Plie vs. Squat | Beyond Barre Pensacola
The Down Low – Plie vs. Squat

The Down Low – Plie vs. Squat

 With new visitors to a BeyondBarre class there is sometimes confusion on the difference between a plié and a squat. When working in the plié position I frequently see class participants stick the booty out and sit back with their weight centered over their heels in a squat action.

The plié is different from a squat in that the weight is centered on the balls of the feet and the body is upright. As the knees bend the torso remains vertical and moves up and down in space similarly to an elevator. I like to cue “Imagine there is a wall behind you. Stand with your back against the wall. Head, shoulders, lowest ribs and glutes all against the wall and pelvis in a neutral position. As you bent the knees slide down the imaginary wall. As you extend the legs slide up the wall”.

Plie in 1st and 2nd Position

The Plie is a bending of the knees. It’s done with a slight external rotation or “turn out”. The plié targets different muscles than the squat. Overall strengthening of your lower body and legs.

Plies Target:

  • Butt, (gluts maximus)
  • Thighs, (quadriceps)
  • Hamstrings
  • Inner thighs (adductors)

Start in a 1st or 2nd position. First position is done with the feet in a “V” stance. Second position is done with the feet shoulder width apart and the toes angles outward. The Second Plie position may be done in both a narrow and a wide stance. The weight is distributed over the entire foot with the knees back over the little toe.

Imagine your back is sliding down a wall while you lower down. Your back slides up the imaginary wall as you extend the legs back to the starting position. The pelvis remains in a neutral position.

SECOND POSITION PLIE

SECOND POSITION PLIE

FIRST POSITION PLIE

FIRST POSITION PLIE

 

Squats

The squats are a great leg and abdominal, and balance exercise. They are completely functional. We squat through out the day, sitting down, getting in and out of the car, picking items up off the floor, getting dressed, ect. Overall strengthening of your lower body and legs.

Squats Target:

  • Butt, (glutieus maximus),
  • Hips (gluteus medius),
  • Thighs (quadriceps),
  • Hamstrings
  • Calfs
Squat

Squat

Place feet parallel, shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles.

Shoulders back and down away from the ears. As you lower, the butt starts to stick out. Be sure the chest and shoulders remain upright. The back should stay straight. Keep the gaze straight ahead. Engage the core, while driving through the heels as you extend the legs. Imagine the feet are pushing away from one another.