After a somewhat disappointing 2014 season, in which the Tampa Bay Rays missed the playoffs for only the second time in the last five years, Rays slugger Evan Longoria attacked the off-season with vigor. After focusing on strengthening his legs, hips and glutes, as well as adding resistance to the movements he makes every day in the batter's box and on the field, Longoria is ready to get the Rays back to the post-season. Check out Longoria's impressive workout below and add some of his techniques to your training program as you prepare for your own season on the diamond.
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Lateral Shuffle with Resistance Band
To become more explosive with his first step out of the batter's box and to cover more ground at third base, Longoria performs Lateral Shuffles with a SKLZ Pro Band around his waist. He extends his hips while explosively pushing his outside foot down and through the ground.
- Place two cones about 5 yards apart.
- Attach the Pro Band around your waist so a partner can provide resistance on the side of your hip.
- Start at one cone with the other out to your side, with the resistance coming from the opposite side.
- Assume an athletic stance with your knees slightly bent, hips back and arms bent in front of you.
- Shuffle laterally to the opposite cone, pushing with your outside leg and picking up your inside foot.
- At the cone, stick and hold the athletic position. Reverse directions and repeat the movement.
Sets/Reps: Complete the set on one side, switch the resistance to other side of your hip, and repeat in the opposite direction.
Mini-Band Linear Bent Leg Walk
Longoria has three seasons with 30 or more home runs, and his hips and glutes are huge contributors to his powerful swing. To maintain his power, he performs a Mini-Band Linear Bent Leg Walk. He loops one band above his knees and another around his ankles, then walks forward in a squat position.
- Loop one mini-band above your knees and another one around your ankles.
- Stand in a quarter-squat position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Walk forward 10 yards taking small steps.
- Drive your opposite elbow back with each step.
Sets/Reps: Repeat five times
Mid- to Upper-Back Foam Roll
Longoria uses a SKLZ Barrel Roller to increase his range of motion. This helps him to fight off nasty sliders at the plate and dive for scorching liners at third base.
- Lie on the ground with a barrel roller under your mid-back and your hands supporting your head.
- Lift your butt off the ground so your weight is supported by your feet and the roller.
- Roll from the middle of your back to your shoulders. Spend more time rolling any sore spots.
Med Ball Parallel Rotational Throw
Finally, Longoria mimics the rotational movements his body goes through when he's at the plate and in the field, using additional resistance from a medicine ball. This way, he is able to increase his power, especially for those long throws to first after he gobbles up ground balls.
- Stand in an athletic position facing a wall about 3 to 4 feet away, holding a medicine ball at waist level.
- Rotate your shoulders, torso and hips away from the wall, taking the ball behind your hip.
- Initiate the throw by exploding your hips back toward the wall and follow with your torso, arms and the ball.
- Catch the ball with your arms slightly bent and immediately perform the next repetition.
Sets/Reps: 10 on each side
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