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Workout Program – Soleus Pushup :D

Longing to burn more calories yet moving seems like such a pain? Get on the soleus pushup wagon to stomp away all the excess weight!

A groundbreaking discovery challenges the notion that simply exercising more combats the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Research, led by Professor Marc Hamilton of the University of Houston, shines a light on the previously untapped potential of the soleus muscle, a small calf muscle representing just 1% of body weight. By activating this muscle correctly, significant improvements in overall metabolic health can be achieved.

Professor Hamilton developed a unique technique called the “soleus pushup” (SPU), published in the journal iScience. This simple movement, even while seated, effectively elevates muscle metabolism for extended periods. Notably, research suggests the SPU’s ability to sustain high levels of oxidative metabolism, crucial for regulating blood sugar, surpasses popular solutions like increased exercise, weight loss, and intermittent fasting.

Oxidative metabolism utilizes oxygen to burn energy sources like blood sugar and fat, influenced by a muscle’s immediate needs.

“We never expected such potential within this seemingly ordinary muscle. For the first time, we’re exploring how to leverage it for optimal health. When activated correctly, the soleus muscle can maintain high levels of local oxidative metabolism for hours, even utilizing a distinct fuel source.”

Professor Hamilton

Reduced glycogen use

Muscle studies revealed minimal reliance on glycogen to fuel the soleus muscle.

This means it uses alternative fuels like blood sugar and fats, unlike most muscles that prioritize glycogen during exercise.

“This reduced reliance on glycogen allows the soleus to work effortlessly for hours without fatigue. Glycogen depletion typically limits muscle endurance, but the soleus seems to overcome this constraint.”

Professor Hamilton

Optimizing human metabolism

Testing of the “soleus pushup” (SPU) showed remarkable whole-body effects

  • 52% improvement in blood sugar control
    Three hours after a sugar drink, participants exhibited significantly lower blood sugar excursions compared to usual levels.
  • 60% reduction in insulin requirements
    The body needed less insulin to regulate blood sugar, indicating improved insulin sensitivity.
  • Doubled fat metabolism during fasting
    This new approach effectively increased the body’s ability to burn fat between meals, lowering harmful “bad” fats (VLDL triglycerides) in the blood.

Overall, this study suggests that activating the soleus muscle through specific exercises offers a promising strategy for enhancing metabolic health. This method goes beyond simply reducing sitting time and provides a unique way to improve blood sugar control, fat metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.

How to do Soleus pushups

While seated with relaxed muscles and feet flat on the floor, simply raise the heel without moving the rest of the foot. Once at its peak, slowly lower the heel back down. This seemingly simple movement simultaneously contracts the calf muscle while activating the soleus through its natural nervous pathways.

Researchers emphasize that the SPU is not just another walking motion performed while seated. In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Walking minimizes energy usage by utilizing the soleus in a specific way. The SPU flips that script, maximizing the soleus’s energy output for extended periods.

“While the SPU may appear basic, the naked eye doesn’t tell the whole story. This targeted movement currently requires specialized technology and expertise to optimize its health benefits.”

Professor Hamilton

Making it accessible for everyone

Further research is underway to develop simple instructions for performing the SPU without relying on complex laboratory equipment.

Remember, this isn’t just another fad exercise or diet trend. The SPU is a scientifically-backed approach that leverages the unique properties of the soleus muscle to unlock significant health benefits.

Hamilton emphasizes that inactive muscles require far less energy than most realize, highlighting this as “one of the most fundamental, yet overlooked issues” in developing metabolic solutions for preventing chronic age-related diseases.

“Typically, all 600 muscles combined contribute only 15% of whole-body oxidative metabolism after ingesting carbohydrates. However, despite being only 1% of body weight, the soleus muscle can double or even triple whole-body carbohydrate oxidation during SPU contractions. We are unaware of any existing or promising pharmaceuticals that can achieve or maintain such a significant increase and sustained elevation in whole-body oxidative metabolism.”

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