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Slimming down calves?


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I'm not sure if this is the right forum to be posting in or not, but here goes.

I'm 21, 5'2 and my CW is 127. I've been eating healthier, and more whole foods for about 2 months now and doing the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred video almost daily (except when I was on vacation). I've lost probably about 7 pounds since the begining of February and I am now starting to wonder when (or if) I will see my calves slim down. For my height and what I can currently see with my body (the amount of flab, fat, and lack of muscle I have) I think my GW is ideally 115.

From what I've read calf size is partly genetic and compared to my sister and mother, I've always had the larger calves. I would say there's alot of muscle, but still a considerable amount of fat on my calves. I used to play soccer, but have been pretty lethargic for the last 6 years.

Are there any exercises I can do (or shouldn't do) to slim down my calves? I've heard that walking or running with an incline is bad, as it builds up muscle. I've also heard that walking, or standing on your tippytoes does the same thing, and then heard again that it actually does slim down the calves. I'm having trouble distinguishing what is accurate information and not, so please, any help is greatly appreciated!

10 Replies (last)

bad news. probably not. my example: katie holmes.

Here's a very interesting article which may - or may not - help...

Read the whole thing - it's most interesting and you'll see where the "problem" lies.

I have really big calves and the only time one of them was beautifully slim was when I wasn't allowed to use it for 6 weeks and it had atrophied severly. Once I started walking around again, BAM, back to the old size.

It's genetics. You might get rid of a wee bit of fat eventually and possibly water (if you are retaining any) but the only thing you really can do to make them look slimmer is wear high (but not too thin) heels. And don't buy pencil skirts or anything that ends right on the calf where it's biggest. Clothes that flare out a little bit are best.

On the plus side we are saving a lot of money on boots.

I see that you played soccer for awhile...me too! And I feel like I have monster calves for my size! I'm 5'2 ~114-115 lbs, and I still think my calves are too big. My mom has nice slim calves, maybe it came from my dad's side of the family? His aren't that big either, so who knows. I'm built like my mom mostly, minus the calves. I blame it more on YEARS of soccer every day, plus running (which I still do). I'm sure part of it is me being insecure, I've gotten compliments on how toned they are before from a random stranger while I was running, which actually made me feel more awkward about them. Like they are that noticeable that you are going to comment on them out of the blue as you ride your bicycle by me running? Hahaha...great. I was going to suggest walking, but the poster above me kinda killed that idea...haha. 

Original Post by ilovemj909:

I see that you played soccer for awhile...me too! And I feel like I have monster calves for my size! I'm 5'2 ~114-115 lbs, and I still think my calves are too big. My mom has nice slim calves, maybe it came from my dad's side of the family? His aren't that big either, so who knows. I'm built like my mom mostly, minus the calves. I blame it more on YEARS of soccer every day, plus running (which I still do). I'm sure part of it is me being insecure, I've gotten compliments on how toned they are before from a random stranger while I was running, which actually made me feel more awkward about them. Like they are that noticeable that you are going to comment on them out of the blue as you ride your bicycle by me running? Hahaha...great. I was going to suggest walking, but the poster above me kinda killed that idea...haha. 

sowwy

 

I have always been active and had big calves...they slimmed down when I slimmed down but at my thinnest, they were larger than my part of my thighs! I think they look sexy...the slimmer I am the better they look though

I think this is really similar to 'problem shooting' parts of your body..you can't really..it just slims down as your overall weight does.  Working our your legs won't create bulky muscles for women..at least that is why I believe..it makes them tighter and more toned..but not bulky, unless you are carrying lots of extra weight uptop!

Original Post by whichwayup:

Here's a very interesting article which may - or may not - help...

Read the whole thing - it's most interesting and you'll see where the "problem" lies.

Thanks for the good read! It did help.

Original Post by kikt:

I have really big calves and the only time one of them was beautifully slim was when I wasn't allowed to use it for 6 weeks and it had atrophied severly. Once I started walking around again, BAM, back to the old size.

It's genetics. You might get rid of a wee bit of fat eventually and possibly water (if you are retaining any) but the only thing you really can do to make them look slimmer is wear high (but not too thin) heels. And don't buy pencil skirts or anything that ends right on the calf where it's biggest. Clothes that flare out a little bit are best.

On the plus side we are saving a lot of money on boots.

Do you mean we're saving money on boots because we can't buy them? I've only had one pair of boots that fit my calves and that was because it was a spandexy material. I'll never part with those boots because it's unlikely I'll ever find anything that fits as well and doesn't look half bad.

And thank you everyone for the replies. I guess I will just have to learn to love what I've got and wear clothes that compliment my calves.

I am going to agree with all the above respones and say that, fortunately or unfortunately (depends on your perception), the size of the muscles in your calves is genetically determined. I don't even think you can blame soccer (although, for some reason, this sport does seem to be blamed for many-a big calf!) since your calves may have got a little bulkier while you played, but they will return to their genetically determined shape when you stopped playing. Soccer or any exercise will not make them bigger forever, even after you stop the exercise.

I have, and always have had,  big calves. When I was overweight the were big, undefined with a layer of fat. Now, they are still big, but well shaped and defined. I have grown to love them. Just think, you don't want to be one of those people with shapeless legs do you? or cankles? Shapely calves, even if large-ish are so much better.

I will, however, disagree with advice that says "don't run, don't walk, don't exercise them". IMO, running is the exercise which has helped the most to shape and define my calves. Only exercise will make then look good. Flabby big calves are not nice. Beautifully defined big calves = gorgeousness.

Kikt's advice on choosing your skirt length is spot-on. You can easily alter the perceived size of your calves by where you place your hems. And, never, never wear very skinny jeans that cling all the way down to your ankles or leggings, or 3/4 length pants. All poison.

Original Post by juneshowers:

On the plus side we are saving a lot of money on boots.

Do you mean we're saving money on boots because we can't buy them? I've only had one pair of boots that fit my calves and that was because it was a spandexy material. I'll never part with those boots because it's unlikely I'll ever find anything that fits as well and doesn't look half bad.

That's exactly what I meant :-) I wish I'd had bought the spandexy material boots I once saw at M&S for little money. But somehow I guess I hoped I'd lose just that one inch to fit into normal boots through dieting :-/ Oh well.

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