Personal trainer reveals her tips and tricks for slimming your legs

How to get rid of your bulky calves forever: Personal trainer reveals the tips and tricks to slim your legs – and why you need to start running NOW

  • An Australian PT has shared her guidelines for slimming down ‘bulky’ calves
  • She said the method will differ whether your calves are bulky from fat or muscle
  • If you’re genetically predisposed to having large calves it will be harder to trim
  • And if they’re just larger from fat than you will need to lose weight overall

An Australian personal trainer has explained how to slim down ‘bulky calves’ in three easy steps, but warns that those with a ‘genetic predisposition’ to have muscle in that area will find it more difficult.

Rachael Attard, who created a popular ‘lean legs’ program, spoke about how avoiding certain exercises, doing more low-intensity cardio and focusing on losing fat overall will help you get the limbs you’ve been craving.

‘It all comes down to whether your calf size is due to muscle or fat,’ the health expert from Sydney wrote on her website. 

Rachael Attard , who created a popular ‘lean legs’ program online, spoke about how avoiding certain exercises, doing more low-intensity cardio and focusing on losing fat overall will help you get the limbs you’ve been craving

‘If you were born this way and haven’t done much exercise that could change the shape of your calves, chances are that you won’t be able to make significant changes. But, minor changes might be possible.’

If your calf size is due to excess fat then losing weight overall could be the answer to your problem, whereas if it’s muscle you might need to change the focus of some of your most-used exercises.

So how can you stop the bulk?

An Australian personal trainer has explained how to slim down ‘bulky calves’ in three easy steps, but warns that those with a ‘genetic predisposition’ to have muscle in that area will find it more difficult (a client transformation)

1. Don’t do exercises that target your calves

Rachael is a keen believer in the power of running and recommends aiming for 30 minutes of cardio a day for your heart health and overall body health.

‘Running does actually build some muscles in your calves, but running is so good for you, and good for slimming down your legs in general, that I would be hesitant to stop running,’ she said.

‘That said if it seems like your calves bulk up easily, I would make sure that you are always running on a flat surface – an incline will increase your calf size.’

She said if your calves have become bulkier because of muscle it’s best to steer clear of the Stairmaster machine at the gym and hiking at an incline, which can all contribute to their size.

Skipping, jump squats, jump lunges and burpees – as well as any exercise that involves jumping on a box – should also be limited.

‘Running does actually build some muscles in your calves, but running is so good for you, and good for slimming down your legs in general, that I would be hesitant to stop running,’ she said

2. Do more low-intensity cardio

‘Low-intensity cardio burns fat (and in some cases, even muscle) and will decrease your overall body mass, so it will help make your calves smaller,’ Rachael said.

Power walking, steady-state running (both on a flat surface) or swimming are all excellent options and not likely to bulk your calves.  

‘I know a lot of women notice that their calves get smaller when they run on a treadmill,’ she added.

‘The only thing I can attribute this to is the fact that the treadmill moves underneath you, so you probably don’t need to engage your calf muscles as much as running outside, when you need to push off the ground harder.’

Rachael recommends running with a heel-to-toe strike motion – rather than on your toes – and wearing supportive shoes for the activity.

Work out your basal metabolic rate (BMR) using the formula: 447.593 + (9.247 x body weight (kg)) + (3.098 x height (cm)) – (4.33 x age in years). This is your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Workout your total energy expenditure (TEE) using this scale: little to no exercise a week = 1.2; 1-3 days of exercise a week = 1.375; 3-5 days of exercise a week = 1.55; 6-7 days of exercise a week = 1.752; twice daily exercise = 1.9.

BMR x TEE = how many calories you can eat to maintain your current weight while doing the same amount of exercise.

You need to be in a deficit of around 200-500 calories from this calorie amount if you want to maintain your workout schedule.  

3. Lose weight overall

When you lose weight, you will lose both fat and muscle, so that automatically means your calves may look a lot thinner, Rachael said.

You cannot spot reduce fat from a certain section of your body so it all depends where you tend to store fat and lose fat first.

For example Rachael said she loses weight from her upper body faster than her lower body.

‘It helps to know your body type and how well you respond to certain diet and exercise regimes,’ she said.

When you lose weight, you will lose both fat and muscle, so that automatically means your calves may look a lot thinner, Rachael said

What are the different body types and their characteristics?

This system breaks down all of the body types into three unique stereotypes: ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs (pictured)

* Ectomorph:

Ectomorph body types are very tall and slim. They don’t have much muscle and find it difficult to put on muscle or any weight in general.

* Mesomorph:

The mesomorph is between the ectomorph and the endomorph, and they are defined by a muscular frame and broader shoulders than their waist.

* Endomorph:

An endomorph body type is usually a larger curvier figure. They are quite commonly a stocky build and their bodies hold onto fat well and find it hard to lose. 

Diet is the key to slimming down calves and losing weight overall; exercise comes second.

So the focus should be on eating fewer calories than you burn during the day. 

‘You can learn how to calculate your ideal daily amount of calories online, and if you want to lose weight, I suggest eating about 200 calories less than this number,’ Rachael said.

However, she warned you should never go below 1,200 calories.   

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