|Street Fighter V||+|
Executed by pressing Medium Punch and Medium Kick simultaneously, Zangief flexes his muscles as his body turns red. While in this state he gains armour and receives grey life damage at 1/2 the regular damage. Holding both buttons too long results in a flex which provides additional V-Meter upon contact. If one of the buttons is released while the other is held, Zangief will not flex.
Zangief is also able to back dash during the stationary V-Skill. By pressing forward during his V-Skill, Zangief performs the Muscle Walk. During this move, Zangief closes the distance on the opponent by slowly walking forward. If Medium Punch and Medium Kick are released from the walk, Zangief flexes his muscles and hits the opponent if they're in range. The stationary V-Skill begins with two hits of armour and walking resets to an additional two hits.
The Iron Muscle serves as both an attack and a defense at the same time. During this move, Zangief can absorb two attacks, which leaves him with recoverable health. If anticipating an attack from the opponent, Zangief 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 Muscle to absorb the projectile to gain recoverable grey life. Unfortunately, using this V-Skill can result in accumulated grey life and become more difficult to regain as even blocked attacks slow down life gain. The V-Skill flex can transition to V-Trigger activation such as Cyclone Lariat to make it into a combo.
- It is possible Zangief used this V-Skill to weather Abel's attack in A Shadow Falls. As all other characters present in the same scene had different kind of V-Skills that do not absorb hits (it should be noted that while Mika also absorbs hits, hers would not be nearly as practical as Iron Muscle).