Some people don’t understand the benefits of frequent stretching, or the adverse effects that not stretching can have on the body.
Stretching is a great stress reliever and it can also help to calm the mind.
As for the physical benefits these include, improved posture, increased blood flow to your muscles, increased flexibility and range of motion, and stretching can also enhance your performance during physical activities. 
Prolonged inactivity can cause muscle tightness and drastically reduce mobility in your muscles and joints.
Muscle tightness can also occur during and after exercise, which makes you more susceptible to muscle damage, cramps, strains and pain.
As we get older the muscles tend to become tighter, so it’s best to put this act into practice as soon as possible.
If you suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica or just constant inflexibility, stretching is a necessity.
However, if for some reason stretching is difficult for you, there are machines and tools that can assist.
In this article we’ll share vital information about stretching machines and tools— highlighting their benefits and the available options.
Then, we’ll review 10 of the best selections on the market, and chose our top pick from the list.
What are stretching devices?
These come in different shapes, sizes and types. They are designed to gently extend stiff, sore and painful muscles, creating more flexibility.
Machines allow for a deeper stretch, especially in hard to reach areas.
Some devices allow for a full-body stretch while others specifically target certain areas such as the calves, back, shoulders, neck, etc.
Depending on which muscle group you want to target you can choose from stretching mats, poles, inversion tables, and other types of machines.
Choosing the right stretching equipment is important and should be chosen according to your age, height, weight and fitness level.
The latter is very important because some devices are more complicated than others and can cause injury if you are not prepared.
If you do not have experience using a stretching machine it’s best to start with something very simple.
Benefits of stretching machines and tools
There are several benefits to owing a stretching machine one being its ability to increase your range of motion by decreasing the stiffness in your muscles.
Additionally, stretching prepares the body for exercise and helps to alleviate post-exercise pain and aches as well.
A stretching machine aids in loosening up the hip flexors and hamstrings thus reducing the risk of lower back pain.
Furthermore, stretching promotes circulation by increasing blood supply to your joints and muscles, which in turn enhances blood circulation throughout your entire body.
If you want to work on your posture, a stretching machine is your best bet as it stretches the muscles in your chest, shoulders and lower back.
This is turn enhances the alignment of your back and helps to improve your posture.
10 Best Stretching Devices
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of stretching devices, let’s share some of the best ones on the market today.
These were selected based on quality, price, and user feedback.
1. Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine
This stretching machine from Nitrofit not only offers a full body stretch solution, but it has a removable calf board station for stretching the calves.
It allows for 7 different seating positions to accommodate varying heights and has wheels integrated into the design for easy moving.
It is ideal for both home and semi-commercial use and comes with 9 illustrated exercises for first-time users.
Users noted that the machine was very difficult to assemble and some who purchased it for home use complained about its heaviness.
The device does have wheels for easy storage, but might be more ideal for athletes, and persons with a home gym.
Pros: 7 different seat positions, dual approach handles
Cons: Hard to assemble, very heavy
2. Ideal Leg Stretcher
This hamstring stretching device will help you to maintain proper hip orientation.
It has a light steel frame made from heavy-duty construction and allows you a safe way to stretch–by laying on your back.
This back and knee stretcher promises to stretch the hamstrings and the calf simultaneously and is designed to reduce knee and lateral knee pain, reduce lower back pain and relieve tight IT band issues.
The machine also comes with a DVD. However, buyers have shared that their device did not come with a DVD as noted in the description, and others have noted the lack of instructions as well.
However, the machine is simple, easy to use and cost-effective and would be a great fit for adults over 50.
Pros: Easy to setup and use, cost-effective
Cons: Does not come with instructions, does not include DVD and manual
3. Gronk Fitness Commercial Stretch Machine
This commercial stretch machine is made of 70 pounds of stainless steel and promises to stretch all your muscles from different angles.
The device boasts adjustable handle bar and has integrated front pads so that you can stretch muscles that are hard to reach.
The manufacturer claims that Gronk is the only machine of its type on the market that can stretch your entire body effectively.
It also claims to relieve muscle tightness and pain instantly.
It is available in red and black and comes with a 5-year warranty.
Most of the complaints about this product were about the discomfort of the pedals.
Athletes or persons who are very active will benefit from owning this machine since it’s good for heavy-duty use.
Pros: 5-year warranty with purchase, adjustable handle bar
Cons: Unclear directions for use, pedals are uncomfortable
4. IRONMAN IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy Inversion Table
This machine is quite different from the ones already mentioned, in that it features infrared therapy.
It is designed to soothe aching back muscles as the carbon fiber heating element sends gentle heat to the area. It may also help with fatigue, and increase your circulation.
This inversion table has extra-long safety handles and ergonomically molded ankle holds to ensure your safety while allowing you to invert to a vertical position of 180 degree.
Ironman has an easy-to-read LED display and a simple remote control.
The device does require some level of knowledge to assemble and users complained about the constant issues with the heating element.
Either way, the price is good and the product is a good pick for persons who prefer an inversion table over a stretcher.
Pros: Can accommodate up to 350 pounds, easy to read LED display, incorporates infrared therapy for back pain
Cons: Issues with heating element, difficult to assemble
Related: Best inversion tables
5. CoreStretch – Adjustable Back, Shoulder & Hamstring Stretcher
If you’re shopping on a budget, this cost-effective option will do the trick.
Despite the price, it has many enviable features–providing 3 fitness levels with 10 sizing options to choose from. These include standing, seating and floor positions.
CoreStretch was originally developed for physical therapists to assist patients in stretching safely.
It is ideal for shoulder pain and back pain, enabling a deep lower back stretch while helping to elongate the back.
It is also effective in the ligaments, tendons and muscles that surround the core of the skeletal system.
Some persons had issues with the bars on their machine, but it’s an easy-to-use stretching device so if you suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, shoulder or lower back pain this will be a good selection.
Pros: Lightweight and collapsible for easy travel and storage, offers seating, standing and floor positions
Cons: Bars might be defective, not heavy duty
6. Lifespan SP1000 Stretch Partner Pro
This stretching machine is coated with a steel frame and has a cushioned seat and knee pad.
Unlike CoreStretch that only focuses on certain muscles, Lifespan is designed to stretch all the muscles in the body, to include the hamstrings, biceps, shoulders, calves, quads and back.
This pro stretcher can improve your posture and is ideal for persons of all ages.
It has an elongated base, with wheels for easy movement and reinforced post to keep the device in place during use.
The best features of this stretcher are that it stretches every muscle in the body and has padded seat for extra comfort.
So, if you don’t have a specific problem area and just need a complete body stretcher this is the one for you.
Pros: Stretches all the muscles in the body, cushioned seat and knee pad
Cons: No information about warranty
7. Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
The Precor stretcher is popularly used in many gyms and fitness centre and now you can own one too.
It is the only one on our list that comes equipped with a wrist strap for extra security and control during use.
This machine boasts knee pads for added comfort, plus an instructional placard to show you essential stretches so that you can target key muscle groups.
The cushioned seats were ergonomically designed to help stabilize your back as you stretch.
Additionally, the padded handlebars allow you control over the duration and intensity of each stretch.
Buyers complained that the machine was difficult to assemble, and it can only accommodate 250 pounds. Some persons also had issues with the price.
Nonetheless, the device does have straps for extra security and padded seats for comfort.
Plus, your purchase comes with a 5-year warranty and boasts commercial quality ideal for persons who need a full body stretcher.
Pros: Comes with wrist straps for extra security, 5-year warranty
Cons: Difficult to assemble, can only accommodate 250 pounds
8. Stamina in Line Back Stretch Bench
This back-stretching bench has padded upholstery for extra comfort, allowing you to safely decompress your spine.
It allows for gentle decompression thanks to the cranking lever and the ankle ensures that the device remains in place during use.
It can accommodate up to 250 pounds of weight and is designed to use traction therapy for the relief of hip, back and knee pain.
The machine doesn’t just work on your back, it also stretches and strengthens the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders.
Stamina has adjustable leg and arm support for preferred length and width.
Some buyers took issues with the crank, finding it uncomfortable to maneuver during use. Another issue is the bench itself which many found too hard for comfort.
Despite the flaws the machine is an inexpensive device ideal for persons who suffer from constant back aches and pain.
Pros: Decompresses the spine, height and length adjustment, portable
Cons: Crank is located at an odd angle, bench is hard despite the padding
9. FIGROL Leg Stretcher
This is quite different from all the other tools on our list and it is also the cheapest.
While most of them look quite similar to an exercise machine or bench, Figrol looks more like a camera stand than anything else.
This easy to use leg stretcher is ideal for improving your range of motion, flexibility and balance.
It boasts a scientific design, and comfortable, non-stick handles with foam covering.
Each pole on the device has 5 different holes to allow for a variety of height adjustment options.
At its shortest length the leg stretcher is 21.8 inches and can extend up to 40.27 inches.
Great for dancers, martial arts practitioners as well as Pilates and yoga enthusiast.
Buyers of the product were mostly dancers and professionals who specifically want to something that focuses on the legs, but they were not happy with the device not being able to deliver a 180-degree stretch.
Some also noted the inferior quality of the machine, but at this very inexpensive price, it’s a steal.
Pros: Portable, easy to assemble and use, inexpensive
Cons: Does not allow for a 180 degree stretch, material quality could be better
10. Naipo Back Stretcher Mat with Heat
This massage mat is designed to offer full body stretch and flexibility by mimicking yoga styles while also delivering heat therapy.
The inflatable, precision-controlled air bladders in the fabric of the mat recreates an authentic yoga experience for ultimate relaxation and tension relief.
Naipo is equipped with 4 built-in stretching programs and 3 adjustable intensity options, allowing you to tailor the massage to suit your needs.
The treatments were designed by a certified yoga teacher to help with pain and muscle tension and stiffness in the shoulders, neck, hips, waist and back.
The device comes with a remote control and the mat easily folds up for easy travel and storage.
Pros: Includes 4 stretching programs, Heating system, Adjustable intensity levels
Cons: Does not come with instructions for use, no product warranty information provided
Related: Best back stretchers
Best Streching Machine: Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
There’s a reason why the Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer takes the spot as Amazon’s Choice, because it gets the prize for our top pick as a total body stretcher.
This machine is great for commercial and personal use, and has knee pads, an ergonomically designed seat and padded handlebars to give you control over the intensity of the stretch.
Best machine for leg stretches
If you want a machine that works effectively on the legs, then the FIGROL leg stretcher is a decent selection to consider.
It is great for yogi enthusiasts, dancers and persons who really want to focus on this area of the body. However, you don’t have to be a pro to use this device.
The machine is light, portable, easy to use and very cost-effective so if you’re on a budget this is a good pick.
Best machine for stretching the back
If you suffer from back pain or strain and need something that focuses on that particular area, the Naipo back stretcher is a good selection to try.
It comes with several built-in yoga programs and even has a heating function to deeply penetrate the muscles.
The treatments available in the Naipo device was designed by a yoga teacher and there are 3 intensity levels to choose from.
It is lightweight and folds up easily so you can take it with you to work or during a vacation.
Stretching should be a consistent part of your daily routine no matter your age or fitness level.
Full body stretching is extremely important for improving posture, improving flexibility and eliminating muscle pains and strains.
If you have specific problem areas it’s also important to ensure that those muscles are stretched daily to avoid pain or injury.
Stretching can also help persons suffering from conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, muscle aches and pains, and is necessary for persons of all ages.
If you can’t stretch on your own, a stretching machine is a great device to help you along the way.
For the safety purposes and also to ensure that you get the most out of your stretching tool, always follow the instructions for use carefully. And remember, consistency is key!