Ladies, it’s time to confess. Having chubby ankles is certainly not an attractive feature if you want to flaunt, a flattering skirt to work or those shiny black stilettos at a party. And yes, although it is not a medical condition, “cankles” are beyond just a mere cosmetic problem, that invariably advances to instances of extreme physical activity and low self-esteem, in overweight women. To start with, it is important to understand what these “cankles” are. This term was coined colloquially, to describe the region in the lower leg, where the calf muscles and ankles merge, not having a defined partition.
Several underlying causes give rise to these cankles. Certain women are genetically predisposed to having plump legs, as it runs in the family or also has a similar situation, due to modifications in their DNA and muscular protein structure. Moreover, significant weight gain adds fat deposits in legs, which accumulate as adipose tissue and are eventually pulled down by gravity, as is the case in those who are obese. Another common reason for cankles is excessive retention of fluids in the body, leading to swelling of the calf region and ankles, which is observed in women who consume unhealthy foods high in sodium, as well as those who have recently undergone pregnancy.
So, the bottom line is that any situation of extra bulk in the body will undoubtedly result in developing cankles as well. And in case you are one of those heavy women suffering from chunky ankles and calves, and hence frequently suffer from calf muscle cramps, worry not. Here are some basic exercises that you can seamlessly combine with your workout routine, to efficiently bid adieu to those unsightly cankles and get the toned, slim and shapely legs you’ve been longing for.
Superb Exercises To Effectually Reduce Cankles:
Weighted Calf Raises
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, stand erect, press down with your body weight, simultaneously levering up your heels off the ground and then, slowly bring them back down, as shown in the picture above. Repeat this in a seated position as well, ten times.
Stair Calf Raises
Place yourself at the edge of an elevated platform, like a stair. Now, position your arms on your hips, stand erect and hoist your feet off the surface and lower it back. Repeat this step fifteen times.
High-Knee Jog In Place
Stand erect. Lift your left leg to a knee-high position along with your right arm and jog in a fixed position, switching to your right leg and left arm. Repeat twenty times, gradually increasing speed and intensity.
Lunge And Squat Calf Raises
Kneel on one leg, keep it steady and raise the ankles of the other leg and return them to the floor. Do this sequence with both legs for about ten times, in a lunging and squatting position.
Jump Rope Drill
This leisurely pursuit from your youth is actually great for sculpting your calf muscles. Use a skipping rope that is the right length for your height and jump past it twenty-five times at a stretch.
Benefits Of Calf Raises Exercises For Strong Toned Legs:
Undeniably, one of the best ways for women to get rid of their fat cankles in the lower legs is the calf raises workout. This can be done in numerous variations such as stair calf raises, weighted calf raises, seated dumbbell calf raises, jumping jacks, lunge and squat calf raises, which confer phenomenal benefits for developing robust calf muscles and strong toned legs.
Fortifies Lower Body Performance
As the entire body weight is supported by the portion beneath the hips – the thighs, lower legs, especially while standing, walking and working out in an upright position, calf raises significantly reinforce the muscles in the area. This vastly improves durability while lifting heavy objects and boosts speed, length of steps taken and exercise output in activities like running marathons.
Averts Muscle And Joint Injuries
The primary reason for extreme pain and soreness post a workout session or a brisk long-distance walk or jog, is weak muscles in the calves of legs. Doing calf raises daily is not only a simple workout to diminish calf muscles in women, but also lowers the chances of muscle cramps, joint stiffness, enabling them to sport high heels effortlessly.
Provides Stability To Feet
As women age, the muscles in their lower legs tend to decline in strength, making them prone to falls, injuries and accidental instances of slipping. Calf raises deliver superb merits for enhancing strength, power and force in the calf muscles, offering a sense of balance and steadiness to the lower legs even in the later years.
Regularly performing these exercises will ensure that you obtain nicely moulded and well-defined calf muscles. However, keep in mind that just as weight gain happens across all regions of the body and is not contained in certain areas, weight loss also cannot be executed on a spot reduction basis, but is rather holistic. In addition, following a well-balanced diet, packed with all essential nutrients and cutting down on salt intake are key to successfully eliminating those cankles.