It doesn't matter what sport you participate in, whether it be muay thai or tennis, stretching should be an integral part of your routine. And the science backs it up; the overwhelming body of evidence shows that stretching enhances athletic performance, aids in recovery, as well as promote overall well-being. Stretching is needed more now than ever because of our ever increasing sedentary lifestyle.
Yes, stretching can be boring and monotonous. But it is an easy thing to do. But can it be easier? In come stretching machines. Companies have figured out a way to make stretching even easier. Total body stretching machines are designed to aid you in stretching your whole body in very few movements.
This article is our attempt to review the best whole body stretching machines on the market, after careful trials and research.
Note: If you are specifically looking for leg stretchers, you can go to our review article on the 7 best leg stretchers. Otherwise, proceed below to check out our review of the best stretching machines on the market today.
How Do These Whole Body Stretch Machines Work?
If you noticed, all these total body stretch stretch machines look like stationary bikes you find at the gym. This is by design because for many of the stretches, you will be seated on the seat. But unlike a stationary bike, the seat on these body stretch machines move. In fact, that is the main mechanism that makes it possible to stretch out all the major muscles in your body is the pivotal seat; the ability to move the seat back and forth allows you to stretch different parts of the body. It is really amazing how many different parts of the body you can stretch just by changing your seating angle. Gravity will do its part.
In addition to seated stretches, the machines are ergonomically designed to allow you to do stand-up stretches. For instance, the Gronk Fitness Stretch Machine and the Total Stretch machines has rollers positioned under the handle bars for you to do numerous standing stretches (such as a lunged quad stretch) if you choose.
However, with that said, you should be able to hit all the major muscle groups (including shoulders and upper back) with the seated stretches.
Don't know what stretches to do? No worries, all the stretch machines have placards with pictures and instructions right in front for you.
Stretching Machine Comparison Chart
Max User Weight
Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
Gronk Fitness Commercial Stretch Machine
1 hr or less
Motive Fitness TotalStretch TS100
1 hr or less
LifeSpan SP1000 Stretch Partner Stretching Machine
Motive Fitness TotalStretch TS200
1 hr or less
NitroFit Limber Pro Stretch Machine
1 hr or less
*Suggested stretches numbers indicate the number of stretches that appears on their instructional placard. or video. You are of course not limited to these numbers of stretches; you can get creative and create many more stretches with pivoting seat.
**Although the Lifespan SP1000 does technically contain 18 different stretches in the instructional placard, some of the stretches are just general stretches that you do not need the stretch machine to do .
1. Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
Precor was the first in the market in terms of stretch machines, coming out with their first one well over 20 years ago. That is why you see so many of these. While they have not made too many changes to the first iterations, it is still the standard machine used in many offices of physical therapists and chiropractors, as well as gyms.
The Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer, firstly, has a very small footprint and can be stored easily in your home. The machine features knee and seat pads for those users who would like to sit comfortably while the ergonomic design makes sure you are in the perfect stretching position.
It is very easy to set up this product anywhere in the home or the gym. The overall package weighs 80 lbs (36 kg), making it the best way to start every workout session. There is also an additional instructional placard on the machine to show you the most essential stretches to target your key muscle groups.
For a sample of stretches you can do on the Precor 240i, watch below:
2. Gronk Fitness Commercial Stretch Machine
This stretch machine belongs to the company owned by famed NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski. Now the name Gronk Fitness probably makes more sense to you now.
This stretching machine has absolutely no complaints from its users. Its high-density upholstery made of about 70 lbs of stainless steel (32 kg) is promised to last a lifetime! This stretching station has been designed to manage every part of your body instantly, relieving you from any pain or tightness.
You will also find that the machine features integrated stretch pads that induce all those hard-to-reach muscles in your body. The machine itself will look exquisite no matter where you plan to set it up – whether at home or the gym. Speaking of which, setting up these machines is as easy as one-two-three.
Stretching with the Gronk is a lot like stretching with the Precor 240i, except I think you can get more of a shoulder stretch as you can extend your arms out on an even plane even more.
For an idea of the types of stretches you can do with the Gronk, check out this video produced by them:
3. Motive Fitness TotalStretch TS100
This particular stretching trainer has been designed in a manner that it can be your solution when you need pain relief, improved mobility, or a good warm-up. The product also features an ErgoStretch Handlebar which provides many grip positions with the ability to target different muscles for people of all sizes and levels of flexibility.
This particular model is a lot less expensive than the TotalStretch TS 150, but has most of the features of the TS 150, and is more compact. From my experience the only big difference is the handle bar on the 150 allows you to hold the machine in more positions for additional variations of stretches. So if you are deciding between the TS100 and the TS150, I recommend the TS100 because the difference between the two is not big enough to justify the huge price difference.
The product package weight for this product stands at 60.6 lbs (27 kg) and its single wheel design, makes it easy to install or move around the house or gym.
2. LifeSpan SP1000 Stretch Partner
Many users of this product have vouched for the fact that this stretching machine helped them enhance their sports performance along with improving their posture. The machine also features a patent-pending Flex Smart pivoting system that can accommodate wide ranges of flexibility levels.
What makes the LifeSpan SP1000 stand out from the rest is the pivoting handlebar; it is the only one on the list that has this.
A purchase of this machine will include a 21 minute DVD teaching you the stretches. The placard doesn't have suggested stretches---it only has instructions for using the machine. In my opinion, the DVD really doesn't contain all that much value and includes a lot of stretches you don't even need this machine to do. Anyhow, here is the DVD in its entirety.
5. Motive Fitness TotalStretch TS200
If you want to go all out on a stretch machine, this one is it. The TS200 is also made by Motive Fitness. The TS200 is two iterations after the original TS100 and features top-of-the-line construction material. Because of its sturdy build, this machine has a maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds (147.5 kg), making it the machine with the highest weight capacity on the list.
Safely and effectively perform all your comprehensive sets of stretching with this product – whether you’re seated or standing. You will experience a superior stretching experience – all in one place – with the sturdy design and ErgoStretch handlebar system with multiple grips.
The product weighs 88 lbs (40 kg) but moving this machine is much easier than the other products on the list due to its built-in wheels. This stretching machine also includes a comfortable and durable padded seat with a placard that instructs and illustrates how to implement a total body circuit of stretches.
6. Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine
Nitrofit is one of the more popular stretchers with physical therapists and doctors. One of the reasons for this is the adjustable seats---the 7 seat holes allow the user to adjust how far way the seat is from the handle bar. This allows you to adjust the machine to be used by people of different heights and body habitus. The 7 positions guarantees that a user of any size will be able to get the most out of this machine.
At 56 pounds (25.4), this machine is the lightest on this list. But just because it is light does not mean that it can't handle heavier people. The machine has an impressive maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds (136 kg). That means the weight capacity to product weight ratio is an impressive 5.36 to 1 (in pounds).
This machine is the only machine on this list with a dedicated calf stretching board. It is on the front of the machine and is removable. The board is sloped to physiologically give the best stretching surface to safely stretch the calves.