25 April 2016 / Technique Tips

Technique Tip: The seated plié

The seated plié is a fantastic way to strengthen your glutes and thighs, whilst completely taking the weight out of your hip and knee joints. If you are are still getting your head around this position, then here are a few tips! Although it sounds fancy, to 'plié' just means 'to bend'. In a barre class, we think of a plié as a 'dancers squat'.

When setting up, stand close to the barre. If you begin standing too far away, your arms will have too far to reach to the barre when you come to "sit" into the plié position. This will then create poor form as your body will be leaning forward as you bend. 
Ensure that your toes are pointing forward. This way, you are strengthening your legs and glutes in a parallel position, rather than in an externally rotated position like other barre movements.

As you bend, make sure all of the weight is into your heels. Keep your eyes lifted, and draw your bellybutton in towards your spine. Sit back, just like you would if you were sitting into a seat (but holding onto the barre for support).

At the bottom of the position (in the seat), we are aiming for:
- A straight spine, past the neck, past the tailbone and to the floor.
- A straight line from your knee, down your shin and to the floor.
- Weight to be bearing through the heels
- a right angle along your thighs, and down the shins
- imagine yourself in a 'wall-sit' position. Your back is pressed against the phantom wall, and your legs are in a strong, right angles.

Focus on your hips sitting back into the "seat", rather than your knees bending. We don't want to see your knees to be bending past the line of your shin. Instead, think of that straight line from knee, to ankle.