Tampa Bay Rays third basemen Evan Longoria is one of the best at his position in the American League and has been a key player in his team’s lineup for the last six seasons.
Now, at age 29, Longoria sought even more efficient ways to keep his body in tip-top shape for the rigors of a 162-game season. With the Major League Baseball season now in full swing, we talked to the California native to find out how he prepped.
MF: What did you and the team focus on at the close of spring training in order to get in the best shape possible?
EL: I focused on having quality at-bats, being on the field to start acclimating my body for the long season, and making sure I took care of my body in the training and weight room before and after the games.
MF: To that end, how important is rest and recovery for you?
EL: Rest is always important. The more quality hours you can give yourself allows for your body to repair and reenergize from the daily pounding it takes. Fatigue is often the most common cause of injury.
MF: Since linking up with SKLZ in 2014, what piece of equipment have you found to be the most beneficial to your off-season training?
EL: The Barrel Roller (I like the firm one)—I have to keep my body healthy and be able to rest and recover in between sessions during the off-season. Recovery tools like the Barrel Roller help me to do that.
MF: What are 5 things you did to prepare yourself for Opening Day?
EL: Sleep well the night before; drink plenty of fluids; prepare for the pitchers that I know I will face; go through my normal daily routines and have fun.
MF: When you’re working out in the off-season, what elements of fitness are you focusing on?
EL: Overall health and total-body fitness, rotational power in my core, and lower body explosiveness.
MF: What tools do you use for your strengthing core? Resistance bands? Medicine balls?
EL: Medicine balls for sure. When I do perpendicular throws against a wall, it helps me to link all of my body together to produce power. You drive from your feet, through your legs, core and then out through your arms. It’s similar to swinging a baseball bat.
MF: Name the 5 pieces of equipment you used the most in your off-season prep work.
- Slidez are a great tool for any athlete looking to engage their core in a plethora of ab-crunching positions.
- When working on speed, agility and/or footwork, I go with hurdles.
- Mini bands are perfect for upper- and lower-body resistance training.
- Two to 15-pound medicine balls are a favorite, as mentioned above.
- Also mentioned above, make sure your gym bag includes the barrel roller—great for recovery or stretching before a workout.
MF: Let’s not forget about the importance of nutrition when it comes to performance. What are some examples of meals you might eat prior to a game?
EL: PBJ; deli sandwich; light protein (chicken or steak); pasta but not too heavy; protein shake; plenty of water, and one Redbull before I hit the field.