A researcher has found that a simple exercise may be able to help people lose weight and burn fat while sitting down.
The small 'soleus push up' exercise involves lifting your heels again and again while sitting at a desk. While it will mostly work the soleus muscle in the calf, it may also be able to do big things to improve the metabolic health in the rest of your body if activated correctly.
A study involving 25 men and women of different ages, fitness levels and BMIs, saw them all do soleus push ups for 270 minutes per day. It was found that participants saw improvements in blood sugar regulation and in metabolism - which helps you burn fat.
Researcher from the University of Houston Marc Hamilton, a professor of Health and Human Performance, who led the study found that this simple movement could help elevate muscle metabolism.
As reported by the Star, the study was published in iScience , with research also suggesting that the soleus push ups could help to improve the regulation of blood glucose more effectively than current popular methods. Those current methods include weight loss and intermittent fasting.
“We never dreamed that this muscle has this type of capacity. It's been inside our bodies all along, but no one ever investigated how to use it to optimise our health, until now,” said Hamilton.
“When activated correctly, the soleus muscle can raise local oxidative metabolism to high levels for hours, not just minutes, and does so by using a different fuel mixture.”
Speaking on his podcast about the findings, Dr Andrew Huberman said: "This study was focused on how people who sit a lot of the day and don't have the opportunity or a lot of physical movement and maybe don't even exercise at all, can improve their metabolism and glucose utilisation.
"It had people continuously do soleus push ups and they looked at things like blood glucose utilisation... they looked at metabolism and so on."
Dr Andrew called the research "very exciting," especially for those who don't have time to exercise as much as they'd like.
How to do soleus push ups
The beauty of this low-effort workout is its simplicity as you can do it while sitting down.
All you need to do is sit at your desk with your feet planted on the floor, then raise your heels, keeping your toes on the ground.
Lower your heel, and then repeat the process.
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