Studies cited by Yale Scientific Magazine show that targeted fat loss does not work, which makes general weight loss the only way to make ankles thinner. Yale Scientific Magazine explains that it is possible to tone and build specific muscle groups, but because the ankle is a joint, exercising the ankles does not lead to significant changes in their appearance.
Yale Scientific Magazine explains that there several reasons why targeted fat loss is not possible. Fat exists inside fat cells in the form of triglycerides. Because muscle cells cannot use triglycerides as fuel, Yale Scientific Magazine explains that the body must first break down fat cells in the bloodstream to use them as fuel. Prolonged exercise uses all the converted fat regardless of its origin.
There are several exercises that are mistakenly associated with targeted fat reduction, but Yale Scientific Magazine explains that these exercises do not burn enough calories to justify their use. According to CaloriesPerHour.com, 1 pound of fat is equal to a whopping 3500 calories, so spending time on targeted exercises that only burn a few calories does not have a significant impact on weight management. Performing exercises that burn calories quickly slims down the entire body, including the ankles.