Lower leg fat or fat calves as some people call them can be embarrassing when trying to wear shorts or skirts. They can also draw unwanted attention at the swimming pool or beach. You may just want a little bit more definition and toned lower and upper legs or you may be on the verge of having cankles (where your lower legs have accumulated as much fat that your lower calves and ankles appear as one). Either way here are some specific actions you can take to reduce lower leg fat.
- Calf Raises: Start doing calf raises. You can do these at home and even knock them out at work. Do a set of as many reps as possible at least once an hour. Set your watch or clock to remind you to do 1 set of calf raises per hour. Do this for a month and you are bound to get better looking lower legs because your calf muscles will grow stronger and more toned.
- Pick Up Your Fat Loss a Notch by Incorporating Cardio: Any cardio that gets your heart rate up increases caloric expenditure. This doesn’t mean you have to run marathon mileage. Actually high-intensity interval types of cardio seem to increase fat loss more than long distance low-intensity cardio. For example, take a look at the body composition of Olympic 100-meter to 800-meter sprinters compared toOlympicc marathoners. Sure they both are likely to have fairly low body fat percentage, but which one looks better? The sprinters because high intensity interval types of cardio (like sprinting) not only speed up fat burning but also prevent the muscle break down that distance cardio like marathoners experience.
Muscle gives shape and form to our figures and also makes fat less noticeable by creating a more firm appearance.
The next step now that we know we need interval types of cardio is to do cardio exercises that put an emphasis on the legs. We already mentioned sprinting but there are more. Jump roping, in particular, will really work your calves well and biking is another form of cardio that targets your legs. Although typically biking targets more of your upper legs. Remember with all three (you can rotate from workout to workout.)
Your goal is to hit is as hard as you can for 30 seconds to 2 minutes then take a rest of 30 seconds to 90 seconds and knock out another intense set rest and repeat. Do as many sets as you can without overdoing it. Keep track of how many you can do and attempt to either do one more set next time or increase the time or intensity of your sets next time. Aim for small incremental but continuos improvement. Do your intense cardio at least 3 times per week. Feel free to do more, but if it seems easy for you, it’s best to increase the intensity and keep this frequency to 3 times per week (Hint: the first week or two of doing this you may be very sore. Try to maintain 3 times per week, though just rotate forms of cardio as needed. For example, if your calves are pent from jump roping then on your next cardio day try biking to give your calves a bit of a rest.)
- Do this workout for a month – You will notice sexier calves in under 1 month but wait at least that long before you decide if it is or isn’t working
- On month 2 we will pick it up a notch. Only do this after sticking with the above plan for a month in a row because you want to start a good habit and build on that foundation to further your localized fat loss.