this exercise is fairly straight forward, but that's the main reason it's not listed as a beginner movement.

Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 14:46

Thank you for being so supportive! I'll need your precious help throughout.