Which Is Better to Reduce Calf Muscles: The Treadmill or Bike?

by Lindsay Haskell, Demand Media
    Treadmills and bikes both give you cardio workouts and work your calves.

    Treadmills and bikes both give you cardio workouts and work your calves.

    Large, bulky calves can result from a buildup of fat on the muscles, muscle tightness and outward muscle building versus lean muscle building. Using a treadmill to walk and run and a bicycle or stationary bike to cycle are both effective for losing fat and building tight, lean calf muscles. But running on a treadmill will slim your calves faster than exercising on a bicycle or stationary bike. If you don't stretch after working out, your calf muscles can become big and bulky over time, so it's important to stretch every day or at least after each workout. Consult with your doctor or physician before starting a new exercise regimen.

    Cycling to Slim the Calves

    Slimming down any part of your body means burning more calories than you consume. A fast way to burn calories and lose fat is through high-intensity interval training. High-intensity interval training is cardio exercise that includes short bursts of doing the same exercise at a very high speed. It makes you burn more calories faster and it boosts your metabolism more than a regular cardio workout. Use a bicycle or stationary bike at the gym to do high-intensity interval training for at least 45 minutes to slim your calves. A benefit to using a bike instead of a treadmill for cardio and high-intensity interval training is that running puts a lot of stress and impact on your knee and ankle joints. Do high-intensity interval training up to five times a week.

    Walking and Running to Slim the Calves

    On a treadmill, you use your own body weight as resistance for your leg muscles. While sprinting builds the calves, endurance running -- or running long distances at a slower pace -- does not. Walking also works the calves in a way that will not build them into bulky muscles. When running, use high intensity interval training for at least 45 minutes to burn more fat and slim your calves faster. Every five or 10 minutes, increase the speed on the treadmill so you run at your exertion level of 7 to 8 on a scale of 0 to 10, for 30 seconds to three minutes. The shorter your intensity interval, the faster your speed and higher your intensity should be.

    Which One Slims Calves Faster?

    According to BodyBuilding.com, losing fat means burning more calories than you consume. Running on a treadmill will burn more calories than exercising on a bicycle or stationary bike, which means it'll slim your calves faster. Running at about 6 miles per hour on a treadmill, you'll burn almost twice as many calories as you would if you were cycling at 6 miles per hour for the same amount of time.

    Avoid Building Bulky Calves

    The types of exercises you do affect the way your calf muscles build. To prevent them from building into large, bulky muscles, avoid the step machine and any other climbing equipment. Resistance exercises that target your calves will increase the size of your calf muscles, but will also help you lose fat. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water every day to promote muscle health and recovery. Forgetting to stretch your calf muscles after working out can leave them tight and swollen. Stretch your calves after every workout, whether you targeted them or not, holding your stretches for at least 30 seconds. To lose fat and keep it off, work out to burn more calories than you consume.

    About the Author

    Lindsay Haskell enjoys writing about fitness, health, culture and fashion. She is a contributor for "Let's Talk Magazine" and "The Wellesley News." Haskell is completing her B.A. in philosophy at Wellesley College. She's also a fiction writer whose work can be read online.

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