Wondering How to Lose Calf Fat? Here Are 13 Simple Exercises That Might Help.

Accumulation of fat in your calves may make them look out of shape. Need help? Trust this edit of effective exercise that’ll show you how to lose calf fat.

Dr. Pooja Vohra
Reviewed by DR. POOJA VOHRA , Clinical Physiotherapist | Written by Sanchari Bhattacharya , Health & Fitness Expert
Updated on Nov 09, 2023 | 04:39 PM IST | 778.8K
How to Lose Calf Fat
How to Lose Calf Fat

Calf muscles, situated at the back of our legs, are prone to accumulate fat like any other portion of our body. Factors like genes, the onset of childhood obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and more may affect the body fat distribution in humans (1). As per our contributor Mary Sabat, RDN, LD and Ace Certified Trainer, genes play a significant role in determining an individual's fat distribution. She explains, “Some people may have a genetic predisposition to store fat in certain areas of their body, such as the calves, abdomen or hips. However, lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity also influence fat distribution. While genetics can set a baseline, lifestyle choices can modify and override these genetic factors to some extent.” 

When fat accumulates in the back of your lower legs, it leads to calf fat which might impact your overall physical appearance. Have you been questioning how to lose calf fat? Research suggests that exercise training might be an effective way to lose fat and improve your body composition which causes increased muscle mass and reduced fat (2). Hence, for losing that calf fat you may start doing some calf slimming exercises.

You may not know where to start. But don’t worry, we have got you covered! Ahead, we have put together the ultimate list of exercises for calves at home which may help you in making your calves slim.

13 Simple Ways to Lose Calf Fat

When you exercise regularly, it may lead to multiple benefits for your body like better endurance capacity, increased stamina, improved oxygen supply to muscles, overall fat loss, and more (2), (3). Speaking of the effects of improved oxygen supply, our contributor Mary Sabat says, “Improved oxygen supply to muscles is beneficial during physical activity because it enhances the muscles' ability to generate energy efficiently. Oxygen is essential for aerobic respiration, which is the primary energy production process in muscles during prolonged exercise. Better oxygen supply helps delay the onset of muscle fatigue, allowing individuals to exercise for longer durations and potentially improve their athletic performance.” However, if your end goal is to lose fat from a certain part of the body, here’s what you ought to know — there is no spot reduction method (4). But incorporating some strength training in your exercising routine may lead to fat reduction, increased metabolism, and lean weight that might result in calf fat loss (5). It is however important to keep in mind that you can’t get rid of calf fat in a few days of practicing calf fat reduction exercises. You may need to practice regularly for months to see the results. Furthermore, these exercises work when you watch your diet and follow a healthy lifestyle. According to Rohan Arora, a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, “The time it takes to witness calf fat reduction through exercise can vary depending on factors such as your starting point, the intensity of your workouts, your diet, genetics, and overall consistency. No set time frame applies to everyone, but with regular exercise and a balanced diet, you can generally expect to see noticeable results within a few weeks to a few months.”

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You can’t get rid of the calf fat in a few days of practicing calf fat reduction exercises. You may need to practice regularly for months to see the results. Most importantly, these exercises work when you watch your diet and follow a healthy lifestyle.

1. Plie Calf Raises

This effective exercise might help you lose calves fat by targeting your glutes, quads, and calves. 

Method:

  • Stand straight in a sumo squat position. 
  • Spread your feet apart at a shoulder-width distance. 
  • Your toes may point sideways and your thighs might be parallel to the floors.
  • Keep your back straight and then begin to squat down. While doing this, extend your hands in the front and join them together.
  • While coming up, raise your heels off the ground and simultaneously squeeze your calves.
  • End the formation by lowering your heels and returning to the starting position.
  • You may do 3 sets and 12 reps of this exercise.
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2. Sumo Squat Calf Raises with Weight 

This exercise for calf fat targets your hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes.

Method:

  • Begin by standing straight and your feet spread out slightly wider than hip-width apart. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands. Keep your posture straight, make your shoulders firm, slightly move your chest out, and look straight.
  • Flex your knees and begin to squat down.
  • After holding the pose for a few seconds, slowly rise. While you raise your body and your legs begin to get straight, raise your heels simultaneously.
  • Place your heels down and return to the sumo squat position.
  • You may do 3 sets and 12 reps of this exercise.

3. Standing Calf Raises

Standing calf raises is a simple yet effective fitness technique to get rid of fat calves. It targets your calves and hamstrings.

Method:

  • Place your hands on your waist and stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Move your chest out, roll your shoulders back, and look straight.
  • Begin raising your heels slowly and hold the pose for a few seconds.
  • After that, start lowering your heels back to the ground.
  • Repeat this movement quickly. This will give you a feeling of burn in your calves.
  • You might do 3 sets and 25 reps of this exercise.
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4. Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise

This is a strength-focused exercise that promotes calf fat loss. It targets your calves specifically.

Method:

  • Start by sitting down on a chair or stool. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands while they are both placed on your legs.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground, sit in an upright posture, and look straight.
  • While keeping the dumbbells firmly pressed on your thighs, slowly raise your heels from the ground. Flex your calves while you do this and hold the pose for a few seconds.
  • Return to the same position and repeat.
  • You may do 3 sets and 20 reps of this exercise.

5. Skater Hops

This exercises targets and focuses on your hamstrings, calves, quads, and glutes.

Method:

  • Stand straight and place your feet together.
  • Lower your knees down slightly and then raise your right leg off the ground. 
  • Bend your right leg so that the shin and thigh are at 90 degrees to each other.
  • Lean forward a little and take the form of a runner.
  • After that, switch your legs and hop onto your left leg.
  • Bend your left leg so that the shin and thigh are at 90 degrees to each other.
  • Keep hopping and switching between your right and left leg.
  • You might do 3 sets and 12 reps of this exercise.
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6. Endurance Running 

According to research, running is an efficient exercise that targets your entire body and might help in losing overall weight (6). Sometimes, an exercise as simple as running can help reduce your overall body fat, including calf fat. You must follow the below steps to see the results.

Sometimes, an exercise as simple as running can help reduce your overall body fat, including calf fat. You must follow the below steps to see the results. .

Method:

  • Begin by warming up your body with light exercises like spot jumping or stretching.
  • Slowly, start jogging on your track or the treadmill.
  • Run on a treadmill with a 3 degree incline or on the road. 
  • The key is to run slowly and for a longer period.Remember running is useful when you run slowly and for a longer duration so that your body can burn fat easily. 
  • You may do endurance running every alternate day for about 15 to 30 minutes.

7. Climbing Stairs

One of the best and easiest ways to lose calves fat is by climbing stairs. This activity targets your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

Method:

  • You may do the exercise at the stairs near your home or office. You might also use a StairMaster.
  • Begin by warming up or spot jogging near the stairs.
  • Use your toes to pace up and down the stairs at a moderate speed.
  • Ensure to increase your speed gradually.
  • You may do 2 sets and 3 reps of this exercise.
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7. Arm Plank with Knee Dips

This exercise targets and focuses on your shoulders, hamstrings, and calves.

Method:

  • Begin by getting into an elbow plank formation.
  • Squeeze your right knee and touch it on the floor. Then bring it back to the starting pose.
  • Repeat the same with your left leg and bring it back to the original formation.
  • You might do 2 sets and 12 reps of this exercise.

9. Jumping Squats

Are you wondering how to slim the calves? This exercise might help you by focusing on your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.

Method:

  • Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your buttocks and chest out, roll your shoulders back, and look straight. 
  • Begin to bend your knees and squat down slowly.
  • Then put your hands above your head and jump.
  • Ensure to make a soft landing on the floor.
  • You may do 3 sets and 15 reps.

10. Calf Stretching 

This exercise focuses on and targets your calves and hamstrings.

Method:

  • Face a wall and stand against it. Start by placing your right foot near the wall and your left leg right behind it. Ensure that your foot is facing the wall.
  • Then place your elbows and forearms on the wall.
  • Lower your glutes and start pressing against the wall with your forearms.
  • After this, switch your right leg with your left leg and repeat the process.
  • You may do 2 sets and 3 reps of this exercise.

11. Single Leg Squats 

Single-leg squats focus on your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Method:

  • Start by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Then lift your right leg and raise your hands in front of you. Your hands should be raised at shoulder level with palms facing down.
  • Bend your left knee and begin to slightly squat down.
  • Keep your right calves flexed and hold the pose for a few seconds.
  • Straighten your legs and stand up. Repeat the same for 10 reps and then switch legs.
  • You might do 2 sets and 10 reps of this exercise.

12. Lunges

Lunges is a classic exercise that focuses on your calves, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Method:

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart from each other.
  • Put your right leg ahead, while the left leg is right behind it.
  • Begin to slowly bend down until both your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Then push off on both your legs and switch.
  • Repeat the same process with your left leg in front and your right leg behind it.
  • You may do 3 sets and 12 reps per leg. 
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13. Hand-to-Foot Pose

This exercise targets your calves and hamstrings.

Method:

  • Begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • While keeping your back straight, start bending forward, and slip your hand under each foot.
  • Try to touch your head to your knees. This will help you stretch and feel a burn.
  • Hold this pose for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat.
  • You may do 2 sets and 3 reps of this exercise.

How to Lose Calf Fat

Conclusion

According to research, factors like genes, the onset of childhood obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and more may affect the body fat distribution in humans (1). But when fat starts accumulating into your calves, it might rapidly bring down your self-esteem and also affect your confidence. So, if you have been wondering how to reduce calves’ size then take notes. 

Your calf muscles play a crucial bodily function that drives the movement of stepping on the ground, walking, or running (7). Without calf muscles, you wouldn’t be able to move from one place to another. But to ensure this elevated muscle performance, you need to make sure that you’re in shape. To shed fat from your calves, all you need to do is just spend your time doing a few exercises at home! From running, climbing stairs, squats, to lunges — exercising may be the best and the most effective way to lose calf fat. These exercises focus solely on your lower legs (quadriceps, glutes, calves, hamstrings) which enable you to stretch and burn the fat from your calves (4), (6).

Contributor: Mary Sabat, RDN, LD, Ace Certified Trainer - Body Designs Ltd.

Sources:

1. Role of Body Fat Distribution and the Metabolic Complications of Obesity

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2585758/ 

2. Effect of Exercise Training on Fat Loss-Energetic Perspectives and the Role of Improved Adipose Tissue Function and Body Fat Distribution

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34630157/ 

3. Physical Exercise: An Overview of Benefits From Psychological Level to Genetics and Beyond

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397487/ 

4. Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23222084/ 

5. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22777332/#:~:text=Ten%20weeks%20of%20resistance%20training,abilities%2C%20and%20self%2Desteem

6. Greater Weight Loss from Running than Walking during 6.2-yr Prospective Follow-up

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4067491/ 

7. Functional relationship between the anatomical structures of the calf and athletic ability

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35319797/ 

8. Energy expenditure comparison between walking and running in average fitness individuals

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22446673/ 

9. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017325/ 

10. How to Lose Calf Fat

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/lose-calf-fat#:~:text=A%20daily%20walk%20also%20keeps,your%20muscles%20from%20getting%20bigger

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About The Author
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Health & Fitness Expert

Sanchari, a certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach

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