Exercise! - exercise to reduce calves?
03-13-2013, 09:40 PM
Hey all :)
I know you cant really target particular spots with terms of weight loss however does anyone know if you can reduce muscle in areas??
I'm 5'1, female, approx 130lbs and have HUGE calves which i hate hate hate. They're almost 15" and considering all my other body measurements are on a normal range, my calves are grossly disproportioned. When i feel them when I'm standing normal, they're quite solid, i cant really feel much fat, which makes me think its mostly muscle?
My main exercise is walking outdoors as well as jogging on a treadmill or walking on an incline on a treadmill.. this however doesnt seem to help at all.
Any ideas anyone?? i'm so self conscious of my legs in general, but if my calves were more 'normal' i think it would make all of my leg look slimmer.
03-15-2013, 09:51 PM
I've got "big" calves too (they're slightly bigger than yours, at 16 inches). I actually did manage to reduce mine quite a bit (they were 23 inches when I started losing weight.) The thing is? You can be completely off on how much muscle vs. fat you have in your calves. Even when I was at my highest weight, I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that my calves were mostly muscle because, like you, I couldn't "feel" much of it. But I do believe, now, that there was much more fat there than I realized, because the only other alternative is that I lost 7 inches of muscle somehow, and that's definitely not the case.
I can't really offer any specific ways to reduce your calves. All I can do is tell you that all I did was walk. Constantly. And I did resistance training, and worked out on the stairmaster and elliptical three times a week. As you already know, you can't spot reduce, but if you work hard, you *can* reduce your calves. Good luck!
I'm another one who thought they had pretty solid calves, and to be fair I still think that in some ways - when I started my calves were 42cm and have now gone down to 36cm. I measure in cm because that's how I buy my boots, so I started at 16.5" and they're now down to 14.2" which is a decent size reduction for the amount of weight I've lost.
I'm never going to have small calves - I get that bit of my body from my dad, but cycling has greatly improve the tone of my legs/thighs & calves. :) They have gone down in size as I said, but I think part of that is overall weight loss as opposed to the types of exercises I do, which are mainly cycling & walking for cardio.
03-18-2013, 08:49 PM
Try doing calf raises on stairs or somewhere that will let you elongate your calf by pushing your heels down past your toes, and then lifting up so you are on the balls of your feet. This could help with elongating the calf muscle for a slightly more lean look. Do it for high reps, low (or no) weight, and it should give some assistance to tone and slightly lean out your calves. Note I'm saying slightly! But anything is better than nothing, right? :)
03-19-2013, 03:11 AM
I attended a university that had a very hilly campus. People have always said "You can always tell a UT girl by her calves" - as in big'uns. One time I was working out in the gym on campus and a group of prospective students came in - I was on the stairmaster and the orientation volunteer pointed at me and said "If you come here, you'll get calves like that." At the time, I felt a mixture of both shame and pride. Pride that they pointed it out as a positive, but shame that they were so 'big' that they were noticeable from across the room. Now...I'm proud of my sturdy calves!! However - as I gained weight my legs became like columns. VERY thick calves and ankles. I have to buy boots in the fat girl store. I can't remember what the measurement was exactly, but I remember being SHOCKED (and this was only last autumn - so not long ago).
Since I started running, my lower legs have become much shapelier. Are my calves smaller? Yes. But more than that they look really good - more proportionate. Am I gaining muscle as well? yes, and that keeps them from losing size, but I don't care. They look good. They look like they should. Just big.
Be proud of your muscular legs. NEVER seek to lose muscle. Strong is GOOD. But you might want to add in some pilates or yoga to stretch and shape those gams as well.
03-19-2013, 04:50 PM
lets assume, for arguments sake, that your calves really ARE mostly muscle... the ONLY way to reduce muslce size is to allow it to atrophy. The only way to allow atrophy is to abstain from using the muscle, at all. ie; no walking, standing or cycling. So good luck with that ;)
However, id bet there is more fat than you think, as a previous poster mentioned
Also, it was suggested to "stretch" and lengthen" to "tone" and "elongate".... complete rubbish. you cannot stretch/lengthen or otherwise change the length or shape of your muscle apart from how youve been genetically given it. you can add to muscle, or lose muscle. Thats it. No such thing as "lengthening"