Cankles is an unpleasant name that refers to ankles that are fat where the ankle seems to merge directly into the calves. Many women struggle to slim down the legs and ankles when the weather warms up and they will be more likely to wear flip flops or sandals. Understanding what can cause your ankles to seem so fat will help you find a more effective way to slim them down, besides the common ways of exercises and diet changes.

How to Get Rid of Cankles



Genetics can play a part in the likelihood that you will have cankles. If either of your parents have larger ankles, there is a greater probability that you will have as well. There are also many women who are born with larger joints in the ankles or smaller calf muscles.

How to fix it

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about your genetics, but you can incorporate certain exercises that focus on building muscles in the calves to make it seem slim.



Various medications like antidepressants, birth control, and blood pressure medications can have side effects that cause swelling in the legs or ankles.

How to fix it

Talk to your doctor if you think your cankles are a result of the medication you are taking. A different medication may benefit you and your body more.



There are certain medical conditions that can cause swelling or fluid retention in the ankles. While large ankles is not always a major cause for concern, they could be an indication of liver failure, kidney disease, blood clots, heart condition or another serious health issue.

How to fix it

How to get rid of cankles when they are caused by a health condition is something you will need to discuss with your doctor. If you have additional symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea of a change in urination, then it is vital that you see your doctor as soon as possible to rule out any serious health condition.


Fluid Retention

Fluid retention can be one of the most common causes for ankles to enlarge. Pregnancy or an increase in sodium intake can increase fluid retention for different reasons. Fluid retention due to pregnancy is usually an indication of poor circulation cause blood to remain in the ankles. Consuming too much sodium will cause the body to store excess water which can lead to bloating.

How to fix it

There are a number of ways you can address this issue that can be causes of fluid retention.

  • Changes in your diet can help reduce fluid retention. Avoid sodium-rich foods, processed foods and fast foods that all contain excess sodium.

  • Drink a liter of water a day to reduce the risk of dehydration which can cause the body to store more water.

  • Try compression socks to reduce the swelling in your ankles quickly.

  • Pregnant women should speak with their doctor to rule out any health concerns that swollen ankles can be a sign of.

  • Pregnant women should also keep legs elevated if they are suffering from swollen ankles to improve the blood flow.



Being overweight can cause more fat to be stored in the legs and ankles, like in other body part. Poor diet and a lack of exercise can be the most common causes for weight gain and being overweight.

How to fix it

How to get rid of cankles due to your weight? You will need to focus on exercise and diet. Try the exercises below to help you lose excess weight.

  • Dumbbell Calf Raise. Begin with your feet about hip width apart, toes facing forward. Arms should be at your sides with hands holding the dumbbells. Keeps the knees straight as you lift the heels of your feet off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering the heels back to the floor and repeat.

  • Jumping Jacks. Start with your feet about hip width apart and the arms down at your sides. Begin by jumping with your feet extend further out and your arms reach over your head. Jump again to return to the starting position. Repeat ten times before taking a brief break and then repeat another ten times.

  • Jumping Squats. Begin with the feet about shoulder width apart and the arms down at your side. Lower your body into a squatting position by bending the knees and lowering the hips. Be sure the knees do not go over toes. Jumping up from the squatting position and bring the arms up towards the ceiling. Return to the squatting position and repeat ten times before taking a brief break and repeating again.

  • Foot Extension with Resistance Band. Begin in a sitting position on the floors with the right leg bent and the left leg extended out. Take your resistance band and bind it around the left foot as you hold the ends in your hands. The toes should be flexed up towards the ceiling to keep tension in the band. Press the left foot forward while the band remains tight and hold for a few seconds before returning to starting position. Repeat this twenty times and then switch and repeat on the right foot.

  • Cardio. How to get rid of cankles through exercise? Many cardio work. Running, swimming, jogging, biking and even jumping rope are excellent cardio workouts you will want to combine with the exercises above to help you lose weight.

While you want to get plenty of exercise, you will also need to make some changes in your diet to help lose weight as well. If needed, reduce your daily caloric intake and include more leaf green veggies, foods high in fiber, and drink plenty of water to help curb your appetite.


Dressing tips to make cankles smaller

You can hide or reduce the look of large ankles wisely. Choose a wider leg pant that is long that will not only cover your ankles, but make your legs look slimmer. Dresses and skirts should also be long and not cut off above the ankles. High waisted pants or skirts will make the legs look longer and give the appearance of a smaller ankle. Your footwear should be chunkier. Stilettos will only make your ankles look larger since they are thinner and small. Shoes with ankle straps will draw more attention to the ankles, so try to choose a boot or pointy toed shoe.


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