Best exercises to slim down calves
Some people spend hours in the gym working hard to build up their calf muscles. And then there are those who would rather have slimmer calves than bulky, muscular ones. If slim calves are your goal, or if you want to lose weight without bulking up your calf muscles, there are a variety of exercises you can do.
Cardiovascular exercise is essential to losing weight, no matter what part of the body. You can't spot reduce, or isolate fat loss to one particular area such as the calves, but losing fat throughout the body will help to give the appearance of more slender calves.
When doing cardiovascular exercise to slim down your calves, try to pick exercises that won't naturally bulk them up. You should be exercising about 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes in order to lose weight, in conjunction with a healthy diet.
The following are some of the best exercises to slim down your calves. These cardio workouts will get your heart rate up without bulking up your calf muscles.
An excellent form of cardiovascular exercise for losing weight is swimming. This full-body workout will also tone your muscles while reducing the fat content in your body. Because most of the muscles used in swimming are in the upper body, this is a good exercise for people who want to slim down their calves as well, as the calf muscles aren't worked while swimming. Swimming is also good for those with joint problems, as there is no impact, or those who don't like to sweat while they work out.
The rowing machine tones the entire upper body, including the arms, back, and shoulders, while providing an effective cardio workout at the same time. This is also a good exercise for people who want to slim down their calves. Steer clear of the rowing machine if you have back problems, and make sure your form is correct before starting on it. You can vary the position of the way you hold the handle bars to work different muscles as well; holding the bar with the palms up works the biceps more, while holding it palms-down will work shoulders and chest more.
Walking is a good exercise for beginning exercisers who want to lose weight all over. Free and easy on the joints, walking is also a good way to lose leg fat. You can also tone up your entire body and increase the intensity, making it a better fat-burning workout, by speed walking. If your goal is to slim down your calves, however, you may want to avoid walking in hilly areas, as uphill walking or running will actually build your calves up, giving them a more bulkier appearance.
Some people also recommend a variety of stretches to help you slim and stretch the muscles in your calves. For example, lunging forward (without dipping down) and holding the lunge in place, with the back leg elongated, will stretch the calves.
Exercises you will want to avoid if you're trying to slim down the calves include any type of walking or running uphill. In addition, the StairMaster and other types of climbing exercises, tend to bulk the calves. Keep in mind that these exercises and machines are fine and actually good for you, as they will give your legs a toned appearance, but for those who want to slim down calves, these should not be your main form of exercise.