How to Get Rid of Cankles – Diet, Exercises, and Tips

Crankles are referred to as the unfortunate health condition of ankles and calf, which denotes the swollen or fat ankles. It has an unattractive appearance with extra flesh on the calves. The cankles usually appear thick and short.

The word cankles gained popularity after the character of John Alexander’s used in Shallow Hal. He used this word to call out women with obesity for her lower legs. After that, many people started to notice this condition in real life. This condition lowers your confidence in wearing short dresses.

Causes of Cankles

Genetic Predisposition

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Many females who get cankles are genetically influenced by this kind of lower leg, which if your parent has it. This condition will come to you also.  It may occur by structural absence or obesity of well-defined and even muscles of calf if you are fit.

This condition can be treated with surgery. Many women go through ankle liposuction. It is a one-hour surgery for outpatient famously known for reducing ankle circumference.

You cannot have spot reduction, but the idea is still considered, even after exercise medical and the physiologist community has proven that it cannot be accomplished. If you are inspired to these body types, grip the body you have and focus on wellness, nutrition, and stick with a workout regime, which is fun and increase your confidence.

Fluid Retention

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Fluid accumulation in the ankle usually occurs from high sodium consumption, which is a clear reflection of your dietary habits. If you see that your ankles have begun to swell or sense water retention, take your physician help or certified dietitian help. Remember that 80% of entire wellness based on your eating, not physical activity.

You can create a structural wellness strategy with a registered personal trainer. But you cannot do the spot reduction exercise for the equation. Running, walking, hiking, or choosing stairs in place of the elevator will contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.


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Pregnancy is another reason for cankles because of swelling in ankles due to poor blood circulation. This condition can be prevented by avoiding processed, fast foods, and high sodium foods. Doing regular workout helps to promote circulation and prevent fluid retention.


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Anti-depressants, contraceptive pills, and blood pressure medicines pills also trigger ankle swelling and cankles.

In some cases, cankles can be a symptom of kidney and heart failure. Swollen ankles and increased water retention in the body can be a sign of a serious problem such as liver, heart, kidney failure, or blood clots. 

Exercises for Cankles

Calf Raises

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Calf raises are a technique of workout that tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles of the lower leg. The movement is done plantar flexion (ankle extension).

How to Do?

  • Begin by standing over the edge of a step or a step-aerobics platform.
  • Stand straight using your abdomen pulled in, and balls of feet strongly kept on the step while your heels hang in the air.
  • Let your hands rest over a wall or any solid object for support.
  • Lift your heels somewhat and stand over your toes.

Repetitions-10, Sets-3

Plie Squats

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Pile squats are best and gentle for muscular limbs dancing without stepping foot in the ballet class. It is elegant than the typical squat with a wide second pose is comes from a ballet workout and hammer those difficult to reach inner thigh muscles while alternatively defining to whole leg musculature.

How to Do?

  • Stand with your feet more extensive than shoulder-width separated.
  • Rest your arms along the edge and point your toes out, making an angle. Your knees and toes should point a similar way.
  • Squat in this situation until your thighs are level to the ground.
  • While bringing down your body, raise your arms over your head.
  • Delay and come back to your underlying position.

Repetitions – 10-15, Sets – 3


Standing Toe Raises

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The standing toe raises is another workout for preventing cankles.

How to Do?

  • Stand by putting your feet at hip-width distance.
  • Lift the balls of feet until you feel the stretch from the balls of feet reach to your butt.
  • Go back to the start position and do it again.

Repetitions – 15

Sets – 3


Seated Calf Raises

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The seated calf raise is an alteration of the machine calf raise and a workout used to separate the calves’ muscles. The calves can be a firm muscle group for most people, so it is important to experiment with many different angles when doing calf raises. You may also try training your calves with a high exercise frequency. The seated calf raise can be combined into complete body exercise and leg exercise.

How to Do?

  • Sit on a firm chair with support and comfort.
  • Take a phonebook or any rectangular object 12-14 inches in front of the chair.
  • It is to avoid contact with the floor when you take them down.
  • Put your feet level at hip distance.
  • Keep the balls of feet on the phone book or rectangular object.
  • Put the dumbbell 2inches over the knee cap.
  • Press down and raise heels. Hold for some time and go back to the starting position.

Repetitions – 10-15, Sets – 3

Lunge Calf Raise

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How to Do?

  • Keep your legs front and flex it without bending forward.
  • Move the other leg behind and extend it light into a calf raise.
  • Rest briefly and go back to the standing pose.
  • Repeat the same with your opposite leg.
  • Repetitions -15, Sets – 3


Jumping Rope

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Jumping rope is the best calorie burner exercise. You will burn more calories in jumping rope than the 8-mile running exercise.

How to Do?

  • Take the position of a jumping rope and measure it according to your height. Hold the jumping rope handles up near your armpits.
  • Grip the handles loosely using your fingers for high speed.
  • Hold the rope in the front direction and take them behind.
  • Turn the rope on your head and catch it under toes before skipping on it.
  • Practice well for good timing and right movements as you do jumps.

Duration: 5-10 minutes


Tips to Get Rid of Cankles

Here are some tips to cankle health conditions.

Weight Loss

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If you notice overnight, you have become overweight or obese, then the best way to reduce obesity is to lose weight. When you get slim, you cannot choose where the weight loss happens. If you stick to a controlled calorie diet and regular exercise program, you will be able to reduce the cankles size.

If you started a weight loss program, remember to do it slowly with moderate goals. A quick fix or crash diet may not give the long-term result and end up occurring again.

Healthy Diet

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Sometimes cankles are happened due to diet linked swelling. For example, if you consume a diet with huge sodium, you may have retained water in the entire body. You may see it more in your ankle area. There are some natural herbs such as parsley, which benefits to lower water weight. It is also necessary to avoid processed foods and salty foods.

Make another smart diet change is to limit your starchy carb. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. If you consume a diet with more starchy, sugary foods, you may retain extra water. Balancing micronutrients such as healthy fat, proteins, and carbohydrate with rich nutrients might help legs to get slimmer from water weight loss.

Medical Treatments

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A few specialists can assist you with influencing of cankles if the area is broadened due to fat instead of expanding. Certain liposuction medicines can help to add definition to the region so, the lower leg muscle is increasingly observable, and the lower leg region looks slimmer. Be that as it may, these clinical medicines can be costly, and like every clinical method, they carry some hazard.

Weight Loss Tips

For some people, weight loss is effective for slimming the legs. If you are not ready or cannot afford an exercise program and a comprehensive diet, there are tips to follow to reduce thick ankles.

Walk More

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Get a pedometer or activity tracker and increase your step count. Walking is the best workout for everyone and good for people suffering from cankles. Walking improves blood circulation in the legs and strengthens calf muscles. When the calves become larger and stronger, the ankles appear smaller.

Add More Vegetables in Your Diet

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If you prefer more nonvegetarian foods, then cut that portion and increase the green vegetables. Meat contains more calories than vegetables. Additionally, vegetables provide high fiber and make you eat less food in between meals. Eating more vegetables reduce salt consumption because meat products contain extra salts.

Eating vegetables every day provide many advantages to overall health and support your diet plans. It improves blood circulation in the body and prevents the chance of risky diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer. Consuming vegetables also keep your mental health active and regulate a healthy sleep cycle.

Skip Saturated Fat Foods

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Foods with high saturated fat contain more calories. Fat contains nine calories in every gram. Protein and carbohydrates only add four calories every gram. Therefore, if you reduce the consumption of butter, cheese, and fatty meats in your diet, you will reduce the calories and get slim.

Check with A Specialist

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If you see your cankles condition is not going, then make an appointment with your health specialist. Check with your regular doctor thinks that your cankles condition is linked with blood flow problems like venous insufficiency, which is a vein condition that impacts the blood and other fluid to build-up near the foot and ankle, then you need to consult a vascular surgeon.

If you are suspected of hormonal imbalance like reduced insulin levels, which is a symptom of diabetes, then you will be referred to an endocrinologist. Getting diagnosed with a heart problem, you need to consult a cardiologist for appropriate treatments.

Vascular ultrasound is a procedure without pain that allows a physician to analyse the veins and arteries functions in your lower leg.

Podiatrists are the specialist of the foot, who are also help to diagnose the ankle health condition.

Get A Correct Diagnosis and Know the Cause

Make sure to know the exact condition of your cankle condition. Ask more questions and tell your doctor to explain the cause.  If you come to know there is no health problem and your cankles are normal and occurred by body type or genetics, then accept it and do not be concerned about it.

Body shapes generally change with their limits.

Bone structure and muscle fiber types are genetically characterized. Therefore, losing weight and doing exercise for leg muscles benefit the cankles.

Consider Using Blood Thinners

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Blood thinner also benefits to treat the cankles condition, but it should be taken under health expert suggestion. Peripheral arterial disease cause to accumulate the fluid around the ankles and narrow down the arteries and blood carrying veins, which called atherosclerosis diseases. Improper blood flow cause to limit the oxygen and nutrients to foot tissues and ankles and damage them.

Gradually, this condition increases the inflammation in the ankles. Considering blood thinner helps to prevent accumulation in arteries and increase blood flow and manage blood pressure.

Try Wearing Compression Stockings

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Compression stockings are found online or at medical stores. If you are diagnosed with vascular disease, you will get compression stockings to provide good support to your blood vessels and muscles, which lower the swelling and edema and boost better circulation.

Keeping your feet up while watching TV, resting, or sitting at the work desk will help blood movement in your legs because of reducing the gravity effect. Laying down is a more reliable option.

Try soaking your ankles and feet in warm water, including Epsom salt to decrease swelling and pain.

Avoid Consuming Extreme Alcohol

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Extreme alcohol consumption can injure the liver and pancreas because of ethanol toxicity. A damaged liver cannot function properly for producing enzymes and amino acids, which result in edema (water retention) in your body. Alcohol contains high sugary calories, especially when mixed with soda pop and does not contain any other nutrients, which contribute to weight gain. Beer also contains high sodium.

You can consume red wine, which benefits to blood vessels.

Avoid consuming pretzels and peanuts served in bars because they consist of high salt.

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