To slim the calves, focus on movements that strengthen and tone the muscles without directly targeting the area. These include exercises like calf raises, hops and yoga. Although spot reduction is a myth and genetic predisposition cannot be overcome, these exercises tone and strengthen the calf muscles. Supplement these exercises with a full-body fat-burning cardio routine to see maximum results.
If large calves result from reasons other than genetics, fat deposits and musculature, Shape suggests that fluid retention in the ankles and calves is a cause. This fluid retention is also known as edema leg swelling, and a high-sodium diet is a possible culprit, reminding athletes that 80 percent of overall wellness and health stems from diet and not exercise. Another cause of large calves and ankles is pregnancy. Due to poor circulation, the legs swell. To combat swelling, avoid foods high in sodium and anything processed. A light exercise routine approved by an OB/GYN can help with swelling.
Shape also recommends massages and elevation to help with fluid retention and swelling. Exercise and weight-loss website Slism also notes the relevance of poor circulation to swollen calves, citing in particular how the decrease of leg muscle affects the overall circulation of the leg.