You might be noticing that your veins in your hands and arms are popping out more, and if that freaks you out, it might feel a little like your workouts are all “in vein”…
(Not really, I just needed to make the pun work.)
I mean, hating the veiny arms DOES kinda feel like a step back, because I’m so proud of us ladies who went from, “I don’t wanna lift or I’ll look masculine!” to LOVING their growing biceps, the definition in their quads, of course growing the butt…It’s great to see women who were once so terrified of looking muscular now fully embracing it and just loving being strong, healthy, and enjoying other benefits of lifting, like:
- good balance
- reduced risk for back pain later in life
- well-stretched hip flexors
- strong core muscles that promote good back posture for even further lumbar support
- all the good things that come with exercise such as release of human growth hormone and endorphins
- stress reduction
- improved heart and lung function
- fat burning
- basically decreasing your risk of every disease ever by reducing inflammation!!
I don’t want to go on too much of a tangent here…it’s enough to say, you’re doing great, girl!
But one thing that even the most secure of fit woman struggle with is…veiny arms.
I mean, I’m gonna spend some time talking about why there’s absolutely NOTHING WRONG with this, but still, some women are insecure about it and I understand that.
This is also called increased “vascularity.”
Now, if you go on the Internet and you just type in something like “veiny arms weight lifting” or something like that, mostly you’re going to see discussion from bros on HOW to GET their veins to pop out more! Some women find that hot and some don’t, but I just think it’s so funny how the same thing can be perceived as positive or negative, depending on your gender!
Really weird when you think about it, because for the women who really like it on men, they don’t like it on themselves!
So now that we add the word “women” to our Google search…we see instead a lot of worried women who want to reduce and fade their veins.
And they’re also wondering, why did this happen in the first place? Why does working out make your veins pop out?
Well, you may think you got veiny because exercise increases blood flow and gets it pumping.
And while that’s true, that’s not what makes your veins stick out. In fact, while you’re lifting, the volume and pressure of the veins decreases. Which is a good thing! Then, what the heck actually causes those veins?
Well, the blood pumping causes plasma fluid — which would otherwise be resting in your arteries — to instead surround your muscles to help them work better. And then, as your muscles swell and harden (gettin’ swole!), that PUSHES the veins up to the surface of the skin.
And of course, having a lower body fat % helps the visibility too.
But what if you’re not trying to HELP the visibility, like so many of the guys are? How do you instead REDUCE the appearance?
Well…unfortunately, you really can’t! I’m sorry for that answer, lol! 😬
If you’re fit and you strength train, then the veins on top of those muscles are going to be pushed closer to the skin’s surface. And if you don’t have much fat on your body, they’re going to show too. So to me, the best thing you can do is just learn to see them as beautiful, and as a sign of your progress. Wear each vein as a badge of honor! 😊