How to Do Plie Squats: Technique and Features of the Exercise

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How to Do Plie Squats

There are many types of squats that have been used successfully in various strength sports. The specifics depend on the type of equipment used, the width of the legs, the number of repetitions, and other factors. One of the types of exercise is plie squats.

Did You Know, How to Plie Squats
Did You Know, How to Plie Squats


Question & Answer

  1. What muscles work in Plie Squats?
  2. How to do Plie Barbell Squats?
  3. What is the difference Between Plie Squats & Sumo Squats?
  4. Difference between Plie Dumbbell Squats & Classic Plie?


What muscles work in Plie Squats?

The load falls on most of the leg muscles, as with regular squats with a barbell. The following muscles are more involved, shown in the photo:

  • Quadriceps;
  • Inner thigh;
  • Gluteal muscles.
Muscle work in a Plie?
What muscle works in a Plie?

The exercise is performed with a wide feet stance. In fact, the load will be shifted to the gluteal muscles, as well as the muscles of the inner thigh, which will allow them to work more. When doing exercises with a barbell, the quadriceps are more loaded. That is why plie squats are so popular with girls.

The additional load when performing plie squats is shifted to the following muscles:

  • Abdominal muscles;
  • Soleus muscles;
  • Muscles of the lower back (lower back).

That is, the additional load goes to the stabilizing muscles, which is a significant plus for the subsequent performance of regular squats, as well as other exercises in which stabilization is important.

What is the difference Between Plie Squats & Sumo Squats?

We have already written about Sumo squats, how effective they are.

Plie squats are often performed as an additional exercise or execute at the end of a workout, maximally pump and tire the leg muscles, an exercise designed to diversify the workout. They are sometimes used as an alternative to barbell squats, as they have many benefits when done correctly:

  • With strict adherence to the squatting technique, plie is considered practically not traumatic;
  • The load is shifted to the buttocks and inner thigh;
  • Plie squats allow you to shift the load, which has a positive effect on the progress in squats in the future;
  • Plie squats improve blood flow to the pelvic organs;
  • The load on the joints and the spine are minimal.

Plie squats can be performed by athletes who are unable to lift large weights. Regular squats with low weights do not give legs and glute the necessary load, while the plié squats allow you to work out certain muscle groups properly.

Plie Dumbbell Squats, Technique

There are several options for performing plie squats. Typically, the difference lies in the type of equipment used. The most common option is to use a dumbbell or kettlebell. In both cases, the technique will be the same:

  1. Legs are wider than shoulders, socks look diagonally to the sides.
  2. The back must be kept straight, a slight deflection is carried out in the lumbar region.
  3. A dumbbell or kettlebell is taken into the hands. You need to hold the projectile at the lowest point, on outstretched arms.
  4. Without changing the position of the back, the athlete should sit down so that the hips are parallel to the floor or slightly higher.
  5. After a short pause, it is necessary to return the body to its original position, the legs should not be fully extended.
Plie Technique
Plie Dumbbell Squats

Particular attention should be paid to breathing. While moving down, you must take a slow breath. After that, at the lowest point, exhalation is carried out and the body returns to its original position.

The number of approaches and repetitions is selected depending on the goals of the athlete, but not less than 8 times in one approach. As a rule, the weight is selected in such a way that you can perform up to 20 repetitions in 3-5 sets.

How to do Plie Barbell Squats

Another option for performing the exercise is to use a barbell. In this case, the exercise will be similar to sumo deadlift, however, there are differences between these exercises and the technique will have some features:

  1. The position of the legs is the same, slightly wider than the shoulders. It can be varied.
  2. The wider the legs are placed, the more the load will be shifted to the inner thigh.
  3. The back is straight, with a slight deflection in the lumbar region.
  4. The barbell rests on your shoulders as you would with regular barbell exercises.
  5. On inspiration, a squat is performed to parallel with the floor or slightly higher. At the bottom point, you need to make a short pause.
  6. On the exhalation, we return to the starting position.
How to do Plie Barbell Squats
How to do Plie Barbell Squats

The breathing technique will be exactly the same as when performing an exercise with a dumbbell: when moving down, inhale, at the bottom point, slow exhalation begins.

Using a barbell allows you to use significantly more weight, but do not dwell on the weight itself, but concentrate on the technique. It is necessary to select the weight so as to perform at least 5 repetitions, and if the goal of training is relief muscles, then at least 20 reps. Exercise from 3 to 5 approaches. When working with large weights, do not forget about warm-up in the form of 1-2 sets with an empty barbell.

Recommendations for the Exercise

The exercise can give a significant result both in strength indicators and in terms of working out individual muscles. It is only important to follow some recommendations:

  • It is advisable to combine plie with other types of squats, as well as with other exercises for the legs and buttocks.
  • If it is necessary to load the buttocks and the inner thigh to a greater extent, then the emphasis should be on the plie squats, and not on the usual barbell squats.
    To reduce the load on the joints, it is recommended to extend the legs completely at the top point.
  • Heels and socks must not be lifted off the floor.
  • Squats are performed smoothly, sudden movements are not allowed.
  • The knees should not protrude beyond the toes, and should also not roll inward.
  • A fairly effective exercise is considered when it is performed as part of various supersets or circuit training, especially if your goal is a relief and weight loss.


Plie squats are a great way to diversify your workout, supplement it with a new type of load. This type of squat allows you to slightly shift the emphasis on the gluteal muscles and the inner thigh. The movement is recommended as an additional, and if necessary, to develop more of the buttocks and hips – even as a basic exercise on the legs. In any case, it is worth paying special attention to the execution technique and not rushing to increase weight, working out the muscles with high quality, and combining exercises to achieve the best result.


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