What Are Plié Squats?

What are Plié squats? They are a very popular exercise for barre work and yoga as they help improve your strength and balance. The plié squat helps to strengthen virtually your whole lower body as they target your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads, as well as helping to open up your hips and improve flexibility.

If you are looking to strengthen your body, plié squats are a great way of easing your body into lower body strengthening. There is a beginner exercise for plié squats so you don’t have to push your body too quickly.

What are Plié Squats

Plié squats are inclusive to everyone of all abilities and capabilities as you are able to only do as much as you can and push yourself to wherever you feel comfortable.

If you want to find out more about how you can begin plié squats, we have all of the information for you here.

Find out everything you need to know about plié squats before practicing them so that you can practice them properly and safely so that your body can feel all of the benefits.

What Are Plié Squats?

Plié squats are a variation of the traditional air squat although there are quite a few differences between plié squats and traditional air squats. Plié squats often get mistaken for sumo squats as they both require you to take a wide stance before squatting.

The main difference between plié squats and sumo squats is the position of the feet, as, during a plié squat, your feet will be turned at 90-degree angles. Check out this article to learn how to do sumo squats.

How Do You Do A Plié Squat? 

To do a plié squat, you first need to stand with your feet wide apart, roughly shoulder-width. Position your feet as turned out as they can be, but don’t force them so you are uncomfortable.

The more turned out your feet are, the harder the squat will be. You can build yourself up to turning your feet out more.

Slightly bend your knees whilst keeping your back straight and place your hand on your hips or thighs to engage your core and balance yourself. If you can’t balance, hold onto the back of a chair or a handrail to perform the plié squat.

Push your hips back and bend your knees to a lower squat position. Lower yourself as far down as you can go and hold the position for a few seconds whilst keeping your back straight.

Return to the standing position and repeat a few times.

Are There Any Variations Of Plié Squats? 

Yes, there is a variation of plié squats that is more advanced as it requires a good level of balance. These are called plié squat calf raises. The plié squat calf raises require strong calf muscles and strong core muscles to help hold you in the correct position during the calf raise.

What are Plié Squats Variations

Source from BodiesbyBrina

To do the plié squat calf raise, position yourself the same as you would for a plié squat by positioning your legs shoulder-width apart and turning your feet out as far as they can go.

Once you are in the correct position, lower yourself into the plié squat by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.

Once you are lowered into the squat position, this is when you will perform the calf raises. Carefully push your heels off the ground and transfer all of your weight onto the balls of your feet.

Lower your heels down and repeat the calf raises by either maintaining the squat position and repeating only the calf lifts or coming back up from the squat position to repeat both the squats and calf raises.

If you have access to a barre, this will be beneficial for you to practice if you want to improve your balance.

Alternatively, using the back of a chair or even a bed frame to support yourself during the calf raises will help strengthen your calves so that you can perform them without holding onto anything.

What Are The Benefits Of Plié Squats? 

There are many benefits of plié squats as it has many positive effects while strengthening your body.

Core Strength

When practicing the plié squats or the plié squat calf raises, your core is going to be extremely important in maintaining your balance.

When performing these exercises, your core will be engaged and will help improve your balance by increasing the strength of your core.

Lower Body Strength

Plié squats help to improve the strength of your glutes, hamstrings, and squads as they will be helping to raise your body in and out of the squat position.

This will help to strengthen your lower body, and the calf raises will help to strengthen your calf muscles so that the movements become easier.


The plié squats are a great exercise to help improve your posture. In order for your balance to be maintained, you must keep your back straight so that you don’t fall over.

Maintaining good posture is key to being able to complete the plié squat movements.

Final Thoughts

Plié squats are a great exercise to perform to improve the strength of your lower body and your core. By practicing plié squats, your body will improve in strength as it will begin to find the movements easier to perform.

It is important not to force movements in case they result in injury, so only begin by positioning your legs and feet as wide and as turned out as they can be.

It is also important to make sure that you don’t injure yourself during the plié squat by falling over, so use a chair to support yourself so that you can complete the movements.

When performing calf raises, the chair will help to keep your balance until you feel strong enough to complete the raise without any support!

So what are plié squats? They are an amazing way to work on your upper body strength at home and to push yourself to feel stronger. By practicing these exercises, you will begin to gradually feel physically stronger when practicing the plié squats.

Kevin Harris