Tips for women to slim down the calves include keeping the heels down when running or walking, avoiding strictly strength-promoting exercises for the calves and stretching the calves frequently. Additionally, pilates helps elongate the calves, and resistance training should be avoided.
While frequent sprinting generally increases the size of the calves, endurance running usually makes them appear slimmer over time. To reduce calf size, running should be done in a slow manner over a longer distance. Run on a flat surface whenever possible to avoid the calves from bulking up as well. Resistance training increases the size of the calf muscle, so replace those exercises with swimming or cross-training instead. The step-machine and other types of climbing exercises should be avoided, as well.
Stretching the calf muscles lengthens them. One good stretch is the calf push-up, performed by standing next to a wall with the front foot 1 foot away from the wall and the back leg 3 feet away. Keep the back leg straight and the front leg bent and lean against the wall with the hands, holding the position for 10 to 15 seconds before switching leg positions. Doing circles with the ankles also helps lengthen the calf muscles; these can be done while sitting in a chair.