Does running make my calves even bigger? What kind of exercise should I do to slim down my calves size? Those must be the two most popular questions I’ve ever got on the fitness BBS.
Well, let me tell you this: first off, I used to ask my trainers the exact same questions over and over; secondly, I’ve been running and doing all kinds of fitness exercises over 5yrs (enough to be a guinea pig:).
Honestly, here are what I’ve found out:
- Genetic is the key! Looking at your parents or siblings, if bigger calves run into your family, there is really nothing you can do to minimize them. From the human anatomy stand point, there is something called “Achilles tendon”, which is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. If genetically you have a short Achilles tendon, then your calves will look bigger because the muscles have to extend lower down your leg to meet the short tendon.
- Endurance running won’t make your calves bigger! Seriously, sprinting develops the calves, but endurance running does not. The key is to run slower but for longer distances. Although you may notice what appears to be an increase in size after a long run. That is due to the “pump” you get from the increased blood flow to your calves muscles while you’re running and it is not permanent at all.
- Yoga, Barre and Pilates are great exercises for calves. The specifically designed movements will stretch the calf muscles to shape them longer. Key is you have to practice them over the time. A few months may not be long enough.
- Keep your heels down. Let me simply put this way, wearing high heels all day long, 5 days a week will surely develop your calves muscles as you are constantly targeting that muscle group.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you find this helpful~~~!