There are many reasons why a person would have large calf muscles. In this article I will go over the most common reasons why someone would have disproportionately large calf muscles.
1. Your genes. If your calf muscles are larger because of genetics then your options for making them smaller are slim. You still can make them smaller but it will be much more difficult. There are many reasons why your calf muscles may be large due to genetics. One may be that you have a short Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the tendon that attaches the calf muscle to your heel. If your Achilles tendon is short then your calf muscle may be larger. Because the tendon is shorter your calf muscle has to extend longer to meet it. If you have the opposite and your tendon is longer then your calf muscle will sit up higher making it look smaller. There is no way to change how long or short your tendon is. You can, however, engage in certain exercises (like endurance running) to decrease size.
2. Your exercise. If you were a dancer or heavy weight trainer then your calf muscles may be bigger than you’d like. If you spend a lot of time in high heels, this also can cause your calf muscles to be too big. You want to engage in exercise and other physical activities that have less impact, less resistance, and require less time spent on the balls of your feet.
3. How you walk. It’s perfectly possible that the way you walk causes you to over use your calf muscles. You may be overcompensating for the lack of muscle strength of the muscles around the calves. For example, if the tibalis anterior, which is the “shin muscle” is week than it can cause your calf muscle to overcompensate. If this is the case you can work on strengthening your “shin muscles” and that will help lengthen (and make smaller) your calf muscles.
4. Fatty Tissue. It’s possible that you have large calves because your body is storing excess fat in this area. Most people have what they consider “problem areas.” Some people get it in their belly (i.e. belly fat) and some people get it in other areas (like your legs and calves). If this is the case then it’s a simple matter of doing cardiovascular exercises to eliminate the fat. It may take some time because you can’t “spot remove” fat. In other words you’ll have to work out until your body decides to burn the fat in that area. For some people it may come faster than others. Just make sure that the cardio you do requires no resistance. This means no running uphill. Try long distance running on a flat surface (like a track or around your neighborhood).
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