Seated Zottman Curl

Exercise / Biceps, Forearm

Seated Zottman Curl

The seated Zottman curl is a variation of the dumbbell curl exercise that targets the biceps brachii, brachialis, and forearms. The seated position helps stabilize your body and isolate the muscles being worked on. This exercise targets both the biceps during the supination phase and the forearm muscles (especially the brachioradialis) during the pronation phase, providing a more comprehensive arm workout.

How to do:


Seated Zottman Curl

  1. Seated Position: Begin by sitting on a bench or chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. This seated position helps stabilize your body, isolating the muscles you intend to work on.
  2. Supinated Grip: Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing up (supinated grip). Start with your arms fully extended, hanging by your sides.
  3. Curl Phase: Curl the dumbbells upward toward your shoulders while keeping your upper arms stationary. As you lift the weights, your palms should remain facing up.
  4. Pronation Phase: At the top of the curl, when your biceps are fully contracted, rotate your wrists at the top of the movement by turning your palms downward into a pronated grip.
  5. Return to Starting Position: Begin lowering the dumbbells slowly to the starting position, all while keeping your palms facing down. Once your arms are fully extended, rotate your wrists back to the palms-up position and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.


1. Using Too Much Weight: Lifting weights that are too heavy can lead to poor form, swinging the dumbbells, and increased risk of injury. Choose a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and control.

2. Momentum controlled: Focus on slow and controlled movements throughout the exercise. Keep your upper arms stationary and engage your biceps and forearms to lift and lower the weights.

3. Range of Motion: Ensure that your arms are fully extended at the bottom and that you achieve a complete contraction of the biceps at the top of each repetition. This maximizes muscle engagement.

4. Swinging the Body: Maintain a stable seated position throughout the exercise. Engage your core to prevent unnecessary movement and isolate the target muscles effectively.

5. Neglecting Wrist Rotation: At the top of the curl, remember to rotate your wrists by turning your palms downward into a pronated grip. This action targets the forearms and adds to the exercise’s effectiveness.

6. Not Controlling the Negative Phase: Pay close attention to the eccentric (negative) phase of the exercise. Lower the dumbbells slowly and with control, engaging your muscles throughout the entire range of motion.

Benefits of Seated Zottman Curl

Brachioradialis and bicep and brachialis

  1. Targeted Arm Development: The seated Zottman curl is a compound exercise that simultaneously targets the biceps brachii, brachialis, and forearms. This comprehensive muscle engagement allows for well-rounded arm development.
  2. Bicep Strength: While the bicep curl is effective for isolating the biceps, the Zottman curl takes it a step further by incorporating the forearm muscles. This results in improved bicep strength, aiding in lifting heavier weights and performing other upper body exercises.
  3. Enhanced Forearm Development: The pronation phase of the Zottman curl places significant emphasis on the forearm muscles, especially the brachioradialis. Strengthening these muscles not only contributes to forearm aesthetics but also improves grip strength, which is crucial for various daily activities and sports.
  4. Brachialis Development: Often overlooked in traditional bicep curl exercises, the brachialis muscle is effectively targeted by Zottman curls. Strengthening the brachialis not only improves arm aesthetics but also bolsters arm strength.

Zottman curls utilize an alternating grip, which helps strengthen the wrist muscles. The exercise encourages balanced muscle activation by targeting both the biceps and forearms. This helps prevent muscular imbalances that can occur with a unilateral focus on bicep development.

Seated Zottman Curl Muscles Worked

Target - Biceps Brachii
Synergists - Brachioradialis
Synergists - Brachialis
Stabilizers - Flexor Carpi Radialis
Stabilizers - Extensor Carpi Radialis
biceps anatomy


Like the seated Zottman curl, it targets the biceps, forearms, and brachialis muscles, but it’s performed while standing rather than seated.