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TOPIC: What exercises get skinny legs, not muscular legs?

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July 30, 2011 9:21 AM
Since I was young, I've loved riding my bike. I used to go out on it for hours & hours a few times a week. My calves are quite big but not with fat, it's the only part of my body with proper muscle. Thing is, they're big, too big for my liking. I want thin legs, not muscular legs but I'm scared that if I keep riding my bike either outside or at the gym, my legs will just keep getting more muscular instead of slimming down.
What are the best exercises to burn off the fat on my legs, but not build up too much muscle? I know it takes a long time for women to build up huge muscles but I really don't want big legs, I think that would be as upsetting as having fat legs for me & considering my calves are already too muscly for my liking, you can kind of understand why I'm worried..
Any help would be awesome & greatly appreciated! :)
  5420120
July 30, 2011 9:27 AM
Do some yoga on top of your biking! The yoga helps stretch out your legs which will make them look nice and lean!
  6351390
July 30, 2011 9:28 AM
Pilates is supposed to help elongate, thin down, the legs. Worth a shot!
July 30, 2011 9:29 AM
I think once you start seeing over all body fat loss your calves will tighten and tone up. They are big now not because of muscle but because there's muscles AND fat there. Keep your calories to the recommended level and mix cardio and weights and I bet you'll get the legs you want (thinner but still toned, no one really wants "skinny legs", do they?).
July 30, 2011 9:29 AM
Lack of exercise. Which is lack of muscle.
July 30, 2011 9:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT4UlsoQchY

this is upper thigh insanity. its a bunch of toning exercises to help tone that area also running helps. i have ridiculously big calves as well but ive learned to love them because they sure as hell arent going away haha.
July 30, 2011 9:31 AM
Pilates
Yoga
Swimming?
  4046456
July 30, 2011 9:36 AM
For yoga & pilates, I'll have to look up YouTube videos or something, but will definitely look into it, thanks! :D
Thank you Rachel, I guess you're right there. I'll probably avoid biking more often, try find something else instead 'just incase', hopefully once my weight starts to get closer to my goal weight, it'll all look smaller. :)
Skinnylove, I'll definitely check out that video! I've never properly run before, or jogging for that matter.. I'm so unfit I can't go more than a minute without being out of breath haha, hopefully I'll be able to build up to it because a couple others have said running as well. :)
I don't actually know how to swim.. A mate of mine might be moving down & she loves swimming so if she does [which isn't until next year sadly], she's gunna teach me but that one is a big if.
Thanks for all the help though! :D
  5420120
July 30, 2011 9:37 AM
Exercise that is low resistance and longer time (or amounts if you are lifting) tend to longate the muscles. Exercise that provides more resistance and you do for a shorter period of time lead to bulkier muscles. However, you have to remember that you body does have a tendancy to do certain things just because of the way you are built - for me, my muscles bulk no matter what I do.
July 30, 2011 9:38 AM
QUOTE:

Since I was young, I've loved riding my bike. I used to go out on it for hours & hours a few times a week. My calves are quite big but not with fat, it's the only part of my body with proper muscle. Thing is, they're big, too big for my liking. I want thin legs, not muscular legs but I'm scared that if I keep riding my bike either outside or at the gym, my legs will just keep getting more muscular instead of slimming down.
What are the best exercises to burn off the fat on my legs, but not build up too much muscle? I know it takes a long time for women to build up huge muscles but I really don't want big legs, I think that would be as upsetting as having fat legs for me & considering my calves are already too muscly for my liking, you can kind of understand why I'm worried..
Any help would be awesome & greatly appreciated! :)


I have the same problem, I hate my calves. And I'm short, with short legs so they make me look even more squatty. Once in high school a football player even told me he wished he had my calves. That's not good. I had the same concern as you, and even though I DO think my calves are pretty muscular, when I am out of shape, there is more fat there than I realize. I lost 50 pounds last year (not in one year, but lost my 50th pound last year) and I noticed in pictures my legs were much slimmer looking. So I toned the muscle I did have, and burned off extra fat. I wouldn't worry if I were you, I've been assured by many many people that it's hard for women to bulk up, so your legs won't get too muscley.
  58501
July 30, 2011 9:42 AM
I hear this all the time from friends/girlfriends etc..

The truth is, women do not produce enough testosterone to pack on tons of muscle without years of excessive training.

Calves are very genetic, I have large ones also but I'm proud of them since most guys have chicken legs.

Riding a bike will not make your calves bigger and not riding the bike will not make your calves smaller. The point that you would need to get to, to achieve muscular atrophy in your legs would be completely unhealthy.

Be proud! Or squat at the gym a little more often to help proportions on the legs.
July 30, 2011 9:54 AM
Although I already have thin legs, running helped to lean them out a lot. There's definitely muscle tone, but they seemed to be more shapely rather than "bulky."
July 30, 2011 9:55 AM
One thing I should have added, my mum & dad both have very muscular calves, my mum especially. Neither of them are exactly healthy, both over weight but they both have muscular legs. So I have a feeling it might just be in my genes for my legs to do as they please & bulk up more than I'd like them to, sadly. :/
I wish I could be proud to have musclier legs rather than skinny but I can't. I don't know why but I feel really ashamed of them, they make me feel really masculine & considering I've been told by a lot of people for most of my teens i'm a man [I'm really tall & used to be quite chunky] it's just really depressing.. Hopefully I get used to it, that they do slim down when I drop these 30 pounds. God knows. Can only hope, really.
  5420120
July 30, 2011 9:57 AM
QUOTE:

Lack of exercise. Which is lack of muscle.


I agree!! No workout and starvation will give you skinny - but not muscular - legs.. Who'd want to look like that?
  6010565
July 30, 2011 10:03 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Lack of exercise. Which is lack of muscle.


I agree!! No workout and starvation will give you skinny - but not muscular - legs.. Who'd want to look like that?

I was going to ignore the first comment but really? I didn't ask for this. All I asked for was what exercises will slim my legs down but won't bulk them up. I'm pretty sure a lot of women feel the same way.
Yes, I want skinny legs. But that's my personal choice. That's what I find attractive. I get that maybe you prefer the musclier look, that's totally up to you, your personal choice but I don't like that. I don't want chunky, muscley legs. I want thin, slightly toned legs. Having slim legs & having anorexic legs is totally different. If I wanted to have anorexic legs, I would not be here looking for help.
I'm sorry if that was slightly rude but I came here for help, not for people to leave snarky responses.
  5420120
July 30, 2011 10:04 AM
I have huge calf muscles as well. I inherited it from both my parents and no matter what I do or eat they're there taunting me. When I was around 10 or so my uncle even told me to my face that I wouldn't look too bad if it weren't for my calves (coincidentally, I think this is the time I started being self conscious about my legs).

At the moment I'm trying some pilates excercises with the hope of at least toning my lower legs. I just started a week and a half ago though, so I don't know if the excercises are working.
  9674638
July 30, 2011 10:05 AM
muscular legs are great!!!!!
  2637948
July 30, 2011 10:06 AM
QUOTE:

I have huge calf muscles as well. I inherited it from both my parents and no matter what I do or eat they're there taunting me. When I was around 10 or so my uncle even told me to my face that I wouldn't look too bad if it weren't for my calves (coincidentally, I think this is the time I started being self conscious about my legs).

At the moment I'm trying some pilates excercises with the hope of at least toning my lower legs. I just started a week and a half ago though, so I don't know if the excercises are working.

That sucks so much of him to say that! I know the feeling though. I started feeling self conscious about my appearance when my first ever crush called me a man because I was taller than him. So unfair for people to say that kind of stuff.
I hope you get the legs you're hoping for, pilates seems the way to go! :)
  5420120
July 30, 2011 10:13 AM
QUOTE:

Exercise that is low resistance and longer time (or amounts if you are lifting) tend to longate the muscles. Exercise that provides more resistance and you do for a shorter period of time lead to bulkier muscles. However, you have to remember that you body does have a tendancy to do certain things just because of the way you are built - for me, my muscles bulk no matter what I do.


This isn't true at all and also, there is no way to elongate your muscles. Your muscles will always stay the same shape, it's what you do with the fat around and on top of the muscles that will make them look more defined. And as another poster pointed out, you won't get bulky from lifting heavier weight.
July 30, 2011 10:14 AM
i think its psychological, and maybe you should concentrate on embracing what you have. You dont look manly. Not even close. You look very beautiful, and please dont let something some mean guy said to you, affect how you view your body.
If all your family have strong legs, then maybe thats just what youre going to have, and its a good thing, and nothing to be ashamed of or hide. x
July 30, 2011 10:14 AM
I have the same problem - im 5'2 and have short legs anyway but my calves are big and muscular, despite a lot of running. The running lengthened out my thighs and they now look leaner but my calves are heavy so i don't wear skirts much. My physio said the best thing to get long lean muscles is to do yoga and pilates - although at my height im not sure long and lean is ever going to be achievable laugh
  71771
July 30, 2011 10:16 AM
Ignore the snarky comments girlie -- people like that are brats.

Chin up!
July 30, 2011 10:20 AM
In my opinion a lot of it is genetics, my legs have gotten a lot thinner (like 6 inches off each thigh) but I will never be supermodel thin with thighs that don't touch.

I agree do yoga to lenthen the muscles but do continue to bike, or run or whatever to build muscle. You can't fight your body's natural disposition so you might just have to embrace your body the way it is and make it the best it can be.
  1153805
July 30, 2011 10:23 AM
Focus on upper body cardio, hand pedaling, light kettle bell work....and essentially use leg muscles as little as possible....doing this while losing weight should decrease them in size somewhat, but will probably be very difficult...most people don't want to induce muscle atrophy....that being said I really dig muscular calves....
July 30, 2011 3:08 PM
I have very muscular legs. They look just like my dad's. the best thing I can do is keep them fat free ( something I am working on). The fat gets in the muscle and makes them bigger. Walking, running, yoga, pilates are all good things. But mostly try to reduce your body fat overall, you will be amazed how great they look.

Be patient... it takes at least 3 months to really see changes.

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