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How To Get Skinny Calves
There are really two factors that determine the size of your calf muscles. One is your genetics and the other is their strength. If you are female you may not be satisfied at all with larger calf muscles even though they are synonymous with strength. Men on the other hand, desire larger muscles so it’s not as big of an issue for them.
If you are genetically prone to having larger calf muscles (your parents or your grandparents had larger calf muscles) then you may have a harder time getting them slimmed down. However, don’t lose all hope! There are things you can do to slim down these stubborn muscles.
The 5 Rules
When you’re trying to figure out how to get skinny calves you need to follow a few set of simple rules. Below I’ve listed 5 of these rules. Remember, this part of your body is notoriously difficult to manage so you may have to put a little more work into making them the size and shape that you want.
1. You want to do some cardiovascular exercises. But not just ANY cardio. You want to only engage in cardio exercises that elongate your calf muscles. The exercises that will allow you to accomplish this are walking, running, jogging and swimming. Running, jogging and swimming are exercises that elongate your calves because of a heel-to-toe motion. Swimming works a different way but produces the same results. These types of exercises work to TONE the muscles, not build them up which is exactly what you want to do.
If I had to choose any of these exercises I would choose either walking or swimming. With swimming it’s less impact so it’s better for your body. Plus there’s virtually no resistance for your calves. With running or jogging make sure you don’t climb hills as this can cause you to build muscle instead of simply toning it.
2. You want to lift weights but you want to make sure you lift LIGHT weights. When you do exercises for your calf muscles you want to make sure that you do a LOT of repetitions with a very light weight. Try to make sure you do a minimum of 15-20. If you use a heavier weight and do less repetitions then you’re going to build muscle and that’s not what you want. You may not even want to use weights at all. Just use your own body weight.
3. Stretch, stretch, stretch! The goal is to elongate them and that’s exactly what stretching does. When you stretch you elongate and this promotes less bulk and more of a longer, leaner muscle fiber. Try stretching a few times a week and after each workout.
4. Do some Yoga! Yoga not only helps you build strength (but not bulk), but it also centers you, increases your flexibility, calms your mind, and elongates the muscles (there’s that word again). Yoga typically works the entire body but your calf muscles will definitely get a workout. I firmly believe that Yoga (and to some extent Pilates) are simply the best exercises for women. Yoga is fantastic and I highly recommend it.
5. There is a surgical option available. I don’t condone this option but I wanted to list it here so you know what ALL of your options for reducing your calf muscles are. The surgical procedure itself involves actually removing portions of your muscle to “slim” the area (YIKES!). This is not a minor surgery and involves any of the risks that come with such a procedure (scarring, nerve damage, death, etc.). If you decide that this may be the option you want to go with make SURE you talk with your doctor beforehand.