Andy Garcia Loves Pilates
Ocean's 13 star Andy Garcia may be staunchly old-fashioned when it comes to his family, but he is also a devotee of Pilates, the quintessential Hollywood fitness craze.
star Andy Garcia is a
committed family man -- he’s been married for nearly 25 years and has four
children ranging in age from 23 to 5 -- and he’s just as devoted to maintaining
his physical health. While it’s true that he has been photographed toking on
the odd cigar, it might surprise you to learn that the actor, director, and
golf enthusiast is no stranger to a Pilates mat.
Pilates? For an actor who launched to stardom playing tough-guy roles
in such films as The Untouchables, The Godfather: Part
III, and the Ocean’s trilogy? Pilates suggests images of Hollywood
ingénues bending and stretching to keep their figures long and lean. But this
core-strengthening fitness regimen is also great for anyone who suffers from
back pain -- as Garcia does.
Garcia, 51, has always been physically active. In fact, back when he was a
boy and living in Miami he played a lot of basketball (as point guard) and
baseball --and even had hopes of taking his athleticism beyond high school. But
now he dismisses those big-league dreams as pie-in-the-sky fantasies of a
teenager. “Every young athlete has illusions of being a professional athlete,”
he says now, laughing softly. “Certainly, we all grow up with those.”
A nasty bout of mononucleosis he picked up as a junior dampened those
pro-athlete aspirations. While most teens who get mono recover within a month
or so, Garcia says, “I got derailed,” he says. “I couldn’t exercise for
Flash forward 30-odd years, and you’re much more likely to spot Garcia in a
trendy Pilates studio than on a basketball court or baseball diamond. He says
he did try to practice power yoga for a time, but “I had some disc issues, and
I would get hurt often doing power yoga. Pilates seems to be a lot better for
Pilates -- which focuses on core muscles that keep the body balanced and
support the spine -- is an excellent antidote for back pain, and is a good way
to prevent it, says William C. Lauerman, MD, a professor of orthopaedic surgery
and chief of the spine surgery division at Georgetown University Medical
Center. He recommends Pilates for his patients who have scoliosis and disc
problems, whether they have had surgery or not.