- In Depth Best Stretching Machine Reviews
- ListofFit Top Pick: Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
You put in long, hard hours at the gym and push your body to the maximum. If you aren’t including stretching in your routine, you may be missing out on improved strength and recovery.
We all know proper stretching can help improve flexibility and range of motion in our joints. This can result in a decreased risk of injury. So what’s holding you back from getting in your daily dose of stretching?
It’s very possible you are just missing the right tool, which is a proper stretching machine to help you get in that deep stretch your body is craving. Sometimes people who push their body to the max during each and every workout deserve more than just rolling around on a yoga mat on the floor to stretch out those overworked hamstrings or tight hip flexors.
Here at ListofFit, we are passionate about equipment that helps support an active lifestyle and we believe stretching is a huge component to keeping your body healthy. This is why we have created a comprehensive review of the best stretching machines in 2016 so that you can treat yourself to a great and comfortable stretch from the convenience of your own home.
- Dimensions: 52" x 28" x 36"
- Total Weight: 60 lbs.
- Weight Limit: 250 lbs.
- (4.6 / 5)
- Price: ~$625
- Dimensions: 50.5" x 38.5" x 22.4"
- Total Weight: 56 lbs.
- Weight Limit: 300 lbs.
- (4.5 / 5)
- Price: ~$425
In Depth Best Stretching Machine Reviews
Known for their premium ellipticals and treadmills, Precor is an internationally-recognized brand with high-end equipment that you will probably see at any major gym across the nation. Keeping to this superior reputation, they also make a quality full-body stretch trainer. But commercial grade products come at a price, and at a price tag of over $700, this is certainly an investment to your health.
Before jumping into what makes up this stretch trainer, it’s important to know what kind of warranty backs this investment. The Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer comes with a 5 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on its parts, and 90 days on the upholstery. You can rest assured that will get years’ worth of stretching from this machine.
The Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer comes with parts that are rust-proof and its pivot points are self lubricated, ensuring that this equipment stays around for the long run. The product itself is well built assuming you followed proper installation, though assembly can be difficult for some and the manual encourages 2 people to put it together.
The primary “lower back” stretch is why many opt into purchasing this stretchtrainer, as it’s very hard to replicate effectively and safely without the machine.
This “lower back” stretch is supplemented by seven additional stretches using various combinations of leg positioning and methods of holding the handlebars. The exercises help to stretch the lower back, shoulders, upper back, glutes and hips, hips/legs/backs, inner thighs/groin, and the quadriceps.
At only 60 pounds, this stretchtrainer is easy to move and store within your home, making it that much easier and convenient to fit into your daily life. If you have lower back pain and can’t seem to find relief, this may be a worthy investment towards your back health.
This machine makes doing stretches that could be done on a mat a lot easier and more comfortable. What makes this stretcher stand out from working on the floor or a yoga mat is the cushioning in the seat, the handlebars, as well as knee pads that ensure a comfortable stretch. On top of an ergonomic design, the placard displays a panel of instructions on how to perform each stretch. All of this pre workout stretch can be done in as little as 10 minutes.
The only room for improvement that we can see on this piece of equipment is the lack of adjustment possibilities with the handlebars, so tilting, raising, or lowering the handlebars is not possible for added personal benefit.
If the name doesn’t spell it out for you, we think you need to note that the Pro Leg Stretcher is not a full-body stretcher. But if you are looking for an affordable leg stretcher, this may be up your alley! Having been sold for 20 years, the Pro Leg Stretcher is doing something right and has made our list of the Four Best Stretching Machines in 2016.
This product comes fully assembled. Yes, you heard us right. No assembly!
In the world of fitness equipment, this is a huge plus, as you don’t run this risk of incorrect installation and/or injury. Above all, you don’t have to spend the time putting it together or calling your friend to help if another person is necessary or optimal for assembly.
Product features include an adjustable padded seat as well as a removable self-locking turning wheel.
If you are looking to improve just your lower leg flexibility, this product can give you quite the bang for your buck! With its ease of use as well as sturdy construction, you can be at peace knowing that this product will withstand the test of time and become a regularly used stretcher.
There is a drawback with the Pro Leg Stretcher, among some other stretchers listed in our review, as to the weight limit that is recommended for use. If you are over 235 pounds, this stretcher is not recommended for regular use and you may need to find an alternative like the Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine.
Getting your splits and stretch beyond 180 degrees is the claim to fame for this product and many have attested to pleasing results. The steering wheel on the Pro Leg Stretcher helps to provide a complete and gradual stretch that you can continue to improve over time. There is a stop latch so once you reach the maximum stretch you are comfortable with, you can ease yourself back to your normal position.
The Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine falls in the mid price category among our listed pick of best stretchers of 2016 at about $450.
What we especially like about this stretcher is its adjustable seat as well as removable calf stretch board, which helps it adapt to users of varying height as well as flexibility. It’s nice to have a stretch machine that goes beyond the one-size-fits-all approach. In addition to guiding its user through a variety of seated stretch positions, the removable variable angle calf board station allows for diversified standing calf stretches.
Similar to the Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer, this stretcher comes with an instructional placard on the front that displays all 9 exercises. We like that It doesn’t take up a lot of space and comes with wheels for easy storage. All things that can be helpful when trying to plan and organize your home gym.
The warranty on this product is for 2 years on its frame and parts. If you are looking for a preassembled stretcher, this is not it. The set up comes with an Allen key and you may need your own pair of pliers to put this together, which can take about 30-45 minutes. But to make the assembly more convenient, most of the bolts are inserted into the holes for you so that you don’t have to sort them. As long as you follow the manual, installation is simple enough.
This equipment is very adaptable, as you are able to slide the seat to a preferable setting. All you need to do is rotate the handle to loosen the pin, adjust the seat, and then rotate the pin clockwise to lock the seat back into place. When you’re finished stretching, simply remove the calf stretch board to make it take up even less space and roll away to its storing location.
This Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine is able to support a bit more weight than its counterparts, as all machines come with an extra support bracket. It can handle 250 lbs without support bracket and 300lbs with the support bracket.
The lowest-priced stretching machine in our list, the Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretch Machine is a great option for those looking to improve their flexibility.
A huge positive about the Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretch Machine is that very little assembly is required when it arrives at your doorstep. It comes essentially assembled and you just need take it out of the box, drop the leg pads into place, and put the steering wheel on. And the best news? No tools are required!
The Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretch Machine has decent quality construction but can be impacted more easily with wear-and-tear from heavy use. It may also feel a little less sturdy than its competitors. But coming in as the lowest-priced leg stretch machine on our list, it still does a good job improving your lower half’s flexibility and offering it at a value price. If you are okay with seeing some wear on your equipment, then you could save some cash on the Valor Fitness CA-27.
This stretching machine is comfortable and the side pads fit nicely against your knees. The steering wheel adjustment is great for fine tuning the precise amount of stretch that you want. Once you adjust the wheel it keeps you stretched until you release the pressure. The seat is comfortable enough, making it a decent place to watch some tv while increasing your flexibility.
Once you are finished, it’s easy to move and the back folds down to store under a bed. If you are over 250 pounds, however, this machine is not recommended for you and you may want to explore other sturdier options.
We chose the Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer because the machine is of the highest quality of those reviewed. This stretching machine is designed to use your body weight to allow you to do advanced stretching without another person assisting. You can get a better full body stretch for the same amount of time and effort than just getting on the floor by yourself.
This is a great product especially for providing relief to lower back problems, as this is its primary stretch. If you have lower back disk and muscle pain and have found little other relief elsewhere, this is certainly worth its price tag.
Overall, if you are interested in staying fit, then this will probably help you as it will keep you more limber during workouts, increase your flexibility, and likely help to reduce any aches or pains you suffer from. The other stretching machines have their own place on our list as well and may be better suited for you, depending on your needs. For example, those on a budget may be just as satisfied with the Valor Fitness CA-27 Leg Stretch Machine and those with bigger bones may lean towards the Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine.
- Stretch safely: Stretching too vigorously, holding it for too long, or stretching until it hurts is not good for your body. You may stretch to the point of mild discomfort and then ease up.
- Make it a routine: You should stretch at least 3 times a week to maintain flexibility. A session can last anywhere from 10-20 minutes focusing on holding static stretches for 10, 20, or even 30 seconds each.
- Don’t stretch a cold muscle: Before stretching, be sure to perform a 5-10 minute warm up to get blood flowing into the muscles you intend to stretch. This raises the temperature in these muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Stretch opposing muscles: Always stretch opposing muscle groups such as biceps/triceps, hamstrings/quads, abs/lower back. Stretching only one of a muscle group may cause an imbalance, which can actually decrease flexibility!