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Pilates can help slim your calves.
Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images
Pilates contains elements of strength training, aerobic exercise and stretching, with exercises for all the major muscle groups in your body. Stretching the calves can lengthen and strengthen them so they're less bulky in appearance. Combine Pilates exercises with a healthy diet and cardio workouts to get the best results. If your calves are bulky because of excess weight you'll need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight overall, as there is no such thing as spot reduction.1.
Find a step or use a thick book to perform calf raises. Stand with your toes and balls of the feet on the step/book with your heels hanging over the edge. Hold on to a railing or chair back for support. Keep your spine straight and slowly raise your heels a couple of inches and then hold the position for about three seconds. Slowly lower you heels down as far as you can, so they're below your toes, and pause for about three seconds. Repeat eight to 10 times.2.
Lie on a mat to perform supine leg extensions. Bend your right knee and loop a yoga strap around the ball of your right foot. Hold the ends of the strap in your right hand and then extend your right leg towards the ceiling. Flex your foot, pointing your toes downward, and gently pull on the strap to engage your calf muscles and add resistance. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise with the left leg.3.
Stand on the mat with your feet about 18 inches apart to perform Pilates sidekicks. Tighten your lower abs up and in, to engage your core. Balance on the left leg and kick the right leg out and to the side. Breathe in as you lift the leg and breathe out as the leg descends. Perform eight to 10 repetitions on both legs.
- Yoga strap
- The Downward-Facing Dog yoga exercise can also lengthen and slim your calves.
- Avoid calf resistance exercises with heavy weights and uphill running, as these activities can add bulk to the calves.
- Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images