Squats, lunges, deadlifts and more – the ultimate trainer’s how-to guide

Want to perfect your lunges, squats and deadlifts? PT Ashley Capewell from Performance Ground Gym brings you the 8 best moves to do in the gym and exactly how to do them

Have you ever gone to the gym motivated to try a new workout move, only to get cold feet because you’re scared you’ll do it wrong? When done incorrectly, some moves can cause serious injury.

According to this study, the most common injuries due to weightlifting are seen in the shoulders, lower back, wrist and knees.

Thankfully in this Healthista exclusive, PT Ashley Capewell from Performance Ground Gym takes us through a step by step guide for 8 staple workout moves so we can safely smash our next gym session.

#1 – Back squat

Good for working: quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles

How to do a back squat

  1. Place your hands on the bar just wider than shoulder width
  2. Come under the bar and have the bar resting across the shoulders
  3. Step back from the rack and set your feet wider than your hips
  4. Position your toes pointing slightly outwards
  5. Keep the back straight, chest lifted and bend hips and knees
  6. Keep feet flat on the floor throughout the whole move
  7. As you get to the bottom drive through the quadriceps

#2 – Lunge

Good for working: hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes

How to do a lunge: 

  1. Establish foot position – Stand with feet underneath the hips
  2. Take one step forward with right foot and one step back with left foot
  3. Once you are here you have found now found the centre of your stance
  4. Lower the left knee to the ground and come back up
  5. Coming into the lunge you need to find the same foot position
  6. Start by picking the knee up and step into your lunge
  7. Keep torso upright and try not to flex from the hips
  8. Do not let the knee travel past the toes
  9. As you come back up drive through the heel of the front foot

#3 – Deadlift

Good for working: glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps

How to do a deadlift:

  1. Step up to the bar with your feet under the hips
  2. Have the bar placed across your shoelaces
  3. Bend from the hips and the knees
  4. Place hands just wider than your shoulders on the bar
  5. Keep the tail bone and chest lifted while also keeping a straight back
  6. Push through the feet into the ground to stand up with the bar lifted up to the mid thigh

#4 – Good morning

Good for working: the back, core and hamstrings

How to do a good morning:

  1. Place hands on bar just wider than shoulders
  2. Come underneath the bar with bar sitting across the shoulders
  3. The bar may sit slightly lower on the back than you’d do with a squat
  4. Step backwards, feet pointing forward underneath your hips
  5. Push hips back, keep the back straight and lower chest
  6. Lower down until you feel a stretch through the hamstrings
  7. Drive hips forwards to stand back up

#5 – Barbell row

Good for working: back muscles

How to do a barbell row

  1. Begin by deadlifting the bar off the ground
  2. Hinge from the hips until the bar meets your knees
  3. Keep the chest lifted and shoulders back
  4. Pull elbows back until the bar meets your belly button
  5. On the way down control the descent
  6. Lower bar down until the arms are locked out completely


#6  – Hipthrust

Good for working: glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles

How to do a hipthrust:

  1.  Sit infant of box, it should come just below the shoulder blades
  2.  From this sitting position pull the bar into your hip crease
  3.  Position feet to be hip width and flat pointing forwards
  4.  Drive hips up towards the ceiling making contact with the bar
  5.  Try to hold the position at the top for about a second
  6. As you come back down touch the weights on the ground
  7. Drive the hips back up again

#7 – Pull up

Good for working: biceps and back muscles

How to do a pull up

  1. Place hands just wider than your shoulders with palms facing away from you
  2. From a hanging position you’ll be in a straight line from toes to wrists
  3. Set your shoulder blades back and down
  4. Aim to pull your elbows towards your pockets
  5. Lift the best towards the bar
  6. On the way back down hold this position and don’t flex forwards
  7. Control the descent back down to the hanging position

#8 – Barbell bench press

Good for working: pectoral muscles, deltoids and triceps

How to do a barbell bench press

  1. Feet, bum, head and upper back all in contact with ground or bench throughout the whole move
  2. Grip width – Hold the bar just wider than shoulder width
  3. Pinch shoulder blades back
  4. Take the bar out and have your elbows locked out
  5. Pull the bar down towards the sternum and keep the chest lifted
  6. Push straight back up through the bar until the arms are locked out

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for heaps of full length free workout videos

Would you like to train at Performance Ground Gym? Click here to book your consultation

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