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Zottman curl


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There have been several variations of Zottman curls

presented over the years- some descriptions of which

were certainly curls, but also certainly not Zottman


see ironhistory. com notes for Mar 8, 1867

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Here is that text from ironhistory:

Mar 8, 1867 George Zottman born. The man after whom the Zottman curl is named, and though several variations have appeared through the years under the guise of this exercise, the manner in which Zottman zeroed in on it was in general terms: Using a dumbbell in each hand with the arms hanging in front of the thighs, begin a curl with the right hand with the dumbbell describing an arc with the near end of the dumbbell almost grazing the abs and pec as it nears the right shoulder. At the shoulder turn the wrist so that as the descending half of the circle continues, a reverse curl is being performed as the bell goes away from the right side of your torso and continues to the starting point. BUT. When the bell reached the shoulder, then begin the left hand curl inward grazing the abs and pec on its ascent. Both arms 180 degrees out of phase with each other- as one hand is at a shoulder, the other is at a thigh. Zottman curls are impossible to perform while seated, or on an incline bench. A useful tip if using adjustable dumbells is to butt the plates all the way to the end of the bar that will be grazing the torso, thus allowing the bell to remain close to the body and preventing a forwarding of the hand away from the body which would bring the shoulder into more involvement.

There were those who preferred to reverse this process, but by beginning with a reverse curl toward the shoulder, the amount of weight is limited, whereas if the palms up curl begins the exercise, when the reverse curl comes into play, it will of course be a negative movement and will therefore allow more weight to be handled.

Zottman was known for his grip strength and at age 50 in 1917 could pinch grip two 50 pound plates together. These were described as 2" thick, but the text is unclear if this means each plate was 2" thick or the total width was 2". George died in 1942 at age 75.

Since then, I have discovered another version which indicates

that a hammer curl grip is used during the arc near the torso.

If you have a large belly, you really cannot perform a Zottman

curl effectively. But, Wannagrip, do not despair, there are

other good exercises

:D  :D

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as soon as i gesome dumbells, im going to start doing theese! i just tried the movement without weight, and can see tis will be an awesome lower arm movement!  thanks!


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A variation I use, is to take two dumbbells and curl them with the palms facing up, and the hands rotated all the way to the outside. You do one rep of both bells together, and then rotate them a little and continue. You rotate them a little more with each rep, until you pass through the hammer curl position, all the way to doing a reverse curl. you then go back the other way until you are at the starting position. Continue for as long as you can maintain form.

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Vince Gironda used to speak highly of the Zottman curl and he recommended that his bodybuilders perform these on a regular basis. He believed that these needed to be performed in very strict form, and that technique should not be sacrificed for the amount of weight used.

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In one book i read about Bruce Lee, a friend, and training partener recals that when grabbing ahold of Bruce's forearms, it ws like geabbing onto a baseball bat! i believe he was ahead of his time on grip and forearm training.

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