What Are Cankles And Tips on How to Get Rid of Them

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Cankles are a condition where the ankles appear swollen or lack definition due to excess fat or fluid retention. To get rid of cankles, losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise is crucial.

Incorporating exercises that target the calf muscles and ankles, such as calf raises and squats, can help tone and strengthen the area. Additionally, reducing sodium intake and elevating the feet when possible can help alleviate fluid retention and reduce swelling in the ankles.

What Are Cankles?

Cankles, a portmanteau of the words “calf” and “ankle,” refer to a condition where the calf and ankle appear to merge without a distinct separation. In other words, the ankles appear thicker and lack the definition that is typically seen in individuals with slimmer lower legs. Cankles can affect both men and women, regardless of their body weight or overall size. Understanding the causes of cankles is essential in determining the appropriate course of action to address and alleviate this condition.

Definition Of Cankles

Medically, cankles are defined as the lack of distinction between the calf and ankle due to an excessive accumulation of subcutaneous fat or fluid retention. It is important to note that cankles are not a medical term and are more commonly used in informal settings to describe the appearance of thicker lower legs. While cankles are not considered a medical concern, they can cause self-consciousness and discomfort for individuals who have them.

Causes Of Cankles

  • Excess Weight: One of the primary causes of cankles is being overweight or obese. The presence of excess body fat can lead to an accumulation of fat around the ankles, resulting in the appearance of cankles.
  • Fluid Retention: Cankles can also be caused by fluid retention, which is often a result of underlying health conditions or situational factors such as medication use, warm weather, or prolonged periods of standing or sitting. Fluid buildup can cause swelling around the ankles, creating a cankle-like appearance.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to storing excess fat around the ankles and calves. Even those who are otherwise slim and have low body fat may find it difficult to tone their calves and ankles due to genetic factors.

Understanding the causes of cankles is the first step in determining an appropriate approach to address this condition. Whether it is through lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or following a healthy diet, or targeted exercises to tone the muscles in the legs, there are various strategies available to help individuals reduce the appearance of cankles and improve their overall leg shape.

What Are Cankles And Tips on How to Get Rid of Them

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Tips On How To Get Rid Of Cankles

Get rid of cankles by losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise routine. Focus on reducing sodium intake, cutting back on saturated fats, and performing exercises like calf raises and lunges to tone the muscles in your legs.

Lose Weight

If you are overweight, losing weight is the first step towards getting rid of cankles. Extra pounds can contribute to fat accumulation around the ankles, making them appear swollen. By shedding those excess pounds, you can reduce the fat in your ankle area, leading to slimmer and more defined ankles.

Healthy Dieting With Less Salt

Watch your diet and reduce your salt intake. A high-sodium diet can cause water retention, leading to swelling in the ankles, including cankles. Opt for a healthy and balanced diet that is low in sodium. Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Cutting back on processed foods and fast food can also help reduce overall salt intake, leading to a decrease in ankle swelling.

Exercising To Reduce Fat In The Ankles

Regular exercise is essential to target and reduce fat in the ankle area. Incorporate exercises that specifically target the calf and ankle muscles into your fitness routine. Simple exercises like calf raises and ankle circles can help tone and strengthen the muscles, giving your ankles a more defined appearance. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking or cycling, to burn overall body fat, including fat in the ankle region.

Cankle Fat Removal

For more severe cases of cankles, where exercise and dieting are not effective, you may consider cankle fat removal procedures. Consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to explore options such as liposuction or non-invasive treatments that can help eliminate excess fat and contour your ankle area. These procedures can provide longer-lasting results for individuals struggling with stubborn cankles.

Other Remedies And Considerations

While exercise and lifestyle changes are often the most effective ways to get rid of cankles, there are other remedies and considerations that you can try. These methods can help complement your efforts and provide additional relief.


Massaging the ankles can help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling. You can use your hands or a massage tool to gently rub the area in circular motions. Start at the feet and move upward towards the calves. You can also use essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint, to enhance the massage experience and promote relaxation.


Elevating your legs can help reduce fluid retention and relieve swelling in the ankles. Prop your legs up on a stack of pillows or use a recliner to raise your feet above the level of your heart. Aim to elevate your legs for at least 10-15 minutes several times a day to reap the benefits.

Contacting A Doctor

If your cankles persist despite your efforts to get rid of them, it may be advisable to consult a doctor. They can evaluate your condition and determine if there are any underlying medical issues contributing to the swelling. They may also recommend additional treatment options, such as medication or physical therapy, to help alleviate the problem.

Remember, it’s important to approach cankles from a holistic perspective. Combining exercise, lifestyle changes, and other remedies can contribute to more successful results. However, if you have any concerns or doubts, always reach out to a healthcare professional for further guidance.

What Are Cankles And Tips on How to Get Rid of Them

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What Are Cankles And Tips on How to Get Rid of Them

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Frequently Asked Questions Of What Are Cankles And Tips On How To Get Rid Of Them

How Do I Get Rid Of Cankles?

To get rid of cankles, try the following tips: 1. Lose weight if you are overweight. 2. Follow a healthy diet with less salt. 3. Exercise to reduce fat in the ankles. 4. Consider cankle fat removal procedures. 5. Perform leg exercises like calf raises and lunges.

These lifestyle changes can help reduce cankles and improve the appearance of your ankles.

What Are Cankles Caused By?

Cankles are caused by excess fat around the ankles due to being overweight or obese. They can also be caused by fluid retention from underlying health conditions, medication use, warm weather, or prolonged sitting or standing. To get rid of cankles, you can try losing weight, following a healthy diet low in salt, exercising to reduce fat in the ankles, or considering cankle fat removal procedures.

Can You Correct Cankles?

Yes, cankles can be corrected through various methods such as losing weight, maintaining a healthy diet with less salt, exercising to reduce fat in the ankles, and in some cases, through surgical procedures like liposuction. AirSculpt® CankCüre™ is a minimally invasive option with precision, less downtime, reduced risk, and skin tightening.

Why Are My Ankles Fat But I’m Skinny?

Cankles can occur even in skinny individuals due to genetics. Some people are prone to storing fat in their ankles and calves, making it difficult to tone them on their own. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce ankle fat and improve muscle tone.


Getting rid of cankles involves a combination of lifestyle changes and targeted exercises. Losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise is crucial. It’s also important to reduce sodium intake and avoid tight-fitting footwear. Engaging in exercises that strengthen the calf and ankle muscles, such as calf raises and squats, can help improve the appearance of cankles.

Remember, consistency is key when working towards your goal of slimming down your ankles.

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