Today Health Direction


Hello, i am new to this website so forgive me if i have posted this wrongly somehow.
Basically i would love to reduce the size of my calves. I am 21yrs old and at the age of 9-16 i was a keen swimmer and trained hard 3 nights a week. this did bulk me up but when i stopped my body reduced alot of bulk. i then worked out at a gym a few nights a week, i didnt run much but walked every session for about 15-20 mins on a low incline. i used the cross trainer alot too and did some weights for my calves and legs. im not a regular user of the gym anymore i have put on a little weight but not alot.
My calves for a long time have been bigger than the average woman but they seem to be getting bigger? The thing is, they do not feel flabby and seem to feel quite hard so i assumed they are not big because of fat? am i right? because i havent been doing any excercise to make them bigger?
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks for your time,


Zoe do you wear high heels a lot? That makes the calves work harder.


hello, id say i havent really worn high heels for nearly a year now. i did use to but i suppose since last summer i havent.
its so strange though because the feel of my calve is tight and i cant seem to get a grip or a pinch of flab so i assume it is muscle but where from?


oh my, me too Zoe... for me it's genetic. My dad has calves of steel that are ENORMOUS. And mine are bigger than average too consequently. "My your legs (meaning my poor calves) are ahem, "muscular" ..." has been said to me more than once. I lived in Minnesota where we get lots of snow and I had a horrible time trying to find boots that would go over the bloody things. And like you it was solid muscle, not fat.
I don't think there is anything that can be done. Not that I've heard of anyway. Let's start a club, shall we? :D


Hi Zoe,
you can give some of the muscle to me if you like......i would be happy to take it from you!!!
I have really shapeless skinny legs which are not much to look at!!! I practicly live in trousers for most of the year.....apart from when its too hot to wear them!
Sorry this doesn't help much.......


Hi Zoe, firstly you mentioin your calves being tight and solid, if you consider a muscle has a number of functions, to create movement at a joint to enable us to move, or to limit a movement to stop us falling over. We were designed as quadripeds(four feet) and only evolution has meant that we now "walk tall".
A muscle must be able to work in the following ranges;
inner, outer and mid range, for those of you who wear high heels, your calf muscles only perform in mid and inner range and therefore are never stretched out fully. This can result in muscular hypertrophy( always tight and toned) conversely if a muscle doesnt work it becomes atrophic( weak and flaccid), and when working correctly as part of normal body functions it is called toned.
Have you ever had a postural assessment to identify any weakness I would guess you may have strong quads but weaker hamstrings and tibialis anterior.
When people are flat footed they tend to have well developed tib/ant, high arches= tight calves (huge generalisation there).
What I would suggest is try some flexibility work on your calves, dont do weights for lower legs and see your local personal trainer or sports therapist and ask for stretches for both gastrocs and soleus.
I appreciate that as a former swimmer you would develop good leg strength, but to use a comparison when Mr universe stops training, his muscles dont turn to fat, they become less "pumped" and more flexible, you will also notice that really muscley men walk like thay have something to carry under theirarms and like they have a football between their knees, this is becuase their tight muscles are restricting normal body movements andaffecting their posture.
A good firm massage will identify tight tissue and encourage them to relax, therefore looking less toned.
Hope this helps


Hey zoe! My name is Ray,I just joined this group few days ago. And my reply to you is, if you have big calves don't worry about how big they are, because chances are that they maybe hard (if not impossible) to reduce. I don't mean to be so straight forward about your legs, but my opinion is that women look very good with big calves.
P.S. Please forgive me if you find my opinion offencive.:):eek:


Could not help myself, I know what you going through.. my calfs are tight and big.
No boots for me.. and I don't wear hight heels never have. I am a shorty and for some strange reason, I am the only one in my family with this issue. I have learnt to addapt..
Learnt to live with it.. .
Sorry no help.. either..


I walk a lot, and guess what? yeah go oh do... I have well developed calves. I did manage to find a pair of boots last winter that did up over them without stretching, K shoes .
Nearly all the women in the local dog club have the same problem.


I feel better already!
I have always been self conscious about my calfs,i was always sporty at school but it didn't seem to bother me much then,but these days i wear long skirts i'm 5ft7 and slim but i think they look awful,i just wish i had more confidence not to worry,stupid me!!!


i know exactly what you mean, i despise my calves as well ugh. Far as i know calves are one of the hardest muscle groups to build or reduce. There some surgeries where they "shave" the muscle and make it smaller, but that's a bit drastic if you ask me, as well as dangerous. If you get a tan it'll make your legs look slimmer, just like the effect black clothes have.
The chances of changing the size is pretty low if it's genetics though.
Sorry i couldn't be more help!


My calves increased when I worked out with a personal trainer for a year, but once I stopped building muscle, they shrunk back to their normal size. I agree with what someone else posted about flexability, stretching, etc. Just stop doing things that build muscle in that area. When weight builders stop building muscle, it shrinks. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a good example. Another example is Madonna. She used to have muscular calves when she was into weight training, but once she switched over to yoga, she became much leaner looking. Some of that was due to losing weight, but not all of it. Most was due to stretching and strengthening the muscles instead of building them. Now, all of that only applies to calves that have been increased due to weight training, such as you described. If you're born with large calves, I think stretching would help but I don't know how small you could make them.

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