Which Is Better To Reduce Calf Muscles: The Treadmill Or Bike?
Fatiguing your calves as slowly as possible is key.
Walking, running and cycling are all cardio workouts that can help you slim down your calves by shedding excess fat. However, they all use your calves, so none of these exercises actually reduces the size of your calf muscles. To keep your muscles long and lean, design your workouts to fatigue your calves as slowly as possible. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
To actually reduce the size of your calf muscles, you would need to avoid using them and allow them to atrophy. This would mean losing lean body mass, weakening your legs and slowing your metabolism, which would probably not support your health and fitness goals. However, you can improve the strength and function of your calves without adding bulk. Try exercising them for long periods of time with little resistance against the movements, so you don't exhaust the muscle fibres. This builds muscular endurance without triggering an increase in muscle mass.
Walking and running are weight-bearing activities, meaning your muscles and joints must carry your body weight while you perform the exercise. This automatically increases the resistance on your calves when you use the treadmill. However, walking and running use your calf muscles in different ways. According to Dr Gregory Sawicki of North Carolina State University, a brisk walk exhausts your calves much more quickly than a jog or a run. If you are fit enough to jog or run safely, you should be able to do so without adding much mass to your calves.
If you are new to exercise and don't have the stamina yet for high-intensity cardio workouts, you can build your strength and endurance by walking briskly on the treadmill. Although a brisk walk works your calf muscles quite hard, a 2007 study at Tel Aviv University found that people tend to exhaust their respiratory system before their calf muscles when they walk quickly on the treadmill. If you have enough endurance to fatigue your calves before you run out of breath, try introducing running into your workouts to relieve your calf muscles.
Unlike using a treadmill, biking is not a weight-bearing exercise. If you set the resistance low enough on a stationary bike or choose sufficiently flat ground for an outdoor cycling workout, you can avoid using your calf muscles much at all. According to a 2011 study by the faculty of health and medical studies at Aichi Shukutoku University in Japan, cycling without resistance does not strengthen the calf muscles, even at high speeds. This suggests that biking might be less likely to increase the size of your calves than using a treadmill, if you deliberately avoid fatiguing your legs.