Having veiny or vascular arms is often a desired look if you are a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast. That's because these veins are often seen as a marker of peak physical health and an indicator that you are dedicated to your fitness.
If you want to become fit yourself, you probably aspire to have veiny arms. However, you should learn as much as you can about how this look is achieved before putting in the hours at the gym.
Keep reading the article below to learn more about what vascularity is, what causes it, and how to get veiny arms yourself.
What is Vascularity?
First, let's review exactly what vascularity is. It's not just having veins that are visible and pronounced. Often, the skin surrounding these veins looks thinner than usual, enhancing the visual appeal of vascular arms.
Simply put, vascularity is the state of being vascular. This means that veins in the muscles are prominent, which is why they're a common feature among bodybuilders.
However, this doesn't mean that these pronounced veins are a sign of physical fitness. There are many factors that inform whether a person's vascularity is a sign of their strength, including how they got vascular arms.
What Causes Veiny Arms?
Now that we know about the popularity of veiny arms let's look into what causes vascularity.
High Blood Pressure
While having vascular arms is often attributed to physical health and bulging muscles, this isn't always the case. When we exercise, our blood pressure rises to accommodate our muscle's need for more blood. Because of this, your veins dilate, which enhances vein definition and increases blood flow. This is especially true for high-intensity activities like bodybuilding but can also occur during a strenuous workout routine.
Veins dilating during exercise does happen to everyone, but they can appear more pronounced in someone with high blood pressure. This is why people who are naturally prone to vascularity or bodybuilders need to keep their blood pressure in check.
Age and Genetics
There are a few genetic qualities that may make you more likely to have vascular arms. If you have translucent skin, your veins will be more visible anyway, but even more so if you've been doing your workout routine. Some people naturally even have larger veins, which naturally grow more pronounced while working out.
Vascularity is also common in people who are elderly since their skin is often thinner and has less elasticity, making veins more visible. They also tend to have enlarged veins caused by weekend valves.
High Levels of Stress
Vascular arms may also be a sign that your body is experiencing stress from fitness or routine stress. Being stressed increases levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can also cause vascularity.
Aldosterone, another stress hormone, can also cause sodium and water retention along with high blood flow. All of these put stress on your vascular system, causing your veins to swell.
Of course, you can also achieve vascular arms if you work hard to both lose body fat and increase your muscle mass. Being surrounded by firm muscle instead of soft fat makes veins much more likely to have that “popping out” effect that comes from vascular arms.
Vascularity and Body Weight
While it's true that the leaner you are, the more pronounced your veins can be, body weight isn't necessarily a make or break factor when it comes to vascular arms.
We all know that muscle weighs more than fat. Someone who weighs a significant amount but is made of all muscle has more potential to have vascular arms than someone who weighs less but has a smaller frame.
The Best Vein Popping Arm Workouts
If you want that fit, vascular arm look, many workout routines are available to help you reach that goal.
First, you'll want to invest in some dumbbells and a resistance band. Almost every arm workout requires these, so it's a good idea to have your own if you cannot make it to the gym.
Let's take a look at the best moves for getting vascular arms:
Banded Seated Dumbbells Row
- Loop each of your dumbbells through both ends of the resistance band.
- Sit on the ground with your legs flat in front of you, your back straight.
- Place the band at the bottom of your feet while holding one dumbbell in each hand.
- Still sitting straight, extend your arms forward, then back to your starting position.
Banded Dumbbell Crunch
- Lie with your back on the ground, facing up, with your resistance band underneath your back.
- Hold the ends of your band in each hand while also holding one of the dumbbells above your chest.
- Squeeze your core and lift your shoulders, neck, and head at the same time.
Banded Dumbbell Chest Press
- With your band still underneath your back, loop each end of the resistance band through one dumbbell, so you are holding one in each hand.
- Still laying down with your face up, bend your arms at a 90-degree angle while pressing your shoulders on the ground.
Banded Dumbbell Front Raise
- Stand with your feet about hip distance from each other, standing on the resistance band.
- Loop each dumbbell through each end of your resistance band, holding one in each hand.
- While keeping your lower and upper body still, raise your arms until they are parallel to the ground.
Other Ways to Get Veiny Arms
If you want to maximize your results, here are some additional factors that can help you develop vascular arms.
Following a healthy diet with a lot of muscle-building foods is a great way to increase your chances of getting vascular arms.
Eating healthy is always important, but there are targeted foods you can focus on that specifically work to increase your muscle mass. These include:
- Legumes and beans
- Dairy products
It's also essential to stay well hydrated, so drinking plenty of water is essential. If you want to spice things up, you can also drink options like:
- Coconut water
- Herbal teas
Supplements are another great option in addition to a diet. Stick to supplements that are:
- Rich in nutrients
- Focus on improving blood flow
- Lower your blood pressure
Some great options include:
Blood Flow Restriction Training
Yes, there is such a thing as Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT).
Usually, only dedicated weight lifters do something as intensive this, so it isn't for everyone. However, to take part in BFRT, you need to use bands or cuffs to restrict your blood flow. This increases vascularity during your workout and allows you to build your strength with lighter weights.
If you choose to do BFRT, work with a trainer or someone who has experience in BFRT to make sure you stay safe.
Achieving vascular arms is possible if you:
- Work to lose body fat
- Increase your muscle mass
- Introduce things like supplements and a healthy diet into your daily routine
As with any fitness goal, keep your health and safety in mind. Remember that even if your arms are only vascular during a workout that this is a huge accomplishment. Be patient, work hard, and keep our tips in mind.