I'm a 18-year-old girl, I used to run (usually 1000/2000m competitions) and as a consequence now I'm left with quite big calves compered to the rest of my body. I'd like to know what I could do to reduce their size. I read many articles but I'm not quite sure about what to do since there are different (possibly opposite?) opinions on this subject.

Like, somebody suggested I should use an exercise bike for at least an hour with no resistance (so that the body would start 'consuming' the muscle), whereas others said I have to do high reps sessions of exercises targeting the calves or run (?!) on a treadmill.

Please avoid posting useless comments, I just need instructions and clarifications on how to slim down my muscles. Thanks!

  • Try these exercises to bring things into balance. Jul 11, 2015 at 3:04
  • Should I avoid exercising my legs? @Count Iblis
    – cwbrd
    Jul 11, 2015 at 17:38
  • I would just do a broad range of exercises, including leg muscle exercises. That your calves look thick is just a mater of perspective, due to a one sided muscle development. If you watch the video, notice that Mr. Tee's calves don't look thick, actually they look rather thin. However, it may well be that if you actually measure them you would find that they are actually quite thick. Jul 11, 2015 at 17:41
  • You also state in a comment you have developed upper legs. So you want to reduce all muscles of just calf? Starve your body and it will eventually break down muscle but that is kind of extreme.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 11, 2015 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


There are two main ways to decrease the size of a muscle;

Don't use the muscle

Or at least use it only when necessary. If you don't use the muscle, it won't be hypertrophied. From there, it could remain at its current size, or decrease in size (atrophy).

Overuse the muscle (not recommended)

Basically, if you use the muscle a lot, but don't provide it with the nutrition it needs to hypertrophy, it will decrease in size. Of course, with the way you'd have to control your diet, this could have side effects with other muscles as well, as you'd have to eat little protein.

  • I guess it wouldn't be easy not to use my calves! Anyways, since I stopped competing my muscles haven't changed in size (not that I've noticed) so... On the other hand the overuse option is quite scary lol.
    – cwbrd
    Jul 11, 2015 at 18:17
  • @Generalbrus - Yeah, if you went from competing in a calf-heavy exercise to NOT competing, I guarantee the decrease in size will happen naturally and organically. How long has it been?
    – Alec
    Jul 11, 2015 at 18:18
  • 1
    @Generalbrus - Well-developed calves are definitely going to help you with performance, both in tennis and in soccer though. But the first method still stands to reason; if you only use calves when necessary, they will eventually evolve or devolve to a state where they are most suited for whatever it is you're doing.
    – Alec
    Jul 11, 2015 at 18:47

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