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Do Squats Slim Calves?

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Do Squats Slim Calves?
The shape of your lower legs depends a lot on your genes. Photo Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You may not like your bulky calves, but squatting isn't going to shrink them. Slimming a specific area with targeted exercise simply isn't possible.

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Change Your Proportions

Squats are one of the best muscle builders for your lower body. By doing them in a regular strength-training workout twice per week on nonconsecutive days, you build strong thigh and buttocks muscles. You'll develop more muscle mass in these areas, which may make your lower legs look more in balance with the rest of your frame. Squats also activate the muscles of the calves, but only to assist your larger leg muscles, so they don't add much extra bulk to your calves.

Extra Weight

If you're carrying excess weight, slimming down may help shrink you all over -- including your calves. Regular cardio exercise and total-body strength training, which can include squats, help you with weight loss. You'll also need to pay attention to your diet, aiming to eat fewer calories than you burn daily, to drop enough weight to affect the size of your calves. Check out your family members, too. If they have larger-than-average calves, the size of your legs may be genetic, and you'll be hard-pressed to achieve dramatic changes.

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