What Are Cankles and How To Get Rid Of Them?


What are cankles? Cankles are the thick lower area of the leg where the calf and ankle meet. Cankle is a slang word made by combining ankle and calf. People who have thick or fat ankles are said to have cankles. 

What Are Cankles and Why Do I Have Them?

So how to identify if you have cankles? Mostly the ankle is thinner than the calf; however, some people’s legs have cankles where the ankle and calf are of the same size. The ankle, in such cases, looks fatter than normal.

It is normal to have cankles sometimes if they are hereditary. However, sudden cankles might be an indication of medical issues. 

Sometimes painless cankles can be a result of hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or when you are overweight. Sometimes it can also happen by sitting in an airplane or car for a long period. 

However, selling in ankles can be an indication of a problem in some cases when it is caused due to blood clots, kidney failure, heart failure, or liver failure. 

You can talk to your physician about swelling in the ankles if you are concerned. 

How to Get Rid of Cankles?

If you do not have any medical condition affecting causing cankles, then there are other ways you can try to get rid of the fatty appearance. 

Weight Loss

If you are obese or overweight, the best way to slim down cankles is to lose weight. Stick to a calorie-control diet and be consistent with exercise programs to see smaller cankles. 

If you start your weight loss program, start with reasonable goals initially. A crash diet is a quick fix for instant results; however, it backfires in the long term.

Healthy Diet

Cankles are sometimes also caused by diet-related swelling. For instance, if you are on a high-sodium diet, your body will retain more water. You can include some natural herbs to reduce water weight, eat less processed foods and put away salt shakers to minimize sodium. 

Another smart diet plan is to keep a check on carb intake. Carbs are essential for a healthy diet; however, high starch sugar content retains more water in the body. To lose water weight, balance micronutrients and include healthy fat, protein, and nutrient-rich carbs.

Medical Treatments

Doctors can also help to get rid of cankles if it is due to fat and not swelling. There are liposuction treatments to add definition so that calf muscle is more noticeable and the ankle appears slimmer. 

However, the medical treatments are expensive and also carry associated risks like any other medical treatment. 

Read More- Pair these healthy life choices with your workout routine

Weight Loss Tips

For many people, weight loss is an effective way to get rid of cankles. However, if you don’t have enough time to invest in a comprehensive diet and exercise, then you can follow these weight loss tips to banish thick ankles.

Walk More

Get a pedometer or tracker to boost step counts. Walking is great for people with cankles. It improves blood circulation and builds calf muscles. When calves get big and tight, ankles appear smaller.

Eat More Vegetables

During mealtime, divide your portion in half and increase the veggies. This way, you are cutting down on calories, reducing salt intake, and increasing fiber to make you feel full for a long time, so you eat less in after-meal hours. 

Reduce Foods With Saturated Fat

High-fat foods are also high in calories. Fat contains nine calories per gram, while proteins and carbs contain four calories per gram. Therefore, limiting the butter, cheese, and fatty meats in your diet can cut down the calories and slim your legs.

Foods that are high in saturated fats are also high in salt content. Your cankles will start looking better in a matter of a few weeks after reducing the fat and salt in your diet. 

Exercises to Reduce Cankles

Even if you are not making any changes in your diet, you can do some simple exercises to increase blood circulation throughout the day and keep your muscles and ankles in shape.

The great thing is you do not need sweaty gym exercises to make your cankles slim. You can do these workouts while cooking, doing laundry, etc. 

Calf Raises

Stand and lift your heels off the ground so that you stand on the balls of your feet. Hold the chair or countertop to balance if required. 

Do 7-10 repetitions every day. To improve your fitness level, you must try this exercise without any support.


 You can shape your legs at home by doing a complete barre workout or plies. 

To do plies at home, start by standing and placing your heels together. Now rotate your toes to each side, and they should resemble a V shape when you look down. 

Slightly bend your knees and return to starting position. You have to repeat this exercise upto ten times.

Staircase Toe Raises

Stand on a chair and let the heels hang. Hold the banister for support, lift and lower your heels. You need to repeat this exercise for 7-10 rounds. 

Do you have more time to spare? If you can, take part in vigorous exercise like cardiovascular workouts to shape the lower legs. Activities that keep your muscles engaged will be highly beneficial. Climbing stairs, jumping rope, squats and jogging are great exercises. 

Read More- 4 Ways to Effectively Control Varicose Veins

Wardrobe Tricks to Reduce the Appearance of Cankles

If you eat right and exercise to get rid of cankles but do not get good results, you can hide them by making the right fashion choices. 

High heels with pointed toes make the legs appear slender and longer. Avoid wearing shoes with ankle straps if you do not wish to draw attention to that particular area. Instead, you want to draw attention away, so focus on shoulders, arms, and other parts of your body that make you feel sophisticated and elegant.