Squat the Right Way

How to do a proper Pile squat

We squat at the Barre and away from the Barre in almost every Barre class. There are different ways to squat, in a Barre class we do a Plie squat.

What is a Plie squat:

  1. knees and toes pointing in the same direction
  2. abs engaged, lift pelvic floor to engage TA (transverse abdominis). This will ensure you are supported through your low back and pelvis
  3. keep your shoulders over your hips, imagine sliding down a wall
  4. only squat as low as your knees can handle, you should be able to stand up with ease
  5. squeeze inner thighs and glutes when straightening your legs

We do Plie squats in first position and second position, with heels up and heels down. Each position provides a different experience. When you squat your inner thighs, quads, hamstrings and glutes get a workout. By lifting your heels and squatting your calves get in on the party. Then end result of a perfect squat is long lean legs.

first posFirst Position: In a ballet class you would be expected to turn out your legs and feet at a 180 degree angle. In a Barre class it is more like 45 degrees, in a ‘V’ position. Your knees should be in the same line as your toes without tension in your knees or ankle. So the turnout actually happens from the hip joint to keep your knees safe and happy. When you lower you should not let your bum go below your knees, even if you can. This puts more stress on your knees and actually can make the squat easier.

Second Position: In a ballet second pos class you stance is hip distance apart in second position, still with a 180 degree turn out as in first position. In Barre, we have you bring your stance slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and a slight turnout of about 45 degrees. Remember the turnout originates at the hip, the knee and toes follow the same line.

Heel Raises a.k.a. Releve: When you lift and lower your heels, it will take you just a couple to feel your calves working for you. However Releve also helps in improving your ankle strength and stability through the leg. Lift your heels so that you are on the ball of your foot. You should feel even weight through the ball of your foot.

Join a Barre class to see if you are squatting the right way.