Classic Squat Update: The Plie Style Squat

Nothing beats a squat when it comes to working the lower body. This highly functional exercise targets the booty, the front and back of the thighs, the calf muscles and the core. It’s a motion used in many AcaciaTV programs because it’s the basis for moves as simple as getting up out of a chair and as skilled as jumping to spike a volleyball.

There are tons of ways to spice up this classic butt lifting move. Take the plie style squat for example. It offers a much greater range of motion and takes the art of squatting to a deeper, more powerful level, adding more involvement from the inner and outer thighs and engaging the deepest muscle fibers of the gluteus maximus.

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So if you want to take your squats to new lows – and your glutes to a new high – give this move a try. Add 1-3 sets of Plie Squats to your current lower body training routine and tell us what you think.

Got a squat variation of your own you’d like to share? Join the AcaciaTV Facebook group and let’s discuss.

Here’s How to do a Plie Squat

[A] With your arms at your sides, stand tall with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes and knees turned out at a comfortable angle but no greater than 45 degrees. Pull your abs inward. Plie

[B] Hold your arms stationary, round them up at chest height or extend them out to the side as you sit down into a deep squat. At the bottom of the movement your buttocks will be level with or drop slightly lower than your knees. Hold a moment at the bottom of the movement and then stand back up to the start by gently squeezing your buttocks and pulling your inner thighs up and in towards each other.  If you feel knee discomfort at any point during the movement, reduce your range of motion.

Both the classic squat and Plie are effective lower body transformation moves. Recent studies show that plie style squat lead to superior strength and tone compared to conventional squats.  But of course, the deeper you go, the greater the chance of straining your knees, so it’s a good idea to do some of each and make sure your technique is flawless.

With both squat variations, avoid a completely flat-back position where your spine ends up horizontal and parallel to the floor; instead, lengthen your spine and keep it straight, but aim to maintain a natural arch.

You can add a challenge to the plie by holding a weight up at chest level with both hands, or with your arms straight and the weight hanging down in center of your legs. Or, try holding the last rep in the lowest position for 10 slow counts before standing back up to the start.

For a program that does a great job of breaking down the form of a classic squat, try Step By Step Strength Training featuring Petra Kolber.