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A common Japanese gesture when preparing to take on a difficult task is to "make a muscle" and rub one's bicep, emphasizing strength. "Yoshi!" ("OK!", or "Alright!") is frequently said with a determined expression when doing this, whereas Westerners usually just grunt. Compare to the "Rosie the Riveter" image from World War II.

The gesture is frequently misinterpreted in other places, as it looks very similar to the rude "up yours" gesture, equivalent to Flipping the Bird, used in Eastern Europe and Mexico, among other places.

See also Flexing Those Non-Biceps, Gloved Fist of Doom.

Examples of Bicep-Polishing Gesture include:

Anime and Manga


  • In the Street Fighter live action movie, Guile does it to Bison on camera. The jury's out on whether he intended this in its Western interpretation or its Japanese interpretation, but given Guile's general animosity toward Bison...
  • In Big Tits Zombie, two female characters sumo wrestle one another. The main character can be briefly seen making this gesture, although she does so while facing her opponent which could easily be interpreted as the Western version since both girls did not get along.

Live Action TV

  • Worked its way into an episode of CSI, 'Crow's Feet'. Only, Nick did it because Catherine asked him to.

  Catherine: Make a muscle, Nicky.

Professional Wrestling

Video Games

  • Bowser had this as his victory pose in Super Mario RPG, but it was altered in the North American release since it looked too close to an extended middle finger for comfort.
  • Similar to Bowser, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fighting game for the Sega Genesis has the Green Ranger doing this as his victory pose.
  • Frog from Chrono Trigger rubs his (surprisingly huge) bicep and grins smugly as his post-battle victory pose.
  • Kanji from Persona 4 does this in his victory pose. The way he executes it gives the impression he has both meanings in mind.
  • Gene from God Hand does this as a taunt.
  • Dan from Street Fighter. Becomes more apparent in IV.
    • Ken sometimes does it too as first round victory pose.
  • Both Marina and Theo do this during the intro to Mischief Makers
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