How to Deal With Thick Calves

How to Deal With Thick Calves

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Calves -- the lower portion of your legs -- come in different shapes and sizes, just like people. Your calves may be naturally thicker or excess weight gain may have caused them to get bigger. Regardless, you can slim and tone your calves to the best of your body's ability by exercising and modifying your eating habits. Although you can't target weight loss to the calf area, allover weight loss while toning the calf muscles will help you get slimmer calves.

Diet Modifications

Step 1

Reduce your daily caloric intake, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Cut 250 to 500 calories each day for a loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week all over and on your calves.

Step 2

Pay attention to the food you eat. Opt for fresh produce, lean meat, whole grains and lowfat or nonfat dairy. Steer clear of fatty foods and those with a high sugar content.

Step 3

Maintain a food diary to help you track your eating and calorie expenditure. Increasing mindfulness while eating can help you put a stop to bad eating habits that lead to weight gain.

Step 4

Drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day to feel full and keep your body properly hydrated.

Exercise for Slimmer Calves

Step 1

Burn calories to lose fat while you tone your calf muscles by performing aerobic exercises that engage the muscles of your lower legs. Participate in a game of tennis or basketball, or go jogging, biking or running. Do any of these exercises for 30 to 60 minutes to burn about 250 to 500 calories, respectively, for a loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week.

Step 2

Slim and tone thick calves with single-leg squats. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle with your hands in front of your chest. Lift your left foot 3 to 4 inches off the floor and find your balance. Alternately, rest your hands lightly on the back of the chair if you need help balancing. Squat down 45 to 90 degrees while supporting your body weight on your right leg only. Rise to standing, using your right leg muscles to power the move. Repeat 10 to 20 single-leg squats on each leg.

Step 3

Perform calf raises to elongate and tone the muscles of your lower legs. Stand on the edge of a step with just your toes on the surface, while the rest of your foot hangs off. Hold onto the stair rail for balance and support. Lower your body 3 to 5 inches and feel the stretch in the back of your calves. Raise your body until you're on your tiptoes before lowering to the starting position. Do 12 to 24 calf raises.

Step 4

Use a resistance band to tighten and tone your calf muscles. Have someone else hold one end of the resistance band while you have the other end secured across the top of your right foot as you sit on the floor. Draw your left leg up so the knee is bent and make sure your right foot is pointing away from you. Flex your right foot toward your body to feel the stretch. Release the stretch and point your foot away from you to complete one ankle flexion. Perform 10 to 20 ankle flexions with each foot.


  • Check with your physician before you embark on a new exercise program or diet.
  • Rest your muscles for one day in between strength-training sessions to allow them to rest and recover.


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