6 Ways to Prevent Cankles

Cursed With Cankles?

Cankles is a derogatory slang term used to describe women who lack visual definition between the calf muscles and the ankle. Cankles give the lower leg a thick, tree-trunk like appearance many find unattractive. Cankles are often wrongly associated with obesity, laziness and aging, but many people are simply born with thick ankles. One glance at the news cycle proves nobody is immune to cankles. Celebrity beauties like Kim Kardashian, Kirstie Alley and Dame Helen Mirren have been pilloried by the press for daring to show their cankles. During the 2016 Presidential election, social media often maligned Hillary Clinton for wearing pantsuits to conceal a nasty case of cankles.

Cankles might feel like a curse but they are not uncommon. Genetics, weight gain, fluid retention and sedentary lifestyles are contributing factors. Often a combination of causes is at play. Understanding the root sources of cankles is a critical first step in designing a program to prevent or target existing cankles. While a genetic predisposition to cankles can’t be altered, targeted exercises, lifestyle changes and a maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent or minimize the tree-trunk like appearance associated with cankles. As with any lifestyle change, consult your health care provider before embarking on a cankles management program.

Strengthening and lengthening the lower leg muscles can help minimize the appearance of cankles. Effective lower leg conditioning can take place at home or in the gym. Regular exercises such as Weighted Calf Raises, Stair Calf Raises, Seated Calf Raises, Lunge Calf Raises and Jump Rope can be particularly effective ways to help prevent or manage cankles. Read on to learn how to perform these simple exercises.

1. Weighted Calf Raises

Equipment: two equally weighted dumbbells, a one inch board slightly wider than your shoulders, two heavy books of equal thickness, or two weight plates of equal height.
Choose a weight light enough to handle but heavy enough to feel challenging with ten repetitions.
Grip dumbbells at your sides or hold a barbell just in front of you.
Place balls of your feet on the elevated surface, feet about shoulder width apart.
Lower your heels to the floor.
Raise your heels and contract your calves. Exhale
Hold contraction for two seconds.
Inhale and descend to starting position. Repeat ten times.