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How can I reduce my larger than normal calves?

Hi, My calves have always been larger than normal (even when I was thin) due to dancing when I was younger. I walk about 6-7 miles a day at the moment and they seem to be getting bigger. Although I need to lose about 3 stone my calves are not fat its all muscle, is there any way of toning them or making them smaller


Our expert says...


It sounds like, due to your previous dancing when younger and with your good habits (daily walks) currently that you have over-developed calves. Although some would be jealous of your calves (they can be quite stubborn muscles to develop!), I appreciate they may seem out of proportion or over-sized and there are things you can do.

Calf size is determined by

– their use (or overuse compared to other muscles in a particular activity i.e. walking)

- How tight they are – if they are over used they will be over tight and this causes a bigger appearance as they lose flexibility

- fat storage

I would recommend the following:

- when your out walking try to adopt a heel-toe walking method – so ensure you are making heel contact with the ground first – sounds obvious but when calves are tight this often stops happening due to the loss of flexibility and will only add to your issue.

- When walking try to clench your butt to encourage the butt muscles to support the calves and offload some of their workload. This will feel almost impossible to start with but just keep trying and gradually they will start to wake up!! This will also make your waling stronger!

- Get some sports massage on your calves to really address their flexibility – the release from deep massage will enable a greater flexibility, removal of waste products from the muscle, a reduction in any fluid retention/swelling and promote leaner calves

- get the sports / massage therapist (or a personal trainer if you know one) to show you a good stretch for your calves and make sure you do it AFTER every walk – holding (not bounding) for 30 seconds.

Hope this helps,


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