How to do the Plie Squad Correctly
Are you looking to become the best ballet dancer that you can be? If so, then you'll want to invest loads of time into developing your plie squats.
Plie squats are an amazing exercise for ballet dancers because they boost the strength and balance capabilities of your inner thighs. When done right, they also strengthen your glutes and hamstrings at the same time.
The legs are a ballet dancer's biggest tool. While you can't control the God-given length of them, you can control the strength of them.
Here is an in-depth guide to plie squats. Be sure to follow each tip below to develop your legs as much as possible!
Like any other squat, you must have proper form to unlock all of the benefits that this guide to plie squats has to offer. The proper form starts with your stance.
Start by placing your feet a bit further than shoulder with apart, with your toes facing forward to start. Your stance should be wide enough to where the heels of your feet are located further than your shoulders.
Once your feet are wide enough, take your toes and rotate them a bit outwards. So if your right foot were standing on a clock, take it from 12 o'clock to 2 o'clock. Same with your left foot, but turn it from 12 o'clock to 10 o'clock.
Place Your Hands Appropriately
If this is your first time performing a plie squat, then you'll want to make sure on building up strength first. Because of that, you can place your hands on your hips while you do the exercise, focusing on pushing your bodyweight all the way through.
For those of you that would consider yourself a bit more advanced, you might want to add some weight. To do so, grab a dumbbell or medicine ball and place it in between your legs, with both hands holding onto it.
Whether you have a weight or not, be sure to focus on proper form. If the weight is sabotaging your form, then only use it for a few reps, then use your bodyweight to finish the set.
Shoulders and Hips
Many people have the misconception that your focus in a plie squat should be solely on feet position. However, once you place your feet in position, they shouldn't move much from their spot.
Instead, you'll want to focus more on the position of both your shoulders and hips. If you focus on them both, then you'll be optimizing the proper posture throughout each rep that you perform.
After your feet are placed in position and your hands are either holding a weight or placed on your hips, look straight ahead and align your shoulders with your hips. Be sure to pull your shoulders back and activate your core.
As you go through the movements listed below, be sure to focus on slow movements to increase resistance. The more resistance you have, the more muscle you'll build.
Lower Your Hips, Then Hold
Once your shoulders are aligned, try to sink your hips down, letting your the top of your legs reach no further than a 90-degree angle. A helpful tip is to count to "4 Mississippi's" as you lower your hips.
When your legs have reached a 90-degree angle (or you've gone down as low as you can), be sure to hold that pose for "2 Mississippi's".
Remember to focus on your breathing during this time. While counting plays an integral part in ballet, many ballet instructors will tell you that breathing will give your muscles the oxygen they need.
After holding the pose for 2 seconds at a 90-degree angle, it's time to focus on pressing your legs back up with control.
Make sure to continue looking straight ahead and keeping your shoulders over your hips as you start to press your legs up through your heels. Pressing through the heels will activate your quads, calves, and gluteals.
Remember to slowly return back to the starting position by counting to "4 Mississippi's" on the way up.
If you want to tone your calves even more then try to perform a few reps while staying on the balls of your feet. Developing strength in your calves will help tremendously with your ballet routines.
Repeat Several More Times
The amount of reps that you should perform your plie squats for depends entirely on the goal you're trying to accomplish. There's a general rule of weight training to correlate the number of reps with either strengthening or sculpting the muscle.
If you're trying to build more strength in your muscles, then you'll want to perform 6 to 8 reps for each set. Because of the lower amount of reps, you want to focus on maintaining proper form and pacing on the way down and back up.
If you're going to perform lower sets to strengthen the muscle, you must use additional weight (like a dumbbell or medicine ball).
For those of you wanting to sculpt your muscles or increase your endurance, you'll want to shoot for something in the 12 to 15 rep range for each set. Again, be sure to focus on proper form, breathing, and controlled motion through each rep.
Use This Guide to Plie Squats to Strengthen Your Legs!
Now that you've read this guide to plie squats, it's time to strengthen those dancers' legs of yours!
Be sure to read this article for more information on the several benefits of ballet for you and your children.
For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we'll be happy to assist you further!
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