Executed by pressing Medium Punch and Medium Kick simultaneously, Zangief flexes his muscles as his body turns red. During Iron Muscle, Zangief can absorb two attacks, which leaves him with recoverable health. By pressing forward during his V-Skill, Zangief will perform Muscle Walk. By doing so, he will slowly close in on the opponent. Upon release from the walk, Zangief flexes his muscles and hits the opponent if close enough.
The Iron Muscle serves as both an attack and a defense at the same time. If anticipating an attack from the opponent, Zangeif can use his V-Skill to neutralize their move(s) and respond with an attack of his own. Additionally, Zangief can cancel into his Spinning Piledriver after hitting the opponent with his attack during V-Skill. It is also a way to handle characters who specialize in zoning. Rather than blocking a fireball to sacrifice chip damage, Zangief can use Iron Curtain to absorb the projectile to gain recoverable grey life.