How to Get Rid of Cankles Tackling the 3 Major Causes of Cankles

It was only a year ago that I first heard the term "cankles" (unfortunately in reference to my own chubby legs) and now it seems that the question of how to get rid of them is everywhere.

I put this down to a real lack of good quality information out there. When I was trying to find a solution it seemed like no-one wanted to help me without seeing my cash first, and even then I felt like I'd wasted my money on something I could've figured out myself (do calf raises, no duh).

Well in the end I did manage to lose my cankles and although it took my own money and effort to get it done I honestly believe that others should be able to get the same results as me without having to spend so much money!

So, how to get rid of cankles then?

In my experience, cankles are caused by only a few things:

• Being overweight • A lack of muscle in the lower leg • Water retention

As with any problem, if you know what's causing it you can find out how to get rid of it. So let's take a look at how to get rid of cankles in more detail.

Being Overweight

Being overweight is the most common cause of cankles, but, unfortunately for us, there is no way to lose your cankles without losing weight over your entire body. When you think about it, it would be impossible to just lose weight on your lower legs and nowhere else - not to mention hilarious to see!

The good news is, there are a lot of great diet plans out there that aren't expensive and can give you great results. There are also plenty of places to go online to get free advice and support, just Google "weight loss + forum".

I talk about weight loss in far greater detail in my blog, which you can find the link to at the bottom of this article.

Lack of Muscle in the Lower Leg

While cankles are often associated with obesity, there are many people out there who suffer from them who are not overweight at all and it's even possible to have them if you're underweight.

This all comes down to a lack of definition of the calf muscle and can be cured through regular exercise, concentrating on building this area up.

Calf raises (or heel raises) are a great place to start as they are easy to do at home and don't require any extra equipment.

1. You simply place your toes on a step so that the heels of your feet are hanging over the edge, but you're not off-balance. 2. You then slowly lower your heels down 'til you can feel a slight stretch in the backs of your legs. 3. Then raise your heels up until you're standing on your tiptoes.

Repeat this until you start to "feel the burn", then do the same the next day, building up the number of repetitions as you go.

Be careful not to overdo it though, take at least one day off a week for your body to have chance to recover and build new muscle.

Other great exercises for the lower legs include; shin lifts; heel / toe walk; lunges; and squats. Just doing a simple search on YouTube can give great instructional videos on how to do the above exercises and there are often ones which show you how to do them at home i.e. using household items instead of gym equipment.

Water Retention

Water retention is very often a cause of cankles and occurs when the body does not drain away fluids properly and stores them in its tissues instead. There can be several contributing factors to water retention, some of which, when eliminated, can result in immediate relief from puffiness and swelling and, therefore, cankles!

These contributing factors include:

• Hormone fluctuations (eg. During the menstrual cycle or pregnancy) • High salt / Low protein diet • Effect of gravity during extended periods of inactivity (eg. During long-haul flights, hospital stays or when leading a sedentary lifestyle) • Certain medications

In rare cases, water retention can be a sign of more serious underlying issues. If you are worried about water retention consult a doctor for proper medical advice.

So now you know the causes, I bet you can figure out some of the treatments for water retention.

•Cut down on your salt intake - you'd be surprised how much salt is in everyday food such as bread, check the labels just to be sure •Make sure you're eating a balanced diet - some people see amazing results simply by consuming more fruit and vegetables, as they contain vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly •Try not to remain in the same seated / lying down position for extended periods of time - take a few minutes every so often to get up and have a walk around, or even just wiggle your toes and move your legs around a bit •Exercise regularly - low impact exercises (such as cycling, rowing or swimming) are great for water retention as they help your blood to circulate without putting undue stress on the muscles and joints. •Raise your feet - if you were looking for an excuse to put your feet up for 20 minutes or so each day, here it is! This helps the fluid gathered in your lower legs to be drained into the body and expelled - ahhh!

So there you have it.

If you can recognise the causes of your cankles and tackle each one methodically, you will be cankle-free in no time!

Michelle McKnight is an active blogger on how to get rid of cankles at

For more information on cankles, visit weekly for regularly updated advice and help -

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