Increasing numbers of people, particularly women, are unhappy with the size of their calves and are many are seriously considering calf reduction surgery.

However, there are other, less invasive, means than calf reduction to slim down calves. Find out what causes large calves and what you can do to lose weight and slim calves.

When you wear short-shorts or a skirt for that matter, having fat calves is one way to stand out in a crowd. Okay, maybe that's not the sort of attention you are looking for.

Luckily enough there are better ways to handle this sort of attention grabbing situation shifting focus to the fact that you may have fat calves than hiding the curves of your legs in baggy sweat pants.

As it turns out your calves have more going on for them than just looks. It may not seem this way at first glance but your calves are sometime referred as "second heart.” 

That is there is still hope to dehydrate connective tissues in your legs to reduce the swelling in your calves making your legs look fat.

The soleus and the gastrocnemius are the two muscles that make up the calf. Without these versatile muscles you would not be able to drive a car, walk or lift your toes. 

Yet calves can be a source of body image distress: too small, too big or even too muscular. 

Genetics play a part in the appearance of your calves; however, an overall approach to fitness can help if you want to tone down your calf muscles.


1.Asses your BMI

The body mass index. This calculation uses height and weight to estimate your body fat. A layer of fat covers all muscles. 

If your BMI is creeping toward the high end of normal you may need to lose some body fat to decrease your calf size. 

A free BMI calculator is available on the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website.

2. Stretching makes big muscles appear longer and leaner

Stretching lengthens bulked-up muscles. You could try stretching classes, yoga or Pilates. A great stretching exercise for the calf muscles is a wall push-up. 

Stand with your front foot approximately one foot from a wall and your back foot about three feet from a wall. Your back leg should be straight, the front leg bent and your hands resting against the wall, while you lean forward. 

Your feet should be pointing straight ahead and your heels on the ground. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg. This stretching exercise should help lengthen calves.


Doing yoga is good for stretching and toning your muscles. I know. I know. You are probably thinking, “Save it for the birds.” 

One thing that people who practice yoga like to boast about that it works the body mind and spirit as a whole in addition to helping you deal with emotions. 

On the other hand, if you’ve ever sat in on yoga class, you would notice how most yoga poses require a considerable amount of effort from you calves. 

That is you get the calf work you need to make your calves smaller, all while you stretch.

4. Resistance Training

You can either avoid training this area completely or if you prefer use light weights and high reps. Resistance exercises that target the calf muscles will tend to increase the size of the calf muscle – not slim down calves.

In other words, resistance training is more likely to give you big calves, than make your calves smaller. 

Remember there is no such thing as spot reduction. If you need to lose fat around your calf muscles you can only do so through diet, cardio or even liposuction of calves. 

But you cannot do exercises that will reduce the fat around the calf muscles alone.

5.Lift and wiggle

Sit on the floor. Relax. Just lift your leg up like you were about to do a low kick to inflict the final blow in your game, but stop before anyone gets hurt. 

Here you will give you calf a nice slam, nothing that would hurt. If you observe unnecessary wiggling action, then that may suggest you have more fat than muscle in your calves. Hence you need to lose overall fat ... click here to read about the best way to lose fat.

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