In martial arts, flexibility is power. That’s why you see top athletes in the UFC or on the BJJ competition circuit constantly stretching before and after matches.
Achieving your maximum range of motion with your legs is particularly important for martial artists. That’s where leg stretching machines come in. These tools are incredibly useful for building strength and flexibility in your leg muscles.
Here’s a list of the best leg stretching machines that accommodate all different heights and leg sizes currently on the market.
Figrol Leg Stretcher
Guru’s Choice: Best Overall
Put simply, when it comes to stretching your legs, you want something durably, easy-to-use and easy to store. This contraption is very simple to set up and use and can be unfolded in even the smallest of living or working spaces, which is why it’s our best overall leg stretcher.
This device will give you the ability to perform simple leg splits by using a three-bar system with six-hole adjustments so you can prize your legs apart and keeping them there for as long as you like!
What I Love
- Cheap to make means cheap to buy
- Incredibly easy to store
- Very adaptable to your requirements
- Allows for light hamstring pull or a deep fibrous tissue stretch
- Won’t fall apart like a lot of cheaper models
- The notch system is not as fluid or varied
- Difficult to adapt to taller users
With most people having very little floor space as it is, the Figrol is perfect for both casual and serious fitness fanatics that want to get that proper deep tissue stretch and increase their range of motion. With hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a better leg stretcher!
All you have to do is fold it away in a cupboard or drawer, it takes up barely any room! This is perfect if you don’t want a leg stretcher that takes up a lot of floor space. With it’s 6-notch system, you can guarantee yourself the deep tissue stretch you need to activate those inner thigh muscles.
A very versatile product, made from durable material, you can simply put it in your gym bag and go!
Popsport Pro Leg Stretcher
Guru’s Choice: Best Luxe Option
This leg stretching machine is certainly the most attractive model on our list, with a very regal-looking red trim, the Popsport Pro leg stretcher is something designed for maximum comfort and adjustability.
With a padded vinyl seat that is easy to clean of perspiration and a controllable wheel that enables you to extend your leg across a full 180-degree angle, pulling out the muscle in the inner thigh and opening up the hip flexor.
What I Love
- A durable fully-assembled solid steel frame
- Can withstand thousands of uses
- Gives you the maximum amount of control over your final position
- The triple thick padding
- Preventing sores and rashes
- Too industrial and cumbersome
- Not appropriate for casual stretchers
The Popsport Pro legs stretcher is perfect for people who do yoga and want that unyielding stretch that only a securely-locked machine can give them, allowing you to increase it through increments as you build up your training.
This plush machine has plenty of padding, which will certainly keep you nice and relaxed even when stretching out those hamstrings in the maximum position. You can be using this whilst reading a book or watching the television. This product comes highly recommended from a number of professional trainers and users in the UK.
Those users who experience chronic pain in their knees and want to avoid any hard pressures being placed on this area have recommended the Popsport Leg Stretcher, as it has been shown to distribute the weight and pressure a lot more evenly across the surface of the knee.
If you’ve got the floor space, are seriously dedicated to getting the best results from your kickboxing training or have a leg injury that would benefit from precision stretching, then you should consider the Popsports Pro Leg Stretcher.
Everstretch Leg Stretcher
Guru’s Choice: Best Budget Pick
If you have absolute minimal space for a bulky steel stretcher or even the foldable model, then look no further than this extremely portable stretcher that you can leave draped over your door.
There’s no need to worry about damage to your floor or door, as the Everstretch leg stretchers are largely crafted from foam, with a few metal rings that constitute hand grips and footholds. This will leave not a single scratch.
What I Love
- An extremely cheap price tag
- Incorporates the surrounding environment to your advantage
- Simply sling this one over a door
- Use your own bodyweight as a pulley system
- This strip of material is incredibly versatile
- If you want a machine to do all the work, this might not be for you
This product comes extremely highly rated by most users, mainly because it can be used almost anywhere! You can bring it with you anywhere, just tuck it away in your gym bag or the pocket on your coat and you can use it at the gym, in the home, in your hotel room or even down at the park if you can find an appropriately-sized branch!
Versatile and affordable, there’s no reason why most people can’t have this stretching band in their homes. Everstretch have been a leader in high quality fitness products over the last few years now and everyone from amatuer to professional trainers have given them high praise.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on your leg stretcher or want something that is very portable, then look no further than the Everstretch.
How To Choose The Best Leg Stretcher
Exercises of all different kinds are becoming more and more popular. Karate, gymnastics, kickboxing, even your average marathon now requires a dynamic range of motion that frankly, you won’t be able to achieve without considerable stretching before, during and after.
Unfortunately what the Bruce Lee films didn’t show is the importance of stretching to avoid injury and promote blood and oxygen flow to the areas that are the most active during these exercises.
However, we know that the process of increasing the range of motion in your hips and legs can be very time-consuming, and unfortunately, it’s not the most engaging or active of workouts.
3 Important Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Leg Stretcher
When you stretch a muscle, you are essentially waking it up from a more dormant state, as a result, the blood flow increases in that area and more of the muscle tissue is activated. You want a leg stretcher that engages these muscles fully.
Also, you might want to give a lot of consideration to the level of exercise you’ll be doing, as well as how many times a week and where you’ll be needing to stretch. A portable material stretcher will be more useful to someone who wants to stretch before practicing high kicks in their modest apartment, whereas bodybuilders who want to increase their range of motion through multiple stretches a day might want to look at something more heavy-duty.
- Users in a higher weight category might want to opt for a more heavy-duty leg stretching station, as it can adequately support them where they need it the most and bear the brunt of a lot of the stretching.
- Most exercise gurus suggest holding a stretch you are comfortable with – that is, one that you can feel pulling your leg muscle without pain – for 30 seconds.
- If you are looking to increase your range of motion, you can stretch for 30 seconds before relaxing for 10 seconds and then extending your range and holding that for a further 30 seconds.
Other Leg Stretchers You Might Consider
However, some of the leg stretchers listed above might not be suitable for your particular injury.
Lower back and sciatic pain can result from modern sedentary lifestyles and working habits, so much more emphasis is being placed on taking time out of our day to increase the blood flow and oxygen to these little-flexed areas.
So here are a few other leg stretching machines that might provide you with the unique support and stretch that you need to improve your overall mobility.
Tiger Claw Pro Leg Stretcher
This product hits that midway point between comfort and functionality, The Tiger Claw Pro is a reputable brand that has produced a product that is very highly-rated amongst users, especially in the UK.
The seat has a low backrest for lumbar support, which may be crucial for people suffering with lower back issues and trapped nerves. With a turning wheel, you can set your position to a potentially infinite number of degrees, with a smooth transition that won’t feel uncomfortable.
What I Love
- An extremely well-built machine with solid steel components
- Self-locking turning wheel
- Comfortable and supportive
- Comes fully assembled
- Lightweight and easy to store
- Lower lumbar and thigh support
- Not enough padding in the lumbar region
- An expensive price tag
With the Tiger Claw Pro, you can simply crane it out for that moderate stretch, or you can rotate it fully for the deep stretch that some users will need before endurance exercising. The Tiger Claw Pro comes very highly rated from users in the UK, who have lavished hundreds of 5-star reviews on it.
Users have praised this machine for helping with hip pain, as it can really push you to open up those hip flexors and greatly increase the range of motion in that area. Users who experience knee pain have also opted for this machine due to the increased padding that you don’t get with the single stretch bands.
If it’s a deep tissue stretch you need to alleviate a repetitive kickboxing or MMA injury, then you might want to pick up the Tiger Claw Pro.
Amazefan Leg Stretcher
Now we move onto a very simple design of collapsible leg stretcher, easy to use and store, a perfect device for gymnastics and athletics stretches. With the Amazefan leg stretcher, you can pull those hamstrings out on the side of the running tracks.
Made from wear-resistant thick sponge material, this won’t scratch or cover your wood floor with nicks! The Amazefan can be adjusted to suit your particular body type. You can take this unit to your yoga class or gym session and set it up easily without intruding on other people’s stretches!
The manufacturer states that it is perfect for professional dancers who need to perform those deep tissue stretches before complicated dance moves!
What I Love
- An easy-to-assemble leg stretcher
- Ideal for those who want a quick but deep stretch before exercise
- Used by high-performance athletes
- The 6-speed adjustable system
- Adaptable to most body shapes
- The notch and speed systems both have their limits in terms of length
- Slightly flimsy construction
The click-in 6-speed adjustable system gives the Amazefan leg stretcher a slightly increased flexibility than the notch system. It also has a stylish and intricate design that will certainly pique the curiosity of most of your exercise buddies and will undoubtedly make you the expert amongst your fellow stretchers at the gym.
One of the many reasons that this stretcher has proved popular on Amazon is the price. This is amongst one of the better budget options, although it does sacrifice as much of the build quality of other designs.
If you don’t have the floor space for a heavy-duty stretching station but don’t mind shelling out a few dollars more for a quality leg stretcher, then you should definitely consider the Amazefan.
Stretching over a sustained period will simply make you a lot better at your exercises, as it increases the amount of movement that you can do within each exercise. For example, kickboxers can increase their amount of kicks and the height of each individual kick after fully stretching their legs. This gives them that much-needed advantage in the ring. Make sure you’re working with a training program designed to meet your goals. For example, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes will benefit a ton from yoga.
Your ability to do the splits won’t just happen overnight, you’ll want to increase your stretching levels by approximately 10 minutes each week, pulling that distance between your legs a bit further every time. That’s where stretching devices come in handy, especially the heavy-duty machine. You can lock these in place and let them do all the stretching while you watch TV or read a good book.