Today's blogger: Danielle McNally, associate fitness editor
Usually my motto is the bigger, the better: Higher leaps in dance class, a longer running gait, heavier weights for strength training. But during my hour-long Pilates lesson with Mika Street, owner of Uptown Pilates in NYC’s Upper East Side, it was all small, all the time. Every movement was miniscule, like lowering each vertebra individually as I rolled from boat pose down to the reformer (an essential tool in Authentic Method Pilates, it’s basically a mat connected to a system of springs and pulleys). While doing a move called The Elephant (start in the cow portion of cat-cow pose, push the reformer behind you with your heels, then bring it back in using your abs), I had to resist the pull of the springs, only moving the machine an inch—two tops! Plus, the whole time Mika had me concentrating on sucking my belly button another smidgen closer to my back. Compact movements equal an intense core workout, and it was easy to envision a toned mid-section if I kept this up. Now I know: Staying small can lead to big results.