The word “cankles” earned popularity after John Alexander’s character used it in Shallow Hal. He used this term to call out an obese woman for her lower legs. Since then, many started noticing this development in their real lives as well.
Cankles can look unattractive and affect your confidence while sporting short dresses. If you are on the lookout for some natural ways to try and get rid of cankles, you are on the right page. This article covers some amazing exercises and additional tips to tone your muscles and reduce the appearance of the monstrous cankles. Read on!
Table Of Contents
- What Are Cankles?
- What Causes Cankles?
- Exercises To Get Rid Of Cankles
- Simple Tips To Reduce Ankle Swelling
- Best Diet For Cankles
What Are Cankles?
The term “cankles” has surfaced from two words – “calf ” and “ankles.” Cankles is the term used to denote the fat and/or swollen ankles that merge unattractively with the flesh of the calves.
Cankles usually look short and are thick. The following are some of the possible causes of this development.
What Causes Cankles?
Cankles are believed to be caused by three major factors. They are:
- Genetics: Most women who have cankles usually have a close family member with the same problem. If any of your parents have thick or overly sized ankles, you may develop the condition too.
- Fluid Retention: Lifestyle choices like heavy intake of sodium can cause fluid retention in your body. This may lead to the development of cankles.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is another common factor that can cause cankles. This is usually due to reduced or poor circulation in the lower extremities of a pregnant woman.
In addition to these causes, a sedentary lifestyle or accumulated fat can also contribute to worsening the appearance of cankles. Therefore, you must try the following exercises to tone your muscles.
Exercises That Can Help To Get Rid Of Cankles
Exercises To Get Rid Of Cankles
1. Calf Raises
How To Do
- Start by standing on the edge of a step or a step-aerobics platform.
- Stand erect with your abdomen pulled in, and the balls of your feet firmly planted on the step while your heels hang in the air.
- Allow your hands to rest against a wall or any sturdy object for support.
- Raise your heels a little and stand on your toes.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower your heels.
2. Plie Squats
How To Do
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Rest your arms at the side and point your toes out, making an angle.
- Squat down in this position until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- While lowering your body, raise your arms above your head.
- Pause and return to your initial position.
3. Standing Toe Raises
How To Do
- Stand by keeping your feet hip-width apart.
- Raise the balls of your feet until you feel the stretch from the balls of your feet to the butt.
- Go back to your initial position and repeat.
4. Seated Calf Raises
How To Do
- Sit on a sturdy chair that supports you well and is comfortable.
- Keep a phonebook or any other rectangular object 12 to 14 inches in front of the chair.
- This is so that your heels don’t make contact with the floor when you lower them.
- Keep your feet flat and hip-width apart.
- Place the balls of your feet on the phone book/rectangular object.
- Place the dumbbell two inches above your knee cap.
- Press down and lift your heels. Hold for a few seconds.
- Go back to the initial position.
5. Lunge Calf Raise
How To Do
- Put one of your legs forward and bend it without leaning forward.
- Run the other leg backward and stretch it a bit into a calf raise.
- Pause briefly and go back to the standing position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
6. Jumping Rope
How To Do
- Get hold of a jumping rope and size it according to your height, i.e., the handles of the jumping rope should come up to your armpits.
- Grip the handles loosely with your fingers for greater speed.
- Hold the rope together in front of you and then take it behind.
- Turn the rope over your head and catch it under your toes before you skip over it.
- Practice timing and correct movement as you keep making jumps.
To make these exercises even more effective, you can follow the below tips and lifestyle changes that can help reduce the swelling in your ankles.
Simple Tips To Reduce Ankle Swelling
- Wear compression socks, but do not wear them to bed.
- Soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath every other day.
- Go swimming regularly.
- Practice yoga poses that require stretching.
- Keep a check on your weight.
Your diet choices also play a significant role when it comes to combating cankles. Listed below are some of the best diet tips that can help this condition.
Best Diet For Cankles
Those who have developed cankles must avoid certain foods and increase the intake of a few others.
What To Eat
- Whole grains like oats
- Diuretic foods like cucumber, cranberry, watermelon, celery, etc.
- Small quantities of lean meat
What Not To Eat
- High sodium foods like junk foods and canned (processed) foods
- Saturated fats like butter, cream, ghee, and cheese
Once you start following a healthy diet and lifestyle, remember that patience is key. You will see a noticeable difference in the appearance of cankles in no time.
However, if you are looking for faster results, talk to your health care provider and look for surgical options such as liposuction or calf augmentation (lift).
Hope you found this article useful. If you have any more doubts, feel free to get in touch with us in the comments section below.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
When to see the doctor for cankles?
If there is no difference in your cankles despite exercising regularly and following a healthy diet, it is best to visit a doctor to see what could be causing it. You can also consult a doctor if you are looking for surgical options to treat your condition.
What causes water retention in ankles?
Water retention in the ankles can be caused by various factors like a kidney/liver disease, obesity, standing or sitting for too long, pregnancy, or even varicose veins.
When should I undergo a surgery for cankles?
If diet and exercise have no effect on the appearance of your cankles, you can undergo surgery to get rid of them.
How long does it take to reduce cankles?
If you are following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you will start noticing a difference in the appearance of your cankles in a few weeks.
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