You’ve already learned how to properly squat with your body by watching this video, and have regained a lot of your core strength from rehabilitation and/or bodyweight exercises. Now you want to move some weight around. It is important–now, more than ever–to mind your core and proper form as you add weight to the mix. It is all too easy to “push” through a lift. You’ve seen it at the gym…the person arching their back and jutting out their ribs. Check your ego at the door and be sure you are using proper mechanics.
Weighted squats are the single best exercise for developing a nice, strong butt. If you do them right, they can also help you develop a strong, toned core. It is important for everyone to know how to use their transverse abdominis (your corset-like abs under the “six-pack” muscles) when lifting. My physical therapist told me that using these muscles properly would make me stronger in the long run. I didn’t entirely believe her as I was cursing my diastasis recti, but it turns out what she said was true! While it is important for everyone to know how to use their core and time their breath, it is critical for women who have carried children–particularly those of us with diastasis recti. Please remember that core engagement transcends the gym and should be used whenever you lift anything–your kids, the laundry, etc.
This video is super terrible quality (my tripod broke and it was too damn hot in that garage to film multiple times), but you can get the general idea of how to time your breath and what cues to keep in mind.
Alright, go get your strong on!