November 14th, 2022

We all sit alot more these days leading to metabolic problems from this behavior. Dr. Hamilton and colleagues have come up with an ingenious way to change the outcome without changing the sitting reality that exists for many at work or school. To understand what a soleus push up is visit this youtube video. In a sitting position, you can lift your ankle off of the ground repeatedly for hours leading to major metabolic benefits including reduced insulin, blood glucose and lipid levels.

"Slow oxidative muscle, most notably the soleus, is inherently well equipped with the molecular machinery for regulating blood-borne substrates.

However, the entire human musculature accounts for only 15% of the body’s oxidative metabolism of glucose at the resting energy expenditure, despite being the body’s largest lean tissue mass. We found the human soleus muscle could raise local oxidative metabolism to high levels for hours without fatigue, during a type of so- leus-dominant activity while sitting, even in unfit volunteers. Muscle biopsies re- vealed there was minimal glycogen use. Magnifying the otherwise negligible local energy expenditure with isolated contractions improved systemic VLDL triglyceride and glucose homeostasis by a large magnitude, e.g., 52% less postprandial glucose excursion (50 mg/dL less between 1 and 2 h) with 60% less hyperinsulinemia. Targeting a small oxidative muscle mass (1% body mass) with local contractile activity is a potent method for improving systemic metabolic regulation while prolonging the benefits of oxidative metabolism." (Hamilton et. al. 2022)

The soleus muscle sits behind the calf muscle in the lower leg and does not fatigue after long periods of use making it ideal for action over time. The muscle is a very slow twitch muscle that helps us stay standing for long periods without fatiguing. This muscle has high levels of hexokinase II and GLUT4 glucose transporters allowing for very effective glucose utilization. It also has very low levels of glycogen phosphorylase reducing glycogen use. These are very favorable conditions for metabolic health when activated.

They noted that the MET's are doubled with the soleus push up. A MET is a metabolic equivalent of task which is the amount of energy used while sitting quietly. Using MET's can differentiate between energy output per activity.

This is a great activity for everyone to do while sitting to help with metabolic health and longevity.

Dr. M


Hamilton iScience