Stretching is an often-overlooked aspect of working out that, if used correctly, can massively improve your results.
Now, while regular stretches are great, stretching machines can help you take this to the next level.
The problem is, stretching machines aren’t overly common. That means many people won’t know how they work, what benefits they offer, or which machines are best suited to their needs.
That’s why today, I am going to give you a rundown of the best stretching machines available.
This will provide you with a much better understanding of which to use and why. So, if you’re considering buying a stretching machine, I highly recommend reading on.
The Benefits Of Stretching Machines
Much like traditional stretching, stretching machines will help to improve both your flexibility and mobility, as well as increase your range of motion and circulation. This will help to improve athletic performance, as you will be able to engage all of the fibres in the entirety of each muscle.
It is equally as important to prevent injuries as well, which will help you avoid missing time in the gym. Stretching will not only help prevent serious injuries but will also reduce back and joint pain, relieve muscle soreness, and improve your posture.
The primary benefit of a stretching machine compared to regular stretches is that it helps you to go deeper into a stretch than you could on your own or to hit a particular part of the body that is hard to achieve without a partner.
There are various types of stretching machines available, ranging from large, complex machines, to small, foldable options. This makes them accessible whether you are looking to target a single problem area or increase your overall capabilities, regardless of your available space or budget.
As a result, they are a great addition to a home gym, as this is a scenario where you will often be training alone. They are equally as effective for athletes and experienced gym goers as well though, as they help you to push yourself past your limits.
Best Stretching Machines For A Home Gym
When determining the best stretching machines for a home gym, the main factors to consider are the amount of space they take up, if they can safely be used alone, and whether or not they need to be secured in place.
The Proflex Stretch stretching machine is designed to help you perform six different stretches that target all of the major joints and muscles in the body.
It features a progressive approach, with six steps that gradually help you to improve over time.
Its assisted stretching mechanism not only makes it one of the best options to improve your mobility and flexibility but it can also improve posture and the position of your spine, as well help to relax your muscles.
This makes it well suited whether you want to use it to improve your sporting performance or for medical reasons. It is recommended that it can be used by anyone aged twelve and up.
Measures and workout charts will help you to track your progress, while the machine guarantees you will see between a 30 to 50 percent increase in your overall flexibility within 30 days.
The machine itself has a safe and sturdy build, weighing 220 pounds and featuring dimensions of 53” (L) x 33” (W) x 67” (H). Heavy duty wheels allow it to be easily transported, while it is designed for convenient upright storage.
Assembly is incredibly easy and simple to understand, while all the necessary tools are included. Video links are provided both to show you how to assemble the machine, as well as how to use it, with both beginner and advanced options present.
The Proflex Stretch features a RRP of $549.99 and comes with a full warranty for 3-years, covering you for anything deemed normal use, to ensure you have confidence in your purchase.
- Easy to assemble and move
- Very effective for stretching, flexibility, and mobility
- Results are guaranteed within 30 days
- Relieve back pain and tension
- Helps you to track your progress
- Guides are included for both beginner and advanced users
- Can be used on all of the major muscles and joints in the body
- Large and heavy
The Precor 240i Commercial Series stretching machine is a compact product that is ideal for those with limited free space.
With dimensions of 52” (L) x 28” (W) x 36” (H) and weighing just sixty pounds, you will be able to use it no matter how little room you have available.
This is furthered as it is one of the best full body stretching machines on the market, which operates to a commercial standard.
Offering a range of eight stretches that target your back, glutes, hips, legs, and shoulders, you will only need a single product to cover all of your needs.
Instructional literature clearly outlines each of these stretches, making it accessible no matter how little previous experience you may have.
The machine boasts a high level of comfort, featuring an ergonomic design, with a padded seat, kneepads, and handlebars. Its build ensures you will always be in the correct position during your stretches, while wrist straps are included to provide even greater levels of security and control.
The main sticking point for most people will be the admittedly high RRP of $840.45.
However, with an extended 90 day return window and warranties that include 5 years on the frame, 2 years on parts, and 90 days on upholstery, you can at least be confident that if you do decide to shell out, your product is going to be able to stand the test of time.
- Compact, lightweight, and easy to store
- Effective for full body stretching
- Very sturdy
- Simple and easy to use
- Great range of warranties and guarantees
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Extremely expensive
- Some complaints about shipping and delivery
At an RRP of $479.99, the Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine is one of the more affordable products in this category on the market.
With nine exercises that train the entire body you will only need a single machine, so it is ideal for those on a budget.
A weight of fifty-six pounds and dimensions of 50.5” (L) x 38.5” (W) x 22.4” (H) also make it among the smallest, lightest options, so it is equally well-suited to those with limited space. The built-in wheels are also incredibly convenient when you need to move or store it.
With seven set positions, an adjustable seat, dual approach handles, and a weight capacity of 250 pounds (which increases to 300 pounds when the support bracket is used), it is a versatile product that will be suitable for use by people of all shapes and sizes.
Of particular note is its specialised calf stretch station, with three different calf stretch angles and support bars. As a problem area for many people, this section gives you options to solve a common issue.
The machine is incredibly easy to assemble and features an illustrated, easy to read instructional display. This ensures everyone can use it, regardless of their previous experience.
- Smaller and more affordable than most alternatives
- Effective for stretching, muscle soreness, and back pain
- Comfortable padding and design
- Great range of adaptions
- Good weight capacity
- Great customer service
- Easy to move and store
- Not as robust as some competing machines
- Some complaints about the quality of materials
Best Stretching Machine For Martial Arts
Those who are involved in martial arts often require a greater level of flexibility and mobility than regular people, due to the positions their body will be put in to complete moves and poses. This is why techniques such as hyperbolic stretching are often employed.
Anyone who takes their participation seriously is therefore going to need a stretching machine that tests their limits more than the average stretching machine is designed for.
The Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretcher stretching machine is specifically designed with mixed martial arts and yoga in mind, although can be used to enhance performance in any sport.
The CA-27 primarily targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles, as they bear most of the workload in these activities.
It features a wheel crank device to give you maximum control over your stretch, allowing you to go as deep as you need.
The leg pads expand over 180 degrees, while the back pads adjust between 105 and 110 degrees, offering a much deeper stretch than similar machines.
If required, you can also remove the crank wheel, giving you space to lean forward and make the stretch even deeper still. This is ideal is you are aiming to achieve extreme positions, such as “the splits”.
At just forty-nine pounds and with dimensions of 48.5” (L) x 14.5 (W) x 21 (H), the Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretcher is easy to move and store, making it an incredibly convenient option. Despite this, its steel frame is incredibly sturdy and features a maximum user capacity of 250 pounds.
Included instructions make both assembling and operating the machine simple and easy, while comfortable padding ensures it is a pleasure to use. It also features the budget friendly RRP of just $218.98, so isn’t going to break the bank.
- Very well built and sturdy, with a good maximum user capacity
- Comfortable padding
- Features a range of settings greater than 180 degrees
- Ideal for MMA athletes and yoga practitioners
- Easy to assemble, adjust, and use
- Compact and lightweight
- Extremely affordable
- Some complaints that the crank wheel is stiff
- Hard to track angles or progress
The hamstrings and calves are notoriously two of the most problematic muscles when it comes to both increasing size and a lack of mobility.
If these are the only areas you require assistance stretching, it makes sense to select one of the smaller, cheaper options that are available specifically for this purpose.
While choosing a machine that specifically targets this area is important if it is a problem for you, you still need to ensure the one you select will offer the benefits you desire, based on your ambitions.
The IdealStretch leg stretcher is specifically designed to target the calves and hamstrings, with additional benefits to the groin, hips, IT band, knees, and lower back as well.
It is ideal for reliving tight or short Ilio-Tibial (IT) band tissues and reducing lower back and knee pain.
It is easily one of the best options available for working the hamstrings, and a RRP of $62.95 ensures that no one is priced out.
The ability to use the leg stretcher while lying on your back with your knees straight eliminates the pressure on your spine and helps maintain proper hip orientation. This is perfect for allowing you to use the stretcher without relocating the issue from one part of the body to another.
The steel frame is lightweight and made of the highest quality, using heavy-duty construction. The length can be adjusted, to ensure people of all sizes are able to use it, while it can also be broken into two pieces for ease of transport and storage.
It is simple and easy to use, and has almost no assembly required, making it suitable even for novice users. An instructional DVD is included, to ensure everyone is able to get the most out of their purchase.
- Extremely affordable
- Simple, easy to use design
- Quickly disassembles for storage and transport
- Great for hamstrings and avoiding pressure on the spine
- Lightweight and easily adjustable
- Good for the injured or elderly
- Only provides a moderate stretch
The Figrol Leg Stretcher is made from thick, heavy duty, tubular steel, which makes it incredibly sturdy and durable.
Each tube has six holes, allowing it to be easily adjusted to different lengths between 21.8 and 40.3 inches, making it usable for almost everyone over 3 foot 2 inches tall.
This adjustability, combined with how small and lightweight the product is, make it incredibly convenient for both transport and storage. It is also abrasion resistant, which minimises the chance of it being damaged when in transit.
An EVA foam grip and ATBC-PVC non-slip design make it incredibly safe to use, while also ensuring it doesn’t cause any damage to the surface it is used on.
The Figrol Leg Stretcher is incredibly simple and easy to use. It is an effective option for improving your leg flexibility, balance, and range of motion, while maintaining a natural body position. This makes it ideal for helping you train to do the splits.
Its central handle allows you to quickly and easily alter the tension, while stretches can be done through a range of 180 degrees, making it extremely versatile. This makes it perfect for different training routines, as you can quickly repurpose it in seconds.
With a RRP of just $25.99, it is one of the best budget leg stretchers available for both men and women, and is the perfect addition to any dance studio or home gym.
- Simple and easy to use
- Great for training to do the splits
- Perfect for beginners
- Lightweight and compact, ideal for storage and transport
- Non-slip design is safe to use and won’t damage surfaces
- Abrasion resistant so unlikely to get damaged during transport
- No angle/degree indicator makes tracking progress challenging
- People over six foot may find their range of settings limited
Best Inversion Tables For Stretching
Inversion tables are a fabulous method of elongating the spine and reducing pressure in the back and neck, as well as other joints.
However, despite their benefits, they can also be a little more dangerous and intimidating to use.
It is therefore essential that you determine the best inversion table for stretching based on your own needs, so you feel comfortable and confident while using it.
The Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table boasts a unique, “True Balance System”, which allows each user to find their own center of gravity.
This ensures you have no difficulty inverting yourself, enabling you to safely use the product without assistance.
The six-angle pin system offers you a great range of easily adjustable settings, guaranteeing users of all abilities will find a position that suits their needs. It also makes it easy to track your progress, as you will know exactly what setting you have used each time.
The height, headrest, and footrest are all fully adjustable. This allows you to have full control over your centre of gravity and provides the finest inversion experience for people between 4 foot 10 to 6 foot 6, with a weight of up to 300 pounds.
The reversible, ergonomic ankle holding system, thick, cushioned backrest pad, and soft foam handlebars ensure you are comfortable throughout your use of the item. That said, if you have any medical issues, you should still consult a licensed physician before you begin using it.
With a RRP of $129.95, it represents one of the best budget inversion tables on the market. Its foldability, 52-pound weight, and dimensions of 46” (L) x 28” (W) x 63” (H) also make it suitable for both storage and transport.
Some assembly is required, although it is relatively straight forward, and an included guide will take you through all of the necessary steps.
- Good for beginners
- Lightweight and foldable, perfect for storage and transport
- Good range of easily adjustable settings
- Decent weight and height range
- Can be used without assistance
- Some complaints at difficulty of assembly
- Still quite bulky to store even when folded
The Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy Inversion Table features advanced FIR heat technology and ultra-thin carbon fibre heating elements.
This will help to soothe muscles, reduce back pain and fatigue, and increase circulation and blood flow, making it one of the best therapy inversion tables available.
It is also incredibly comfortable, with foam covering on the hand and ankle holds, and 2.5-inch-thick padding in the back and head rests.
Three different starting positions and the ability to invert through 180 degrees provides plenty of different options for users of all abilities. Similarly, its adjustable backrest ensures it can be used by anyone up to 6 foot 6 and 350 pounds.
Safety is of the upmost importance with the Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy Inversion table.
Its extra-long safety handles, inverting hand grips, ratchet ankle locking system, and easily adjustable safety tether strap all keep you locked in place, while the tough, rubber, non-skid floor stabilisers keep the machine rooted to the ground.
The quick release ratchet gear system is also extremely safe and easy to reach for anyone that wants to keep back bending to a minimum.
The temperature can be easily controlled with a remote control, for which a mesh pocket is included, to keep it accessible whatever setting you have the table on. There is also an LED display, to keep you constantly informed of what heat settings you are using.
The product is made from tubular steel, so is incredibly strong, and features an additional scratch-resistant, powder-coated finish for increased durability. A 1-year warranty is also included, to provide confidence that you are covered if any faults occur during normal use.
While it does fold for storage, it is still quite bulky, so you will need plenty of available space. It is also not the cheapest option available, with prices ranging from 351 to 430 dollars, depending on which version of the table you select.
- Includes FIR and heat therapy technologies
- Remote control and LED displays to monitor and control your settings
- Comfortable design
- Easy to use
- Capable of being fully inverted
- High weight and height capacity
- Plenty of safety features
- 1-year warranty included
- Very stable
- Strong and durable
- Still quite bulky even when folded
Stretching machines are a great addition to any routine, whether you want to enhance your physical performance or help treat any nagging injuries.
With the range of options in terms capabilities, sizes, prices etc being so extensive, there is more than likely an option well suited to almost every user.
You will now have a much better idea of the best stretching machines that are available and will hopefully have selected the one you feel offers the greatest benefits to your own training.
All that’s left is to take the leap and purchase your favourite, so you can start making the most of all the benefits it has to offer, as soon as possible.