Thick lower legs can be a source of annoyance to both men and women, especially if you like wearing shorts or skirts. Before attempting to decrease your calf size, first determine what made them bulky. If you are not overweight and other members of your family have big calves, you might not be able to alter them significantly. But you can make your thighs larger to make your calves appear less bulky. Genes aside, there are ways to make calves skinnier.
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Determine if you are overweight. Some overweight people carry their excess fat in their legs, which means you must lose weight in order to get skinny lower legs. You cannot spot reduce fat from your body, meaning there are no ways for you to make only the fat on your calves disappear.
Pinch the skin at the top of your calf muscle to figure out how much of the bulk is due to fat and how much is muscle. If the layer feels thick, it is mostly fat and you should focus on lowering your weight in general by eating a healthy diet and exercising. As your body slims down, your calves will get skinnier. Should the calves stay thick even though you have lost considerable amounts of weight, consider liposuction for your calves.
Avoid doing any type of strength-building exercises for your calves if you find they are bulky because of muscle. You must also avoid exercises that keep you on your toes and your heels lifted such as skipping rope and short-distance running. Slim down your lower legs by engaging in long-distance running, swimming, Pilates, using the elliptical machine and biking. Strive to run on flat surfaces since uphill and downhill running can make your calves bigger.
Use shoes with a low heel as much as possible to keep you from spending too much time on your toes. Also stretch your calf muscles on a regular basis to elongate them. The yoga position downward facing dog provides a great calf stretch. The easiest way to get in this position is to get into a standard push-up position and walk your hands backward 1 foot. As you walk backward, your hips will hike upward. Imagine a jackknife closed halfway. Push your heels toward the ground and try flatten your back. Stay in this position for at least 20 seconds.
Walk as much as possible in flats. Not only is walking good exercise that will not build your calf muscles, it will also stretch your calves muscles repeatedly.
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