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Burn Calories While Sitting

Did you know that it's actually possible to burn calories while sitting? How you may ask? The Magical Soleus Muscle! However, the soleus muscle in humans are generally an under-appreciated muscle that gets very little attention. 


What Is A Soleus Muscle?

It is a large muscle on the back of your lower leg. This powerful muscle arises from the back of your shin bone and attaches to your heel bone. The soleus muscle get activated during activities such as walking, running, and jumping. Injury to the soleus may affect your ability to perform these basic but necessary functions. The word soleus comes from the Latin term "solea," which means sandal. You have two soleus muscles located in each lower leg.

The soleus muscle in the calf, though only 1% of your body weight, can do great things to improve the metabolic health to your body if activated correctly.

Marc Hamilton, a professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston, has discovered an approach for activation – he has invented the “soleus pushup” (SPU), which effectively increases the muscle metabolism and helps to burn fat and calories even in sitting position.


Benefits Of Soleus Muscle Activation

When activated properly, the soleus muscle is able to sustain an enhanced Body Metabolic Rate (BMR) - the number of calories you burn as your body performs its basic life-sustaining functions.

This improves the regulation of blood glucose and is more effective than any other methods, including exercise, weight loss, and intermittent fasting. The soleus muscle does not rely on glycogen, allowing it to work for hours effortlessly without tiring itself out.


Exercises For Soleus Activation In A Lying And Standing Position

Now that we've covered the benefits of the soleus activation, let's talk about some simple exercises that you can do!

1. Soleus Bridge

  • Lay your supine on the floor and place the balls of your feet on an elevated surface like a foam roll or a weight plate

  • Perform a hip extension and squeeze your glutes at lockout (glute bridge position)

  • While in the top position, perform a calf raise and pause for a second

  • Reverse the movement, reset and repeat


2. Squat With Soleus Raise

  • Find a wall or any upright surface and lean your back against it

  • Keep your shoulders down and chest up. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground

  • Perform a calf raise by raising up onto your toes

  • Pause for a second and return heels to the ground

  • Stand up from the squat, reset and repeat

Try these exercises out and notice the change!

Written by: Manju Vishwakarma (Physiotherapist)

A Qualified Physiotherapist, Manju Vishwakarma pursued a Master’s degree in Orthopedics. She is experienced in treating musculoskeletal conditions and especially interested in dry needling techniques, cupping therapy and Manual therapy for pain management. She has treated people in all stages of life to recover from injury. Manju has gained extensive experience working several renowned clinics in Noida. She enjoys acquiring new skills and exploring different domains.

Author by Manju Vishwakarma, Dec 22, 2022,


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