The Down Low – Plie vs. Squat
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.
- Butt, (gluts maximus)
- Thighs, (quadriceps)
- 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.
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.
- Butt, (glutieus maximus),
- Hips (gluteus medius),
- Thighs (quadriceps),
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.