Exercises that can help a woman get a biceps vein…

Are you a woman struggling to get that biceps vein going?

I take pride in my own biceps vein, which I refer to as my “cable.”

To get a biceps vein, three key factors must be at play:

No. 1: A body fat percentage in the lower range of the “athletic range,” as defined by the American Counsel on Exercise, which would be 14 to 16 percent for women.

Bodies vary, and some women may be able to achieve a biceps vein at 16 or even 17 percent body fat.

Get below 14 percent body fat, and for sure a woman should not only be seeing the biceps vein, but feeling it with the pads of her fingers.

No. 2: Intense weight workouts, the kind that give you a pump, a burn. Moderate to heavy weights must be used to get that wonderful vein popping out.

No. 3: Specific kinds of weight routines are necessary to really bring out the biceps vein.

Shutterstock/Artem Furman

Best exercises to bring out the biceps vein, particularly for women:

Any pulling-towards-chest exercise in which your grip is supinated (palms facing ceiling), will create substantially increased blood flow and vascular action in your biceps, bringing out the vein, provided your body fat is low enough.

1     Rows using a cable machine or a barbell.

In both cases, use a handle with grip  less than shoulders width apart. Height of the pull, relative to torso, can vary. Use an underhand grip.

Shutterstock/Catalin Petolea

A neutral grip (palms facing each other) can bring out a biceps vein, but not as much as the supinated or underhand grip. Single-arm rows in a seated position will also work.

2     Single-arm rows while standing, using pulley machine, legs bent, upper body bent at hips, arch in lower back.

The free hand rests on thigh or knee of opposite leg, and the pulling motion resembles that of starting a lawn mower. How much you’re leaning forward can vary.

3     Chin-ups – without the assistance machine. “Hammer” chin-ups will also work.

4     Lat pull-downs with a supinated or neutral grip will help women get a biceps vein going.

5     Any kind of biceps curling will bring out the vein, as long as the routine is intense.

Shutterstock/Nicholas Piccillo

So how intense must exercises be to get that biceps vein?

The resistance should allow you to complete 8 to 15 repetitions … and no more.

The first repetition should feel challenging, and the entire set should be very difficult.

You should feel worked over at the end of every set. Complete range of motion should be used, with no cheating, though “loose form” is okay for the last few reps.

Rest in between sets should be 45 to 60 seconds. When these short rest periods, and an 8-15 rep max to muscle failure, are combined, you can get a biceps vein doing this just once a week for a 45 to 60 minute session.


Women should take up rock-wall climbing. This will bring the daylights out of your biceps veins!

View the arms of experienced women rock-wall climbers with low body fat: Vein City, USA.

I’ve noticed that my biceps veins, as well as their extensions into my forearms, really seem to pop out after I’ve completed heavy deadlifts (palms facing me). Reverse curls will also bring out the forearm vascularity.

To top everything off, to maximize visibility of the biceps vein, women need to keep their sodium intake under 2,000 mg a day.

Some might say under under 1,600. Sodium makes the body retain water, and water retention between muscle and skin will mask vascularity.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Lyashenko Egor