Cankle Awareness Month?Posted on Jul 1st 2009 5:00PM by Katherine Tweed
Filed Under: Fitness
|Photo: Mychele Daniau, AFP / Getty Images|
It's all pretty ridiculous, mostly because as Gold's Gym celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza acknowledged, "Cankles are just like anything else -- you can't spot reduce."
Since spot reduction is a myth, pray tell, what are you meant to do if your calves blend right into your ankles? Plenty of people were cursed with unshapely legs from their gene pool, so there isn't much that can be changed through exercise. But just like muffin tops, cankles are often due to extra weight. Lose the extra pounds, and you're going to lose fat everywhere, including your ankles.
And who, exactly, is clamoring for cankle-reduction? Braganza also admits she has never had a client specifically asked to get rid of cankles, but she swears it's a common concern.
So what is this all about? Braganza's workout is actually centered around defining leg muscles, especially calves, to reduce the appearance of cankles. She tells everyone to start with some walking most days. But don't go for just a 10-minute stroll. Hit the road for closer to 40 minutes, and jog if you can. She recommends a pedometer to work towards 10,000 steps daily.
The second part of her workout (more of a plan than single workout really) is jumping plyometrics. Braganza, a former LA Raiders cheerleader, recommends a variety of these intensive exercises that are used by athletes to build agility and speed. Start with three sets of 10 reps of squat jumps, lateral jumps or split squats (doing a lunge and jumping and landing in a lunge with the opposite foot forward).
She also recommends adding in stretching, especially yoga or pilates to lengthen leg muscles. Lastly, there's strength training. While she recommends machines at the gym, she also says anyone can get on a stair at home and do calf raises by dipping all the way down and then coming back up onto the balls of your feet.
So will some plyometrics and pilates get rid of your undefined ankles? Probably not. But adding in a few new exercises is never a bad idea. Ironically, you don't need to join a gym to do any of these moves.