As the 2017 baseball season begins, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mascot Fredbird called up his favorite Athletico Physical Therapist Laura O’Connor for help staying limber.
Fortunately, Fredbird wants to make sure all St. Louis fans are ready to cheer regardless of where they are watching the games – whether inside of Busch Stadium or from the comfort of their own couch – so he is sharing his favorite stretches for all to try!
In the spirit of Cardinals’ great outfielder, Stan Musial (who wore #6), read below to discover six stretches that can help keep Cardinals fans ready to cheer for the rest of the season.
The Hamstring Stretch is perfect for helping Fredbird and all Cardinals fans ensure that they can safely jump up from their seats to celebrate a great play. To perform the stretch, Fredbird lies on his back with his hip flexed and his knee straight. Fredbird should feel a gentle stretch in the back of the
thigh when executing this stretch. If Fredbird did not have an Athletico physical therapist helping him, he could use a belt or a sheet behind his calf to achieve the same effect. For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds with three repetitions, twice daily.
The piriformis is a muscle that Fredbird must keep limber so that he can “shake his tailfeather.” To
perform this stretch, Fredbird is sitting in the dugout with his right leg crossed over his left. He should feel the stretch in his right hip. For an extra stretch, Fredbird can lean forward from his waist. For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds and repeated three times, twice daily.
We have all been to games that are nail-biters, and the tension can rise into our shoulders. To combat this tension, Fredbird is performing the upper trapezius stretch, which requires him to lean his head to the right so he can feel the stretch in his left upper trapezius. Athletico’s physical therapist is providing extra help in this photo to make sure that Fredbird’s left arm stays relaxed. For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds with three repetitions, twice daily.
The quadriceps are important as Cardinals fans stand for the 7th inning stretch, so Fredbird is making sure his are in tip-top shape! To perform this stretch, Fredbird bends his left knee and holds his left ankle making sure not to bend forward at the waist. Fredbird should feel this stretch in the front of the left thigh. Athletico’s physical therapist is providing help for balance (Fredbird has a bit of a challenge balancing at times!). For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds and repeated three times, twice daily.
The levator can become tight with reading, which may become an issue as Cardinals fans check their team’s score throughout the season. Fredbird is stretching his left levator muscle by looking at his right hip, and then using his right arm to provide an additional pull in that direction. For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds with three repetitions, twice daily.
Calf muscles can become tight during many daily activities, including running to grab a bite to eat at the concession stand between innings! Fredbird is stretching his right calf in this photo and holding onto the left field wall for balance. He should feel the stretch in the back of his lower right leg. It is important to note that Cardinals fans should perform this stretch with shoes on, and make sure that the back foot is pointing forward for best efficacy. For maximum effectiveness, this stretch should be held for 30 seconds and repeated three times, twice daily.
Fredbird’s favorite stretches are a good place to start for Cardinals fans whose bodies may be feeling the impact of a long season of cheering. Those that have more intense aches and pains, however, should follow Fredbird’s lead and contact their nearest Athletico location to schedule a complimentary injury screen.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.