What would a day at the barre be without the beloved plie squat?We love plies for the ability to challenge and tone the body.
Plie is originally from ballet and is done in all the classical ballet positions including first, second, third, fourth, and fifth position. For this workout, we are focusing on the second position. The following series of exercises focuses on the booty and the thighs. Ready to fill that beautiful burn? Follow this quick plie workout at the gym, for a quick midday exercise break at work or at home, or maybe get that body moving first thing in the morning. This is a great quick burn for those busy days too!
Set Up: Start with your feet wider than hip width apart and toes facing forward. Shift your weight back into your heels and turn the toes out. While we are inspired by ballet don’t turn out more than necessary. We want to be turned out but not lose our balance by trying to force a turnout too much. Stand up tall with your hips in the same line as your shoulders and your head. Core is strong, posture is strong. Maybe even roll your shoulders back a few times to make sure that posture is in a neutral position.
Where do my arms go??? For some extra work, place those arms long out to the side to get a bit of shoulder toning as you work your lower body. If you would rather focus on just the lower body though, place the hands on the hips.
The Basic Plie: Bend knees while keeping your body in straight line. Imagine as though there is a wall right in front of your face and right behind you so you need to be upright with your body, no hunching or arching the back! When you lower down to a plie be sure that the knees are staying in the same line as the toes. Your knees should ideally be right above the heels, not allowing the knees to fall forward in front of the toes or forward in front of your body (keeping the turnout!). Reps 20 times.
Plie Pulse: Lower yourself down to a low plie position, hold that nice low plie squat and began to pulse up and down just a few inches. This is where we get that isometric tiny movement burn. Reps 20 times.
Plie One Heel Lifted: From a standing turned out second position, lift one heel up and go down into your plie while keeping that same heel lifted off the ground. End the position by coming back to legs fully extended but continue to keep that one heel lifted off the ground. Be sure to perform this move on each leg. Reps 10 each side.
One Heel Up Plie Pulse: Come back down to that low squat with one heel up and pulse just rising up and down by a few inches. Reps 10 each side.
Low Plie Heel Lift:Lower down into a deep plie squat. While staying low raise one heel up and down. Reps 10 each side.
Double Low Plie Heel Lift: Lift both heels up and down from that low plie squat. Reps 15.
Hold Low Plie: Keep that nice, strong form and hold your plie for 30 seconds. If it feels too easy, sink down lower!
How Do I Modify: Shorten that range of motion. The deeper you get in the squat the more challenging it will become, so just go deep enough that you feel the work and then work up to going lower into your plie squat when you are ready.