In honor of our new barre studio, I’m focusing the Move of the Week on the incredible second position plié. I could go on and on about why I love this move and its many variations, but I’ll let you check it out for yourself!
~ strengthens and tones quads, inner thighs, glutes, and calves
~ stretches inner leg muscles and hips
~ balances strength and length in the lower half of the body
~ supports joint health, by keeping joints pliable
~ via a nice little “muscle-working burn,” becomes Nature’s stress reliever
~ releases endorphins
~ incredibly versatile; you’ll never get bored!
NOTE: a plié is different from a squat in that the torso remains up right (ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips).
~ step feet apart
~ turn out legs from the hip joint
~ bend the knees, making sure knees and toes point in the same direction and that the knees fall right over the heels (if knees point forward of toes, bring toes forward until the two match up)
~ pelvis remains in neutral (in other words, avoid tucking under or tilting backward; if tucking/tilting, lessen the bend until the pelvis can rest in neutral)
~ when straightening legs, press heels into the ground and zip the inner leg muscles (adductors) from knee to inner thigh
~ inhale into plié, exhale to straighten
~ full range of motion: bend knees to low point and then lengthen all the way up
~ down pulses: bend knees to low point and gently pulse down, staying low
~ up pulses: bend knees to low point and gently pulse up one inch, engaging inner thighs
~ up halfway: begin at low point and slowly straighten only halfway, zipping up inner leg muscles
~ heels lifted: full range, pulses, and up halfway can be done with the heels lifted (weight on big and second toes)
Play with this move and let us know what you think. And join us Mondays and Wednesdays for barre class! I hope you love plié in second position as much as I do!