Barbell work 


Stand with a wider stance (feet just wider than your hips).  Lift the bar over your head so that it rests on the back of your neck/shoulders.  Stand in front of a mirror so that you can check the bar is level.  Keep your back straight, keep looking forwards, I don't ever bend my knees more than 90 degrees as I feel this causes too much stress (this is not the Olympics!), but if you want to work the glutes you can dip lower - just make sure that your back stays straight.  If you do deep squats, you may increase the risk of a knee injury which is definitely something you want to avoid so take care. 


* If you find your heels lift off the ground early in the squat, try doing the exercise with your heels on the block of wood which will be somewhere in the gym.  Some women find this makes things a lot easier and it relates to the 'Q' angle: if you look at a man his hips, knees and ankles are in a straight line, more or less one on top of the other.  Because women have a wider pelvis our hips are wider than our knees/ankles so there's an angle (known as 'Q') where the thigh bone comes inwards from hip to knee.  Using the block helps align things better and gives a mechanical advantage so you should find it easier to do squats.

Biceps curls

hold the bar at hip level with palms facing out.  Bend the elbows and bring the bar up to your chest, and lower again.  Make sure you keep your back straight and don't lean back - if you have to do this, the bar is probably too heavy and you're having to 'cheat' the movement by using other muscles.

* You can work the same muscles by using the 'preacher curl' seat - the one where you sit on the seat and lean forward over the frame to lift the curved bar

Upright Rowing

Hold the bar at hip level with palms facing in.  Lean the top half of your body forwards, keep your arms straight and allow the bar to hang down under your shoulders. Bend the elbows and pull the bar up to your chest, and lower again.

You can also do these exercises with dumbbells. If you do the rowing movement, have your left knee and hand on a bench to support you with the dumbbell in your right hand. Lift the the chest and lower again.