Walk into most workout classes and you’ll find yourself doing a lot of squats. Many fitness instructors would say it’s hard to get a perky butt without ’em. Not Stephen Pasterino. The P.volve Fitness founder—and trainer to Victoria’s Secret model Blanca Padilla—says there’s a better, more effective way to tone.
“Everyone is squatting really deep and that can destroy your lower back,” he says. “You have pressure coming down onto your lower back, hips, knees, and ankles.” Not exactly great for your joints. Another reason why Pasterino is anti-squats is because he says they overdevelop the quad muscles.
“Everyone is squatting really deep and that can destroy your lower back.”
So what’s the quick fix? Stop squatting so deep. According to Pasterino, a similar, less exaggerated movement is actually best, a move he calls the “P.sit.”: Slightly bend your knees and drop your butt down one inch—about half as far as you would in a squat. Go lower one more inch, resisting the urge to go deeper, as in a traditional squat. And don’t stick your butt out. Activate the lower abs and glutes at all times, using them to lower and pull yourself back up.
Pasterino says this is better, threefold: It protects the joints, tones the butt, and also works the lower abs, which he says are notoriously difficult to flatten. Less pain, more gain? Sounds like a win.
Originally published on November 24, 2017; updated September 26, 2018.
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