6 Causes of Cankles & 6 Ways to Get Rid of Them | 12 Easy Tips To Slim Fat Ankles Fast


Cankles are a common health issue among women of all ages.

They are also known as wide, ill-defined, swollen, or thick ankles. Usually, fluid retention, poor diet, and minimal to no movement are the root causes of cankle.

But can obesity, genetics, or hormonal changes also be the reason for having swollen or poorly defined ankles?

And, most importantly, is it possible to get rid of cankles?

Surely you can! Wondering how? Let’s find out!

Disclaimer: We have also mentioned tutorials for calf exercises at home and 12 easy tips that can help you slim down those fat ankles fast.

What Are Cankles?

Cankles is not a medical or health-related term but a slang made from ‘calf’ and ‘ankles.’

Thick ankles are defined as poorly defined calf muscles due to accumulated fat or fluid retention. But as long as it is not swollen, it is not a health issue.

So, in simple definition, cankles meaning is calves and legs that swell and, as a result, eliminates the distinction in their appearance.

Swollen Calves

Whatever the reason may be, the swollen calves give an indistinguishable look to legs, i.e., calves and ankles seem to be having the same size that we don’t usually see in healthy legs.

But, how can you know if wide ankles are not temporary? Or, to be precise, how can you tell if a person has cankles and not just normal swelling?

How to Tell If I Have Cankles?

How to tell if I have cankles
Image Sources reddit

To get rid of a problem first, you have to know and admit that you have it.

Yes, so to cure fat legs or swollen calves, you need to know whether or not you have them in the first place. Only then can you find the cause and treatment for them.

For a better understanding, let’s see images of a normal and swollen leg to know what do cankles look like:

You can see a pair of thin legs with healthy-looking ankles on the left in the above picture.

While on the right, the thick calves and puffy ankles give a swollen appearance to the leg, making it hard to distinguish them.

Moreover, to find whether it is fluid overload and not the cankles from a poorly defined calf or ankles muscles, according to the doctors, here’s what you can do:

Press the indented skin lightly and let go after a few seconds. If you notice thumb marks on your skin, then that’s probably due to fluid.

Now that you already know that you have swollen legs let’s find out the causes of cankles. We’ll also be discussing the treatment and tips to combat fat ankles later in our guide.

What Are the Causes of Thick Ankles?

causes of cankles
Image Sources reddit

Various reasons can cause puffy ankles or cankles like:

obesity due to pregnancy or poor diet, lack of motion in daily routine, fluid retention, fat accumulation, poor blood circulation, and improper fat distribution in the body due to genetics, medication, illness, or hormonal fluctuations.

Here we have discussed some of the most common causes of cankles:


Weight gain, either due to poor diet, pregnancy, sickness, etc., can increase fat all over the body. This excessive fat also stores in the feet and legs, making the ankles look swollen.

Hormonal Changes

As we grow up, the hormones in our bodies also change. Sometimes, these fluctuations cause the calves to look thick and fat.

Other times, some medications we consume for diabetes, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and birth control can also cause changes in hormones which in turn can cause cankles.


Some diseases and health concerns like clotting, heart or liver failure, kidney problems, and poor lymphatic system and blood flow in veins can also be why you have thick calves and swollen ankles.

Poor Blood Circulation

If your body has poor blood circulation or is retaining a little too much fluid in the body either due to high sodium and salt intake or other medical conditions, you will most likely have cankles.

Lack of Movement

Some can also have temporary thick calves or fat ankles, as we often see mostly in pregnant women or people who travel a lot.

For instance, after the birth of the baby, mostly the swelling goes away with time. While people in the Aeroplane or buses can try to move their feet a little every few hours not to let the blood pool.

Moreover, lack of working activities like exercise, walking, or cycling can also play a vital role in causing cankle.


Although cankles are not inherited, one can still have them due to their natural bone structure, as it is the genes or genetics that decide the contour, form, and thinning or thickness of ankles and calves.

Note: Click to read about causes and treatment for ill-defined jawline or weak chin.

How Do You Get Rid of Cankles?

Thick ankles due to weight gain, pregnancy, poor blood flow, and sitting for a long time may take less time to cure than the wide legs formed due to diseases.

If your cankles are not due to a severe health problem, here’s what you can do to get rid of them:

Count Your Calories

According to health experts, an average male requires 2700 Kcal, and an average female needs 2200 kcal to maintain their energy and a healthy body proportion.

It also depends on the individual’s metabolism and digestion rate, but still, you shouldn’t just consume whatever as it may increase fat in your body.

Say No to Soda And Alcoholic Drinks

Soda drinks, alcohol, beer, and other carbonated beverages have a high amount of sugar, eventually promoting weight gain.

They might also have rich sodium content, which can cause dehydration or liquid retention in the body leading to edema.

Switch to a Balanced Diet

Consume lean meat, leafy green veggies, fruits, and high protein foods. Make sure to eat something from every food group to have the daily calories you need without compromising your health.

spending time doing meditation in the healthy energies of selenite crystals might also help you to do more movements. 

Note: read about fat accumulated in the chin or double chin and how you can get rid of it.

Make a Workout Routine

Maintain a routine of following exercises that are mainly focused on the calves and legs. You can also do a workout that focuses on reducing overall body fat.

Here are some of the easy cankles exercise you can do at home:

Cankle Centric Hip Press: Lay down on a mat and move your belly in towards your spine. Now, reach out your finger to touch your heels.

During this position, it is good to use some detox slimming patches on your belly to overcome fat from all of its parts. 

Make sure that your heels are closer to your hips. Now, move your stomach and heels upwards by keeping the toes on the mat.

Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.

Hip Press Heel Raises:

Keep the same position of the cankle-centric hip press, but also move your heels up and down. Also, don’t move your torso any lower than the previous position to build pressure on your calves and ankles.

Lying Extension: Extend your legs upward and point your feet forward and backward.

Here watch a video tutorial on how you can do these exercises at home:

You can also do cycling, rope jumping, walking, lunges, sprints, and other exercises.

Wear Footwear that Supports Muscles

You can wear compression socks, leggings, and stockings to support the blood vessels and muscles in your leg, calves, and ankles.

This will help in reducing the swelling and improving the blood flow.

Note: try to avoid heels or footwear with straps and wear chunky boots, sandals, and heels instead.

Also, See: Best Products For Pain Relief

Consider Surgery

Last but not least the treatment option you should consider getting is liposuction, surgery to cure fat ankles.

This should be your final solution to get rid of cankles as it may involve risks of allergies and blood loss. However, if you decide to get this surgery, consult taking advice from an expert surgeon.

Here are some before and after pictures of liposuction:

cankles pictures
Image Sources pinterest

12 Tips to Slim Down Swollen Ankles Fast

If you want to slim down those swollen ankles fast, the first and foremost thing you need to do is modify your lifestyle. Yes!

Here are 12 easy tips you can follow to get quick results but remember patience is the key.

  • Find the root cause of the issue and work on it accordingly
  • Avoid carbonated and high sodium drinks as they lead to fluid retention in the body. Instead, opt to consume healthy alternatives to soda pops
  • Skip fast foods and high-salt meals
  • Don’t dehydrate your body
  • If you are obese, try to lose weight with portion control in everyday meals instead of following diets that can be harmful in the long run
  • Include leafy veggies, lean meat, and high fiber foods in your meals
  • Don’t loosely hang your legs if you work for a long time or do other tasks like watching tv and playing wooden games or Xbox. Instead, keep them up on a table or chair for support.
  • Exercise daily to target the accumulated fat or liquid causing cankles. For instance, cycling, rope jumping, sprint, lunges calf raises, jumping jacks, stair and seated calf raises can be some good options
  • Wear compression socks to promote blood circulation in swollen muscles
  • Make it a routine to flex your calves daily as it can prevent chronic cankles and edema
  • Soak your feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt to lessen the swelling
  • Some people also use blood thinners to improve blood flow in the body. However, always consult your doctor before consuming any medicine.

Note: Click to read 6 ways to thin your blood with natural ingredients.

Cankles FAQ’s

Are Cankles Bad?

It is hard to label cankles good or bad as the shape and size of every ankle varies from person to person.

Thick ankles are not hereditary, but your genetics can surely decide the fat distribution in your body, leading to cankles or fat ankles.

However, if you notice their sudden appearance and the condition worsens, it could hint towards a serious bad health problem.

Can Fat Ankles Be Cured?

Yes! Fat ankles can be cured with the right treatment and tips.

For instance, a balanced diet, daily exercises focusing on calf muscles, reduced sodas and meals with a high amount of salt can really help make your health a lot better.

However, if one still notices no improvement, liposuction and cankle-reducing surgeries can aid in achieving the results you seek.

What Are Cankles a Sign of?

Some people are naturally born with Fred flintstone feet, who’s an animated character with ill-defined ankles.

However, in other cases, the abnormally same-sized calves and ankles could be an alarming hint towards serious problems like:

liver issues, lipedema, edema, pre-eclampsia, heart failure, lymphedema, and chronic venous insufficiency.

Does Having Cankles Means You are Fat?

Well, mostly obesity has been termed a source of wide ankles, but it is not always the case.

The reason is that the root cause of cankle is liquid retention or fat accumulation, which can also happen to skinny people too thus forming skinny cankles.

This means, no, having cankles or thick ankles doesn’t imply you are fat.

Cankles Vs. Ankles?

Well, normally, legs have thin calves and no swollen calves. In contrast, in cankles, fat accumulation, fluid retention, genetics, or illness causes the calves and ankles to be of the same size.

Can You Use Hemorrhoid Creams for Cankles?

Hemorrhoid creams can be a quick fix to tighten the swollen calf muscles, but it surely is not a long-term solution.

Moreover, it is also not suitable for anyone and everyone to use. So, to avoid any serious damage, make sure to discuss it with your doctor before applying any ointment to the cankle.

Are Wide Ankles Called Cankles or kankle?

According to the defined dictionary meaning, swollen ankles, fat legs, thick calves are also called kankles.

Do Celebrities have Cankles?

Despite being one of the famous personalities, they still are ordinary humans who can have health problems. Yes!

And, it doesn’t matter whether they are bulky or skinny.

For instance, Lady Victoria Helvey (English Model) has skinny cankles.

Cheryl Ann Tweed (Singer) and Michelle Mone (Scottish Entrepreneur) are some other celebrities with cankles.

Bottom Line

That’s it from our side, peeps.

We have mentioned everything that you needed to know about the cankles definition, causes, treatments, and tips to get rid of them.

Did we miss anything? Is there a specific query you need to know? Share with us in the comments below.

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