Bulky or large calves can be caused by two different things. First, leg fat can cause calves to become bulky, but overexercising can also be a culprit. This occurs because the muscles, instead of becoming toned and sleek, actually begin to build bulk, just like any other muscle in your body. If you want to work on slimming down and toning your calves, you need to know what types of exercises are best, and how to do them.
Take up exercises such as swimming, bike riding, and walking. All of these will help to tone and slim your calves without building bulky muscles. This is because these exercises are not generally considered resistive exercises, which is the type of exercise used to increase muscle mass. Perform these exercises three to four times per week for about 30 minutes per session.
Learn how to do Pilates, an series of core-strengthening exercises and stretching techniques that can be used to help slim and tone legs. Like walking, biking, and swimming, Pilates does not involve resistance exercises, so it doesn’t increase muscle mass. You can use Pilates books, DVDs, or an instructor to learn how to perform these exercises correctly.
Start performing stretches on your legs to help increase the length and slimness of your ligaments and any muscle groups that are bulked up. An example of such an exercise is the “calf stretch and relaxer.” It is performed by standing straight up, with your feet the same distance apart from each other as the width of your shoulders. While keeping your feet flat on the ground, begin kneeling until you have reached a position of a quarter-squat. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly stand back up. This exercise is not a resistance exercise and will help your legs become slim and toned.