Everyone’s worst nightmare is the cankle. This condition is when the calf and ankle are one continuous body part, and there’s no clear distinction between the two. As a trainer, I hear this term often from clients as a target area. While it can simply be the result of less than good genetics, it’s more often due to a lack of defined calf muscles or additional fat surrounding the lower leg and ankle. The good news? We’ve rounded up the absolute best exercises to help you get rid of cankles.
You have the power to change your lower body through healthy eating habits and calf-strengthening exercises. The three moves below will give you ultra-sleek, sculpted legs in no time at all. Plus, they can easily be added to your next workout. Buh-bye, cankles!
Read on to learn more about how you can get rid of cankles with these effective moves. And next up, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
While you’ll specifically target the calf, you’ll simultaneously get an effective thigh and glute workout with this exercise. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and your toes pointed out. Bring your hands to your heart’s center. Lower your hips so they’re in line with your knees, and press your knees back. Hold this for just a second, stacking your shoulders over your hips and pulling the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Now, lift just your right heel up. Straighten your legs about halfway (keeping your knees bent), and then lower down to the starting position. Repeat for 12 reps, and then lower your right heel down, and lift your left heel up to complete on the other calf.
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Lunges are hard enough to begin with, so expect this lower-body move to instantly leave you shaky and sweaty. Begin with your right foot forward, and step your left leg back into a lunge, bringing your shoulders over your hips and creating 90-degree angles with both legs. Staying in this low lunge position, lift and lower your right heel for 12 reps. Repeat on the other calf.
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This is one of my favorite barre thigh moves as it fires up not only your calves, but also your glutes and hamstrings. It only requires the support of a chair or ledge. Stand with your feet parallel, touching and your shoulders stacked over your hips. Place your hands lightly on top of the chair or ledge. Squeezing your thighs together, lift your heels up, and place your weight on the balls of your feet. Lower your heels back down, and continue to repeat for 10 reps. Then, speed up the movement for the remaining 20 reps for a real burn.
Craving more lower-body workouts? Try 6-Minute Glutes —Optional 1-lb ankle weights or The Best Loop Resistance Exercises To Do While Traveling, Trainer Says for some solid inspiration.
Jacquie Smith is a certified integrative nutrition health coach from IIN and a fitness instructor specializing in barre, yoga, and pre/postnatal workouts. Read more