How To Do Plié Squats

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

A plié squat is a powerful exercise that strengthens your legs, glutes, and calves while increasing the range of motion in your hips.

This lower body move tones your inner thighs while targeting your hamstrings and glutes, the strongest and most powerful muscles in your butt.

Plié Squat Exercise Instructions:

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes turned out into a 45-degree angle.
  2. Bend knees and lower your torso, keeping your back straight and abs tight.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and come to a standing position.

Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings

If you would like to amp up your workout, try this plié v-raise instead. It adds weights to increase the intensity of the plié squats and work the upper body for additional muscle gain.


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    Benefits of Plié Squats

    Plié squats are an easy way to tone your inner thighs, strengthen your glutes, and improve balance. They are also convenient and can be done anywhere.

    They Work Your Inner Thighs

    Because of the different placement of your feet in a plié squat versus a regular squat, you are utilizing different muscles and opening your hips. When you move your legs into that plié stance, you really tone your adductor muscles or inner thighs.

    After doing a few sets of plié squats, you’ll definitely start to feel it in your inner thighs.

    Strengthen Your Glutes

    By changing up the stance of your squat into a plié squat, you also work your gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in your body) more effectively.

    Glute strength is essential not only for daily functions but also to make you a better runner and improve your athletic performance in virtually any type of workout you do. Doing plié squats can help you strengthen and tone your glute muscles, helping you create a firmer, more lifted butt.

    If that’s your main goal, you might like my bubble butt exercise guide!

    Improve Balance and Stability

    Because plié squats take their name and stance from ballet, it’s no surprise that they can help improve your balance. To do a plié squat you are putting your body into a whole new stance that you’re probably not used to, with your feet turned out at a 45-degree angle, and this does require a bit of balance.

    You’ll increase your stability throughout your core and lower body as you do more plié squats, too.

    They’re Easy To Do Anytime, Anywhere

    Another great benefit of plié squats is that they don’t require any equipment. You only need your own body weight and a little bit of space. You can do them at home, at the gym, or even while traveling in your hotel room.

    What Muscles Do Plié Squats Work?

    Plié squats work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and your inner thighs. While traditional squats also work the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, plié squats also give more focus to the inner thighs or adductor muscles—a nice bonus!

    This makes these squats especially great for people looking to tighten and tone the inner thigh area. In combination with cardio exercise and a healthy diet, this type of squat can help you create lean and toned thighs.

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a Plie Squat

    How to Add Plié Squats to Your Workouts

    There are several ways you can incorporate plié squats into your workout, including within your warm up, or added to a lower body workout.

    Here are a few sample workouts to get you started:

    Workout Method #1: Use Plié Squats In Your Warm-Ups

    Plié squats are a great move to use in a quick warm-up for your workout. They help to:

    • Lubricate the joints and prepare them for more movement
    • Get your heart rate up which helps prepare your body for your workout
    • Get the blood pumping and circulating in all parts of your body
    • Warm up the muscles in your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs

    Try one of these three ideas to incorporate plié squats into your warm up routine.

    Warm-Up Idea #1:10 plié squats, 10 hip circles, 10 plié squats, 10 arm circles
    Warm-Up Idea #2:30 seconds of mountain climbers, 30 seconds of butt-kicks, 10 plié squats, 10 lunges.
    Warm-Up Idea #3:5 push-ups, 10 hip circles, 10 plié squats, 5 push-ups

    Workout Method #2: Use Plié Squats In Lower-Body Workouts

    Plié squats are very effective for toning the lower body, resulting in a much tighter and lifted butt, and lean, toned legs. Here are two different quick bodyweight workouts you can do at home that don’t require any equipment.

    Do either of these workouts 2-3 times per week to start toning your lower body:

    Leaner Legs Workout:10 plié squats, 10 cross-behind lunges, 10 leg lifts, 10 single-leg hamstring bridges. Do 1 minute of jumping jacks and 1 minute of mountain climbers. Repeat this cycle 3 times.
    Legs And Buns Workout:10 plié squats, 10 jump squats, 10 glute bridges, 10 fire hydrants. Do 1 minute of butt kicks and 1 minute of mountain climbers. Repeat this cycle 3 times.

    Workouts That Incorporate Plié Squats

    7 Exercises to Go From Flat To Firm Butt

    10-Minute Belly and Butt Workout 

    10-Minute Beginner Tabata Workout  

    sam working out on yoga matt outside

    How Many Calories Do Plié Squats Burn?

    When considering how many calories you will burn practicing plié squats, you can think in the same terms as any form of exercise.

    If you are working intensely, the average person will burn about 100 calories every 10 minutes. So if you’re using plié squats in a moderate to intense workout, you should burn 100 calories every 10 minutes.

    Other Exercises Similar To Plié Squats

    Here are some additional exercise that will tone your lower body, similar to a plié squats:

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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