question about calve size

cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
I'm on the verge of trying to get back to an exercise routine.

One thing I keep having a problem with, is any type of leg work, I get huge calves. It's hard to describe, um, looking at it from the side, it looks great, but from the front it looks big, like Popeye legs, like the muscle is expanding outwards from the sides. And I dont like it, it's one of the reasons why I haven't been sticking to any regular exercise routine. Although I wouldn't mind a little trimming of fat on my legs, over all I'm very happy with them in their non-popeye size.

Is that normal? I've never really paid that much attention to other women's legs at least in real life, and i know better to trust what I see on tv as far as appearances go.

Could it be caused by some swelling from workouts? or perhaps gained muscle, and I'm just not giving enough time for the fat loss to catch up? Well I know it is muscle actually, I just don't know why it's looking so manlyish.

Comments

  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Registered Users Posts: 3,077
    The same thing happens to me. I always chalk it up to genetics - my mom's side of my family has "mountain climber calves" as my Swiss grandpa calls them. I think for me it also has to do with having short/tight achilles tendons, so even normal activities like walking kind of work my calves. I'm not sure if any of those are factors for you, but I thought I'd let you know you're not alone!

    Hopefully someone else will have good advice, but I'd say that you might want to try some exercises that don't specifically work your legs. Something like swimming might lead to less calf muscle development than, say, a Stairmaster. If you do strength training, you might want to focus on your upper body and abs more than your legs, too.
  • cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
    The same thing happens to me. I always chalk it up to genetics - my mom's side of my family has "mountain climber calves" as my Swiss grandpa calls them. I think for me it also has to do with having short/tight achilles tendons, so even normal activities like walking kind of work my calves. I'm not sure if any of those are factors for you, but I thought I'd let you know you're not alone!

    Hopefully someone else will have good advice, but I'd say that you might want to try some exercises that don't specifically work your legs. Something like swimming might lead to less calf muscle development than, say, a Stairmaster. If you do strength training, you might want to focus on your upper body and abs more than your legs, too.

    well good to know I'm not alone at least.
  • cara4curlscara4curls Registered Users Posts: 336 Curl Neophyte
    Yes, the calf size, shape and propensity for development is genetic! There are alot of bodybuilders out there who would LOVE to have your problem! Usually these are the folks with what's known as "high" calves, that being a calf muscle that has a short belly, and a long tendon to attach it that doesn't increase much in size without butt-blasting work. The type of calves that develop very easily are those with a long muscle belly, and a shorter Achilles tendon. These will develop at practically the drop of a hat, so the solution to this to avoid overdevelopment is not to do direct calf work, and to keep with higher repetitions and somewhat lower weights in general in your leg work. I personally have calves that develop really easily too, so I can relate. I don't do ANY calf work - they get worked indirectly from the other stuff I do at the gym.
    The capability for developing muscle in general is genetic - It really all boils down to body type. But there are workouts these days that take this into mind. What works for one body-type might not work at all for another. Hope this helps!
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  • KurlyKarenLeeKurlyKarenLee Registered Users Posts: 1,048
    I would LOVE to have your problem. I've tried, but my calf muscles are almost non-existent.
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  • ttripleblondettripleblonde Registered Users Posts: 300
    I WISH I had calves.

    God, they are just almost non-existant. And I'm a dancer!
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  • cymprenicympreni Registered Users Posts: 9,609 Curl Neophyte
    Tell ya what. I'll swap you guys.
  • EfrizzabethEfrizzabeth Registered Users Posts: 8,792 Curl Neophyte
    They can have part of my calves because I can't wear over-calf boots! I couldn't even get rental ski boots closed! It sucks. :(
  • realisticrealistic Registered Users Posts: 2,222 Curl Novice
    LOL I'm paranoid about getting big calves. My brothers are HUGE. I do stair exercises for my butt and I always pay attention to how much I'm using my calves.
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  • gemmagemma Registered Users Posts: 12
    I do calf raises while brushing my teeth. Vary the direction of your toes too, like do first position, toes facing out, to shape your calves.
    I love my shapely calves, people always go crazy for them. Plus, they are such an easy indicator of health and fitness!
    Nothing wrong with cantalope shapely calves!!!!!
    My father has them so they probably are genetic!
  • ontheoutsideontheoutside Registered Users Posts: 35
    i have the same problem! my calves are huge. but I'm only a teenager and other people don't usually have this problem. people always say things like how huge my calves are and that it looks like i have man legs. i have all this muscel in my calves but i have flabby thighs.sometimes life just isn't fair! but i take two different types of dance,soccer,basketball,softball,swimming...all these sports and it seems like all the muscel i build goes to my calves.
  • 2poodles2poodles Registered Users Posts: 2,485 Curl Connoisseur
    I would LOVE to have your problem. I've tried, but my calf muscles are almost non-existent.


    Sorry to guano, I just wanted to say hi to KKL - long time, no "see"! :wave:

    And to the OP- I've got big calves, too. Total nuisance. I just ignore them as best I can and don't do any exercises to target their development. That's a muscle that doesn't seem to get smaller, no matter what I do - or don't do....
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  • sarah42sarah42 Registered Users Posts: 4,034
    I wish my calves would get bigger. I've done calf raises at the gym, bicycling, stairmaster, elliptical, but nothing seems to make them get more developed. It must be genetic or something. I always admire muscular calves on other women.
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  • Cassandra.007Cassandra.007 Registered Users Posts: 8
    I have the same problem with my calves, it's so annoying! Anytime I would my thighs or butt all I can think about are the calves :/
    Although I've read that the calves are one of the hardest muscles to build up so that's good for those of us who would REALLY love to get rid of some of ours!
  • Curls=BeautyCurls=Beauty Registered Users Posts: 1,781
    Same here. I hate them.
    Unfortunately, I can't do anything about it. In addition to excercising I play soccer. So the problem ain't going to go away for me.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Registered Users Posts: 4,162 Curl Connoisseur
    ladies with larger calves....you can wear knee boots! My calves are huge...like 19 inches each. I order my knee boots from here: http://www.widewidths.com/

    hope this helps someone! Oh and don't go buying all the size 11 boots either!
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  • Mamacurl3Mamacurl3 Registered Users Posts: 1,559
    I've got the same issue too, I don't mind them so much but sometimes am a little self conscious because they get so big and hard looking. kwim? Haha, I feel like my calves are as big as my thighs 018.jpg

    It's totally genetic and not really much we can do about it.
    Nappy, thanks for the link! I have such a hard time finding boots that fit my calves.
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