Question: I was wondering if there are any exercises to slim calves, all over, I am female and I feel like my calves are too big, I would really like slimmer calves, I tried toe raises, many different exercises and nothing seems to slim them down. Any suggestions? Thanks, – Cows instead of “Calves”
Answer: Ahhh… the blissfulness of absolute confusion. I know what you’re thinking …ROCCO has gone off his meds. Well, yes and no. Let’s say that the calf is the densest muscle in the body (because it is) and you work out your calves regularly to “slim” them down. One law of physiology is; the more a muscle is worked the more it needs to adapt to that stress, thereby said muscle needs to grow in order to handle the stress when it is confronted with it again.
Reality says that the more you work your muscle the bigger it will get. Because your calves are so dense, it is almost impossible to take any muscle off. You’re asking your legs to do a lot of work everyday by holding up your body when you stand. You walk and are on your feet much of your life.
Now the only way you can make your calves look slimmer is by creating an optical illusion. If your calves can’t get smaller then we need to increase the size of something else. And don’t go crying…I don’t want to make my legs bigger, because I really can’t hear you…and don’t want to listen to your whining. Your calves are big now get over it and embrace that reality.
Really, a good way to create this optical illusion is to work the lower part of your quadriceps (the muscles just over your knee). Lunges, leg extensions and walking up stairs, Two at a time will help build this muscle. Keep the repetition range up around 25-30. Stay away from any squatting or leg press movements, as these tend to build the upper thigh and glutes (your butt) creating a bigger look in the calves. I would have to believe your calves look too big because your thighs come to an extreme point at your knees. This condition is very common in women who do a ton of aerobics or running.
Building the lower part of your thigh balances the whole leg out. Exercise like the ones I’ve mentioned to help create the symmetry you’re looking for.