If you have bulky or big calves, you’ve probably wondered how to make calves smaller. Although you cannot spot reduce a certain part of your body, you can still make your calves smaller by reducing your total bodyweight.

This can be easily done by following the right diet and trying out proper exercises. But what is the right diet? What specific lifestyle changes does one need to make to reduce the calf size? What type of exercises should one try?

Well, that’s what we are going to explore over the next few sections.

how to make calves smaller

What Makes Your Calf Bigger Than Others?

There are many reasons why your calf might be bigger than others. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Fat Calves Gene

Some people have bulky calves since birth. While this size can be reduced with extensive exercises, you may not be able to make much difference if you haven’t tried the exercises for long enough.
You can still witness some charges with physical training and a good diet. However, the charge won’t be as relevant.


For some individuals, big muscle size is one of the biggest reasons for bulky calves. If you have big muscles, you can avoid some exercises for preventing your calf muscles from growing. This will, however, result in a minor reduction.


As previously mentioned, you might have big calves due to the high fat in your system. In this case, losing your total weight will certainly help reduce your calf size.

However, if you plan to reduce your calf size by reducing weight, it is important to be extremely patient during the process.

That is because legs are one of the hardest spots to reduce fat. For women, this might be even more difficult. Either way, it is important to give yourself adequate time, when you are looking to lose the fat in your calves.


The concept of somatotype (or body types) is developed in the 1940s by American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon. According to his concept, a person’s body types can be classified into three types: ‘ectomorphic’, ‘mesomorphic’ and ‘endomorphic’. Most people are a unique combination of the three body types or one of them.

If your body type is either mesomorph or endomorph, your calf size can easily bulk up due to the wrong exercises.


How to Make Calves Smaller Fast?

While there is no method for specifically reducing your calf size, the following methods might propel your weight loss, thereby cutting down on the bulk in your calves.

1. Slim Down Calves With the Right Exercise

Now that you are aware of the four major steps to make your calves smaller, let’s explore some other equally relevant exercises that might help you with this task.


When it comes to losing calves fat, there is no alternative to quality cardio.

Follow a session of cardiovascular exercise. Try performing moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular exercises for at least 30mins. Do this twice or thrice a week for noticeable results.

Cardio will effectively slim you down, by preventing the unnecessary muscle buildup in your calves.

If you are wondering how to start, here are some simple ideas:

  • Take a Long Walk: While walking is deemed low-intensity cardio, it is still one of the best ways to get started. Note that if you plan to walk, it is important to take walks on flat roads. Plus, avoid walking on hilly areas or climbing exercises.
  • Running: You can run anytime at your nearby lake or park. Alternatively, you can also run the treadmill. Please note that while running is a high-intensity exercise, it is also deemed high impact. That means it will have a greater impact on your bones and joints. So, if you are injured or have joint problems, this might not be the best way to exercise.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a high-intensity exercise. However, unlike running, it has a low impact, which means it won’t affect your joints or knees. That is why cycling is an excellent option for individuals of all abilities. The exercise won’t affect your joints or knees.

cycling makes your calves smaller

  • Use Ellipticals: Ellipticals are an excellent alternative to running as they allow you to imitate the motion of running without the massive impact on your joints and knees. This is ideal for individuals suffering from joint injuries.
  • Swimming: Swimming is yet another high-intensity exercise with minimum possibilities of injury. You can swim at Ieast twice a week for an hour and more for noticeable results.

Side Jumps

  • Stand in an upright position and start making smaller sideways jumps. Do this assuming you are jumping a line.
  • Make sure your legs are close and try swinging your arms to aid the jumps.
  • Perform this exercise for a minute, take a 30-second break, and repeat.
  • For best results, perform ten rounds of the exercise in a single session.

Calf Stretch

  • Stand at a distance of three feet from any wall. Now, keep the right foot behind to ensure your toes face forward.
  • Position your heel directly on the ground and start leaning forward. Make sure the right knee is unmoved.
  • Try to experience the stretch and hold the position for around 30 to 60 seconds.

calf stretch can make your calves smaller

Skater Jump

  • Stand with your legs stretched apart. Your arms should be by the sides.
  • Try hopping right and land on your right foot. Now, diagonally sweep your left foot right behind your right leg. Your left arm should swing across your body while the right arm should be right behind your back.
  • Now try jumping to your left. Switch your arms and legs to complete a rep.
  • Repeat the exercise for one minute.

Don’ worry, there is a video below for you to have a better knowledge of all these exercises.

Calf Raises

This is yet another age-old method to reduce the fat from your calves.

For doing a calf raise, stand with legs with a distance apart. Stretch them as much as you can.

  • Next, hold any surface like a chair or table using your hands.
  • You will now have to lift your legs so that the pressure is on your toes and the balls of the feet.
  • Gradually, lift the heels in an upward motion.
  • Try holding your calf raises for at least a second before you come back to your heels.
  • When you do a series of twenty calf raises at a single session, your calves are more likely to get toned.


This is yet another simple way to reduce your bulky calves. While performing squats, consider your body weight as resistance.

  • To begin this exercise, stand on your feet with a proper distance.
  • Now place your hands on the hips and try bending down at your knees. This way, you will tone both the calf and thigh muscles.
  • For a better impact on your calf muscles, try leaning your weight to the heels instead of the toes. This will allow you to burn more fat thereby reducing the size of our calves.
  • Make sure you hold ever squat at least two to three seconds before standing straight. Perform 10 to 15 squats during every session.
  • While performing squats, avoid adding any extra weight as it might cause your calves to bulk up. If you want more balance, extend both your arms right before you. Make sure your palms face the floor at a parallel level.

Perform squats along with your regular exercises. This will cut down on the calories, reduce the intake of fat and boost the development of healthy muscles.

2. Avoid These Exercises

While these were some of the best exercises to make your calves smaller, let’s check out the exercises that make them bigger in the first place.

  • Walking/Running on Hilly Areas: As previously mentioned, (fast) walking and running is a high-intensity exercise that will help you lose weight and reduce your calf size. However, the method will only work when you walk/run in flat areas. If you try to walk in a hilly area, it might build resistance in your calves, causing it to bulk up.
  • Climbing: Any type of climbing exercise is likely to bulk up your calves. So, avoid them.
  • Jumping the Rope: While sideway and skater jumps can reduce your calf size, jumping the rope up and down will make way for bigger calves.
  • Sprinting: Sprinting involves running on your toss, it will easily increase the size of your calves.

3. Take Proper Diet to Shed Fat

If you are looking to reduce weight, following a proper diet is imperative to your cause. Here are some of the things you can do to get started.

Start Tracking Your Calories

While you cannot spot reduce fat from a specific area, you can always lose weight. For this, you need to track your calories. To reduce weight you need to burn more calories you consume daily.

Download any fitness app for the job. That said, avoid consuming less than 1200 calories daily.

Add Plenty of Veggies to Your Diet

You can easily lose weight when you follow a solid diet with a variety of fruits and veggies. Here are some of the things you can include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • String Beans
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruits
  • Brussel Sprouts

Limit Refined Grains

Refined grains are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to bulking up your legs. So, if you are looking to lose weight, limit your intake of these grains.

limit processed grains

Instead of having white bread, white rice and products made with processed flour, try having brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread.

Choose Lean Meat

Make sure your diet includes a healthy dose of lean meats. Some of these meats are lean cuts of white chicken or turkey. Avoid red meat.

Include Proteins

Make sure you have a fat-free and protein-rich diet. Some excellent sources of protein are eggs, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, tofu, legumes, etc.

4. Change Your Lifestyle

Unless you make the right lifestyle changes, you can never lose weight or make your calves smaller. Here are some of the things you can do.

  • Keep your steps small and complete. Avoid walking on your toes. For this, step on your heel before gradually rolling towards your toes.
  • Wearing heels frequently might result in muscular imbalances that might cause your legs to appear bulkier than they usually are. That said if you need to wear heels for your profession, try resistance training sessions like lunges and squats.
  • You can also try stretching exercises. While these exercises do not directly make you get rid of calves muscle; they do, however, affect the alignment of your joint. This paves the way for smaller and toned calves.


Now that you’ve learned the best tips to make your calves smaller, follow these guidelines right away!

While trying these exercises and following a healthy diet might seem taxing in the beginning, you will soon get habituated to the process.

The result: smaller and well-toned calves. Since there is no alternative to proper exercise and the right diet, be patient throughout the entire process.