Whether it is a good warm up session before your workout or a cool down session after your workout, stretching machines can be of great assistance. If you usually face issues of tight muscles, muscle pulls, hamstrings and body stiffness then stretching becomes an important component of your daily regime. Stretching machines show almost immediate improvement in posture and overall flexibility. While purchasing a stretching machine, it’s important you define your objectives clearly. Depending on your objective, there are 3 types of machine primarily available i.e. full body stretching machine, back stretching machine and leg stretching machine.We have reviewed the top equipment in each category of machinesby objectively analyzing its frame, padding, design, cost and unique selling propositions. Read the detailed analysis below.
We have reviewed the top equipment in each category of machinesby objectively analyzing its frame, padding, design, cost and unique selling propositions. Read the detailed analysis below.
1.Full Body Stretching Machines Review
Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer is one of the best-selling stretching machine in the market in 2017. There are 8 different stretching patterns you can try on this ergonomically designed trainer to target all your key muscle groups. The trainer comes with an instructional placard showing the 8 stretching patterns. By spending not more than 15 minutes a day you effectively improve your overall muscle flexibility and consequently your workout. It can also be effectively used for cool-down after your workout. The trainer has a premium steel frame with a powder coating that gives it a long life as it is rust resistant.
|Price||Click here to check the lowest price for the Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer.|
|Pros||Sleek design, 8 different stretching patterns, padded seat, 5-year warranty|
|Cons||High price, difficult to assemble|
|Final Verdict||Precor 240i is worth the investment if you are highly motivated to improve your flexibility and achieve better body posture. Rest assured you will never be disappointed with the quality of this equipment and Precor’s customer service.|
- Length: 52 inches
- Width: 28 inches
- Height: 36 inches
- Weight: 60 lbs
Why we love the Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer?
- Space: The Precor 240i weighs just 60 lbs and is very easy to move around. The equipment has a sleek design, which makes it a good product choice if space is premium to you.
- Handlebars: The trainer has padded handlebars which help you control the duration as well as the intensity of your stretch. You can keep changing your hand positions subtly to have different areas of stretching. The wrist straps help you gain complete control of your stretch. The internal screw sockets for the handle bar use a softer metal so make sure you align the bolt correctly or else you will ruin the socket.
- Various stretching patterns: The equipment comes with an instructional placard showing 8 different stretching positions. Primarily it can be used for lower back stretching. Further, it targets other key muscle groups like hamstrings, hips, inner thighs, upper back, quadriceps, and shoulders. The equipment can be used for diverse purpose as it is a full body stretching machine and not limited to the back or legs.
- Body: The Precor 240i has padded seats and knee pads that make the stretching duration very comfortable. The seat is designed in a way that it stabilizes your back during the stretch. Although the equipment is light weight, it is sturdy and versatile. The equipment is especially useful to athletes involved in tennis, baseball and golf. It can be used by users of various age groups. The pivot points use self-lubricating bushings which make the equipment virtually noiseless.
- Warranty: The Stretchtrainer has a 5-year warranty on the frame and 2 years on parts, followed by 90 days on the upholstery. The 5-year warranty is amongst the highest offered in the market.
Why it’s not your best buy
- It is difficult to assemble product like most indoor equipment. It is great to have another helping hand while you assemble. You also have the option of getting professional help for assembly.
- Critics often argue that stretching exercises can be performed on a simple mat and thus equipment like these are not worth the price. Alternatively, a lot of users have found the trainer worth the investment due to the instant relief and results it guarantees.
A stretching machine is worth the investment if improving flexibility and relief from back pain are significant goals for you. Precor has time and again introduced innovative products like Curved Wellness Cross trainer and Versatile Movement Mentor, in the market that provide great value for money to its users. Precor 240i is worth the investment if you are highly motivated to improve your flexibility and achieve better body posture. Rest assured you will never be disappointed with the quality of this equipment and Precor’s customer service.
The LifeSpan Fitness SP1000 Stretch Partner is a solid full body stretching equipment with a steel frame and a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. The solid steel frame gives the equipment a longer life and also makes sure that the machine is stable while you stretch. The machine has a 5-year warranty on the frame and 1 year on parts. A lot of athletes involved in tennis and baseball especially find it useful for strengthening their lower back, getting relief from lower back pain and improving flexibility in their hamstrings and glutes. Golfers too use this piece of equipment to improve their swing motion range so that they can hit the ball further.
|Price||Click here to check the lowest prices for the LifeSpan Fitness SP1000 Stretch Partner|
|Pros||5-year frame warranty, Multiple stretching program guide, Flex Pivot system for deeper stretches|
|Cons||Less padding on the seat|
|Final Verdict||The equipment is solid and durable. With features almost similar to the Precor 240i and cost a few hundred dollars lesser, it is a great buy.|
- Length: 49 inches
- Width: 29 inches
- Height: 38 inches
- Weight: 54.5 lbs
Why we love the LifeSpan Fitness SP1000 Stretch Partner Stretching Machine?
- Multiple stretching programs: The equipment comes with a DVD and an illustrated book with step by step stretching program for all key muscle groups. There are 18 different stretches illustrated in the book. The target muscles are lower back, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, thighs, calves and groin.
- Pivot system: The equipment features LifeSpan’s patented Flex-Smart pivoting system which helps with a greater range of movement. This essentially helps accommodate various body types and levels of flexibility. The design of this equipment places you in a comfortable position and then uses gravity for stretching your key muscle groups. The pivot system ensures you a deeper and fuller stretch.
- Storage: The machine comes with front wheels that help you in moving it around easily.
Why it’s not your best buy
- Some users feel there isn’t enough padding on the seat, which makes it uncomfortable. However, like most fitness equipment, your body takes time to adjust to the seat. Further, you always have the option of purchasing an additional seat cover with gel.
The LifeSpan Fitness SP1000 Stretch Partner is a great buy if you want to work flexibility and get relief from lower back pain. It has almost all the features of Precor 240i and yet costs a few hundred dollars less.
2. Leg Stretcher Review
Pro Leg Stretcher is the best-selling leg stretching machine in the market in 2017. It is essentially useful for dancer and martial arts practitioners as it increases the flexibility of the legs. If stretching your hamstrings and performing effective splits are important objectives for you then it makes sense to buy a leg stretcher machine over a full body stretcher as it costs way less. One of the best parts of this equipment is that it is pre-assembled, unlike most indoor equipment that requires a good amount on time and effort invested in assembling. Even though the equipment is sturdy it only weighs 35 lbs.
|Price||Click here to check the lowest prices for Pro Leg Stretcher by TMAS|
|Pros||Not expensive, rock solid body, adjustable back support, fully assembled|
|Cons||No warranty, uncomfortable upper leg padding|
|Final Verdict||If stretching your hamstrings and performing effective splits are important objectives for you then it makes sense to buy a leg stretcher machine over a full body stretcher as it costs way less.|
- Weight: 38.5 lbs
Why we love the Pro Leg Stretcher by TMAS?
- Fully assembled: This piece of equipment is fully assembled. You simply have to attach the steering wheel and the machine is ready to use.
- Price: The machine costs way less than full body stretching machines and is the perfect investment if lower body flexibility is your primary goal.
- Steering wheel: The machine allows you to control the degree of flexibility with the help of a steering wheel in the center of the equipment. This enables you to gradually increase the degree of your splits. This machine helps to perform a stretch even beyond 180 degrees. The steering wheel is very smooth to use and we found no signs of sudden jerks or resistance.
- Body: Even though the machine weighs 35 lbs, it is sturdy and rock solid. The machine has padded leg rest and seat for comfort during the stretch. The stop latch of this machine helps you hold your stretch at a specific degree safely and slowly.
- Adjustable back support: The equipment has an adjustable back support, which helps accommodate varied types of users. You can decide to keep an upright, full recline or middle back position.
Why it’s not your best buy
- Some users have complained of uncomfortable padding on the upper legs, but it can be simply resolved by adding an extra layer of padding.
A lot of users have seen immediate positive results with this piece of equipment. It is a great investment for the price it comes at. If improving flexibility and splits is a primary goal for you then this machine is worth every penny.
The Century VersaFlex Leg Stretch Machine is an equipment that can be used for a stretch up to 190 degrees. The machine also has a degree indicator that helps you review your progress. This equipment is especially useful to martial arts practitioners where flexibility is an important aspect. Unlike the Pro Leg Stretcher, this machine uses a lever system to change and control the degree of stretch. The machine has a sturdy built and a sleek design.
|Price||Click here to check the lowest prices for Century VersaFlex Leg Stretch Machine|
|Pros||Adjustable thick thigh pads, Stretch degree indicator to track progress, 4 position arm for extended stretch, Sturdy steel frame|
|Cons||Extremely difficult to assemble, Wear and tear of Ratchet lever over a period|
|Final Verdict||Overall Century Versaflex is a sturdy equipment with features that help you track your progress. The machine has a sturdy built and a sleek design. The ratcheting lever used to control the degree of stretch is positioned well positioned which help in moving the legs apart gradually and smoothly.|
- Length: 35 inches
- Width: 20 inches
- Height: 8 inches
- Weight: 55 lbs
Why we love the Century VersaFlex Leg Stretch Machine?
- Stretch degree indicator: The machine lets you measure the degree of your stretch. This is of great help if you want to track your progress and eventually increase the intensity of your stretch.
- Body: The machine has a 4 position stretching arm and a solid steel frame. Even though it weighs only 55 lbs, it is extremely sturdy. The ratcheting lever used to control the degree of stretch is positioned well positioned which help in moving the legs apart gradually and smoothly. The seat and the back support are nicely padded making the stretch session comfortable.
- Leg pads: The padded thigh pads make your stretching session very comfortable. They are very easy to adjust and help accommodating users of various heights.
- Handles: The machine has the front as well as side handles that allow for an extended stretching which is very helpful for getting the full benefit of the equipment.
Why it’s not your best buy
- A lot of users find the assembly of this product very difficult. The instructions in the user manual are not well explained. Users almost take 2 hours on an average to assemble it.
- Over a period of time, a lot of users have reported wearing out of the ratchet lever system making the equipment less effective.
- The equipment allows a minimum of 5 degrees increases at once. This isn’t a problem for an initial stretch but as the intensity of your stretch increases, a 5-degree increase is high.
Overall Century Versaflex is a sturdy equipment with features that help you track your progress. But it’s important to mention that by paying just a few dollar more you can purchase Pro Leg Stretch which has a longer life and requires almost no assembly at all.
3. Back Stretching Machine Review
Ironman Gravity 4000 is one of the highest rated inversion tables in the market. It is a successor to Gravity 1000 and Gravity 2000. The table is made of powder-coated tubular steel frame and memory foam nylon backrest. The tubular steel frame helps it withstand a maximum weight capacity of 350 lbs. A lot of users of this table have reported relief from slip disc symptoms and back pain. The table has ergonomically designed ankle cushions that help reduce the fatigue and discomfort you might experience. The lumbar pillow provides extra support to lower back.
|Price||Click here to check the lowest prices for the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table|
|Pros||Great price, most purchased table, ankle lock system, sturdy, lumbar pillow|
|Cons||Bulky, storage is an issue|
|Final verdict||Gravity 4000 is one of the best inversion tables in the market. Many users have reported relief from symptoms of back pains and slip disc. It cost almost of half what its other contemporaries cost.|
- Height: 65 inches
- Width: 26 inches
- Length: 49 inches
- Weight: 76 lbs
Why we love the Ironman Gravity 4000?
- Safety: Ironman Gravity 4000 is a rock solid and a herculean equipment which provides for a stable as well as safe workout. Although the bed is very wide you are assured that your fingers will not get pinched between the frame and the bed.
- Backrest: The memory foam covered, wide vinyl backrest provides for a great back support. Taking into account reviews of previous models like Gravity 1000, Gravity 2000 and Gravity 3000, Ironman Fitness has added a lumbar pillow in Gravity 4000. This provides your lumbar curve excellent support and stability. The pillow can be removed any time you wish, as it is attached by a Velcro.
- Ankle lock: The table uses adjusting ratchet ankle locking system. The ergonomically molded ankle cushion keeps you safe and comfortable.
- Handles: The table has extra-long foamed safety handles that help you come back to the upright position after you have completed your therapy without causing any unnecessary strain to your back. You can pull the handles to stop the inversion at any point and pull back up.
Why it’s not the best buy
- Storage: The table is bulky, you can’t store it under the bed very easily even after folding it. You can try to store in 2 parts by removing the bench from the frame but this takes up a lot of effort and time.
It gives a head to head competition to its contemporary Teeter EP 960, which has similar features but is double the price. There are hardly any major drawbacks in this table. The materials used and affordable pricing makes it one of the most purchased inversion table in the market.
If you usually face issues of tight muscles, muscle pulls, hamstrings and body stiffness then stretching becomes an important component of your daily regime. Stretching machines are essential equipment for athletes like swimmers as it increases mobility in some joints, which helps in kicking and recovery movements allowing a more streamlined swim because of reduced turbulence.