There are several ways to slim down calves. Genetics play a major role in determining the size of a person’s calves, and these muscles can be hard to alter without lower body workouts and aerobic exercise. If a person tries to spot reduce his calves, however, he may be frustrated with the results, as there is no way to focus exercise on just one area of the body to slim. Dieting is another way to reduce the size of the calf muscles, but that may also lessen overall body mass and muscle size. A proper balance of diet and exercise is usually the best way to get slim calves and staying disciplined may offer faster results.
Repeated lower body workouts can help a person firm up his leg muscles. High repetition during each exercise can tone flabby legs and build muscle endurance. Calf workouts should be done with moderate weight for as many sets and repetitions as needed to achieve muscle failure, which occurs when a person is unable to perform another repetition during leg exercises due to muscle fatigue.
Another way to get slim calves is by swimming. The kicking motion of the legs against the resistance of the water may help tone the lower body even more than regular leg workouts with weights. Laps should be performed at an even pace and not for speed. Swimming more slowly may allow an exerciser to work out longer and burn more calories.
Distance running can also produce slim calves for some people. A person who is primarily a sprinter usually has larger, more defined calves. A distance runner is not using his fast-twitch muscles as much as a sprinter, which can help him get slim calves.
Adding muscle to the thighs can create the illusion of slim calves. If a person has naturally skinny legs, and calves that are disproportionately larger, increasing the size of the thigh muscles may give him a more balanced lower body. Slim legs can be hard to add muscle to, so the workouts should be varied in both weight and repetitions to create muscle confusion. The body produces different amounts of chemicals when it is confused, which can cause the muscles to grow.
If a person reduces the amount of calories in his diet, he may be able to get slimmer calves as a result of losing weight. The reduction in calories should not be drastic, however, as maintaining enough energy to be able to workout requires calories. Staying with a diet and exercise program over an extended period should help achieve the desired shape and size of the calves.