In a new video on his channel, bodybuilding coach and YouTuber Eugene Teo demonstrates and explains the muscle-building benefits of an old-school exercise that you might want to consider adding to your arm day workout: the Zottman curl.
Coined way back in the 1800s by the strongman George Zottman, this variation on the classic bicep curl is performed by lifting the dumbbell upwards with your hands facing up, then turning the weight at the top end of the movement so that your grip is now facing downwards for the negative portion of the rep.
This works for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the upwards part of the curl engages the biceps and to a lesser extent the brachialis, making it a good upper arm builder. By turning that grip around, this disengages the bicep and puts more pressure on the brachialis and brachioradialis. Teo adds that we tend to be much stronger in the lowering portion of a regular curl than we are on the way up, and that switching focus from the bicep to the brachialis means we have to work that much harder to maintain control, which will in turn contribute to thicker, fuller-looking forearms.
"Even though most people recognize the biceps as the show muscles, it's the brachialis that's the most powerful elbow flexor... the most powerful of the muscles contributing to pulling motions," explains Teo.
That said, it's important to remember that the forearms aren't used to doing all of the work in the eccentric portion of the lift, and so the temptation will be to lower the weights quickly. Try to aim for at least a two-second count during this half of the lift, ensuring you stay in control of the dumbbell with good form until you reach the bottom.
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