Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Plie Squat Overview

The dumbbell plie squat is a variation of the goblet squat and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the legs.

The plie squat will primarily target the quads, but will indirectly work the other muscles of the leg as well.

This exercise can be used as a beginner exercise to help you learn the squat movement pattern prior to progressing to heavier and more technically demanding squat movements.

Plie Squat Instructions

  1. Select a dumbbell and position it vertically on the floor.
  2. Setup with a wider than shoulder width stance stance and allow your arms to hang straight down to the floor.
  3. Squat down and grab the edges of the dumbbell with both hands.
  4. Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor as you stand up tall.
  5. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Plie Squat Tips

  1. Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
  2. Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  3. Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
  4. Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
  5. Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.
Posted on: Mon, 10/10/2022 - 19:11

What's the difference between this and the frog squat? I read the instructions and watched the videos but I'm still not getting the difference between the two. I appreciate any further guidance. Thanks a lot!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 10/11/2022 - 07:12

Name only, Kev. They are pretty much the same exercise.

Posted on: Sun, 09/05/2021 - 02:40

Hi I have resistant bands that I use for lat pulldowns could I add these too these workouts ??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2021 - 20:06

You can stand on the band and hold the top of it and squat that way. It would be a different version of a squat, but it would still be effective.

Posted on: Thu, 07/01/2021 - 18:45

When I do any kind of squat, just above my kneecaps hurts. Is this normal? Is my form wrong?

Charles Tichkins
Posted on: Tue, 03/08/2022 - 06:18

Pay attention to how much your knees extend past your toes especially if you are squatting very deep, almost ATG. Check your ROM. Definitely study videos and mimic good forms.

Charles Tichkins
Posted on: Tue, 03/08/2022 - 06:25

Go seek medical attention first then follow my advice. Need to be sure you didn’t injure yourself.

Posted on: Wed, 02/24/2021 - 13:20

Can I hold the bottom of the dumbbell instead of the top? The SelectTech dumbbells I have are too long.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/25/2021 - 09:51

Hey Bill - yes you can.

Posted on: Fri, 08/28/2020 - 20:19

The adjustable weight dumbbells I have for this are too big in size when I max out the weight, reducing the distance until they touch the floor. Is it safe to grab it horizontally by the handle with both hands instead?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:31

Hey V - it would be best to stand on either 2 boxes or plates to elevate yourself off the ground and give you more room to perform the movement. If you don't have that option, you can also grab it by the handle like you suggest.

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2012 - 12:21

fantastic work-out man, i'm going thru each and every of your dumbbells work out! and they ar amazing! i love 'em.. thank you for being such an invaluable support..