Group: Beginners to Exercise

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how can i get slimmer calves??
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  • 2003/08/20, 09:37 AM
    I am 5'7", 132 lb, my body parts are very proportionate, and I like my overall look. The only problem is - my calves are too wide!! and it's not fat, it's muscle! - to the point that I can never find a pair of knee high boots that zips up on my calves... :(( very frustrating. My excersize routine is varied, I work out 5-6 times a week: step, stair master, ballet, yoga, pilates, body works, kickboxing, Tae Bo. I do weight training on my upper body and thies and glutes (lunges, squats, step, etc) but I don't use weights on my lower body. Is there anything I can do to slim down my calves muscles? Would appreciate any advice!
    Thanks, Izabella
  • 2003/08/20, 10:00 AM
    Try stretching after a five minute warm up hold it for thirty seconds for to sets....then stretch em when you can during your workout, stretch again after for 3 sets of thirty seconds each....also when doing cardio, and other exercises try to stay more on your heels, moving around on tippy toes during tae bo, kickboxing etc...that is working your calves inside out...if you can refrain from getting on your toes, you should find that the muscle mass will start to diminsh due to atrophy.

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    If hard work and persistence were the keys to success, most people would opt to pick the lock.~Dick
  • 2003/08/20, 10:15 AM
    Hi, Izabella. My wife has the same "problem" due mostly to genetics. She has a similar build, and her body is very proportionate, but her family has relatively large muscular calf muscles....and therefore so does she. She was complaining about the boots thing the other night!

    I'm not sure if there is that much you can do, if it is genetics, but perhaps working out your calves with weights will help...maybe some calf raises with high reps. This might build a leaner, more toned muscle and give your boots some space.

  • 2003/08/20, 12:20 PM
    richardjst, thanks for the suggestion!

    bicepbri - so your wife knows exactly how I feel!! you are right, it's mostly genetics... so if she finds a store that has cute boots with wider calves, be sure to let me know! :))

    so you think if I work the calves it won't make me even more bulky? I'll keep in mind the heels suggestion too. also - I just read somewhere that maybe doing very light weights but supersizing reps (like 40-50 instead of 12) may do the trick, because it will tire and thus atrophy the muscle. what do you think about this?
  • 2003/08/20, 01:23 PM
    I *wish* I had more muscle on my calves :)

    J Crew makes boots with a fuller calf - if that's your main concern, check those out before trying to "shrink" your muscles.

    Kirby
  • 2003/08/20, 02:24 PM
    Calves are a weird muscle, they were designed to with stand constant movement as well as forcefull ones...thus, when trying to make them grow it is harder to accomplish this unlike pecs., quads, etc...so to make them grow one has to use heavy weights with a higher amount of repitions....so the problem arises "when there is to much hypertrophy"....the simplest most basic suggestion is to do nothing to them at all weight wise...fast twitch muscle is what makes you bulk up...so, doing tae bo, kickboxing and weightlifting are going to affect this this type of muscle fiber...so if you can simply just not give up these things then stretching is in order along with cardio and distance work to keep hypertrophy at bay....as calves are more involved in movements on the tippy toes, so stay "heel oriented" to lessen calf involvement. Hypertrophy of use and atropy of dissuse. Hope some of this helps.

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    If hard work and persistence were the keys to success, most people would opt to pick the lock.~Dick
  • 2003/08/20, 07:19 PM
    Yeah, I would give the light weights / high reps a shot...my wife has been trying this for about a month, but her calves have stayed pretty much the same. She's doing standing calve raises 2-3 sets of 15-25 reps.

    I think trying to shrink your calves will be difficult. Since you said that you are pleased with your body's proportions, it makes more sense to go with Kirby's suggestion. Hey, it's an excuse to go shopping, right?
  • 2003/08/20, 11:23 PM
    my previous post posted under a strange name, just wanted to say it was from me :)
  • 2003/08/28, 06:35 PM
    I feel for you! I'm only 5'1" and 109lbs, yet have genetically large, muscular calves, too. All of the women in my family do. I spent years trying to find knee high zippered boots that would fit with no luck. Thankfully, I eventually found stretchy pleather knee high boots that DID fit. :)

    I've always been jealous of women with slender calves, yet often the same women tell me that they are jealous of my well developed calves. Funny how we often want what others have. LOL!

    I honestly don't think there's much us ladies can do to reduce the actual size of calves, but I try to make the most of having muscular calves by doing standing calve raises to add shape and definition to them. When you build up the calves, it also helps to make the ankles appear more slender, too. :)


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    ~Missy
    Newbie to weight training
    Its never too late to become what you might have been.-G. Elliot
  • 2005/07/01, 03:38 AM
    :love:
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