Back pain affects not just your chores but also your posture and the way you move. That’s why it’s essential nowadays to start your day with a good stretch. To maximize the effects of your stretching routine, a good piece of back stretching machine makes for a worthy investment.
If you’re looking to purchase stretching equipment but don’t have an idea which one to pick, our expert-curated reviews will help you find the best choice for your money.
Back Stretching Machine Types
Before getting into the factors that you must consider when purchasing exercise equipment, let’s first define a stretching machine and the different types available in the market.
Inversion therapy for back pain and other disorders makes use of an inversion table that looks more like a lounge chair. An inversion table allows you to lie on it and then tip it so you can lean back at an angle or be in an upside-down position for a few minutes.
You can use such table in relieving:
- Back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Kidney stones
- Compressed spinal disks
Lumbar Traction Back Stretchers
Lumbar stretchers can either be an arched and simple plastic board that you can lie on or an actual spine stretching machine that’s able to support a door and a lever to help expand your back. Basic back stretchers support the spine by repositioning it to its natural position. In the process, a lumbar stretcher enables you to unload discs that may have been twisted, put out of position, or twisted.
Full-Body Stretching Machines
Full-body stretching machines represent the type of stretching machines that targets broader areas of your body, such as the hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, arms, calves, upper and lower back, and more. Ideally, they should hit your major muscle groups with a gentle yet effective stretch.
This particular type of back stretching machine effectively addresses back pain, improves posture, reduces joint and muscle tightness, and improves your overall flexibility.
Pull Up Bars
One good thing about pull-up bars is that you can install them on most homes around a standard door frame. This makes pull-up exercises, popularly known as chin-ups, easy to do at home. There are different types of chin-up bars to choose from, with varying degrees of quality and versatility.
The primary disadvantage of using a pull-up bar is that it’s challenging to completely relax the back while maintaining your grip on the equipment for a couple of minutes. While purchasing wrist straps and gravity boots can help solve this issue, you should still ensure that the bar is installed correctly to prevent injuries.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Back Stretching Machine
When purchasing back stretching machines, you’d see that similar equipment can have its differences in terms of pricing. You should know that the costliest of the lot doesn’t mean that it’s also the best. It’ll be wise to note the material and quality of construction since they directly impact your comfort level while using the stretching device.
Size and Cost
Back stretching machines come in different shapes and sizes, both big and small. Choose the one that’ll perfectly fit in the area available for you to use. Budget is also an important consideration. You can expect a machine with more features to be more costly compared to those that focus only on one part in particular.
User Weight and Assembly
User weight is also an essential consideration since it plays a significant role in how safe your back stretching machine is when you use it.
It’s always a good idea to ask the manufacturer or refer to the information found in the user manual. Choose among the ones that can support a higher weight than anyone who will use the equipment. Also, note that other machines aren’t fitted automatically and require assembly.
Versatility and Cushioning
You would prefer a machine that helps with various issues instead of being limited to one. As for cushioning, look for those equipped with memory foam for maximum comfort while you’re using the back stretching machine.
What are the Benefits of Using a Back Stretching Machine?
Using a back stretching machine provides the following benefits:
- Aids in the repositioning and retraction of a bulging disk by creating negative pressure between disks
- Relieves muscle spasms
- Helps in the relief of certain conditions, such as spinal degeneration, lower back arthritis, and sciatica
- Improves posture by making the vertebrae stronger, healthier, and more flexible
- Helps ensure better movement of healing nutrients, water, and oxygen in the body
Here are additional benefits that back stretching equipment provide but currently lacks supporting evidence from studies and research:
- Improved brain functions
- Prevention of age-related shrinking
- Stress and depression relief
Best Full-Body and Back Stretching Machines 2021
Whether you’re suffering from recurring back pain or just want to improve the health of your spine, purchasing any of the following back stretching equipment is worth the investment:
(Please note that these were selected based on quality, user feedback, and price.)
Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table
The EP-560 is one of Teeter’s most sought-after inversion tables. Apart from its many features, it’s also one of the most affordable. With a price that’s lower than their Contour L5 and EP-970 designs, it’s no surprise that this product has already garnered over a thousand highly-rated reviews on Amazon.
Lack of padding remains the most significant difference between Teeter and other inversion tables. Instead of the usual vinyl-covered padding, the EP-560 is equipped with a ComforTrak bed that flexes to support your body as you move.
✅ Certified by the FDA
✅ User Height Support – from 4’ 6’’ to 6’6”
✅ Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
✅ ComforTrak bed that flexes for maximum support during stretches
✅ Ankle cups made of high-density foam for your added comfort
✅ Grip-and-stretch handles for more intense back stretches
✅ Foldable, heavy-gauge steel frame for easy storage
✅ Adjustable ankle comfort dial for different foot sizes
✅ Additional features include: Teeterlink App to track usage & accessory options for the limited version
All Teeter inversion tables have FDA approval to treat muscle tension and spasms, spinal stenosis, herniated disc, sciatica, facet syndrome, and back pain. Buying a range of accessories for additional back pain relief is optional. They include a Lumbar Bridge and Acupressure Nodes, which can connect to the table bed for deeper lower back decompression.
The only downside of the Teeter EP-560 is that you don’t have the Deluxe EZ-Reach Ankle System found on the Teeter EP-970 LTD. It’s an extended handle with a ratchet closure system that allows you to lock and release your ankles without having to bend as far.
The EP560 also doesn’t have full-length Stretch Max handles, but the precision rotation gives you complete control over the inversion process.Check Pricing on Amazon
Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
The Gravity 4000 is currently one of the top inversion therapy tables you can find in the market. It has a tubular steel “A” frame that’s strong enough to support weights of up to 350lbs and has enough height settings in place to support users up to 6’6” tall.
The palm-activated ratchet ankle lock system of the Gravity 4000 is more straightforward and easier to reach than the short pull pin on Teeter’s EP-560. This feature reduces stress in your lower back when mounting and dismounting the footplates.
✅ Dimensions: 26″W x 65″H x 49″L
✅ Product Weight: 75 lbs
✅ Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
✅ Folds for Storage (17″W x 80″H x 26″L)
✅ Maximum user height of 6’6” and inverts up to 180 degrees
✅ Added foam-covered safety handles for improved grip and comfort
✅ Ergonomically-formed ankle cushions
✅ Tough non-slip rubber floor stabilizers
✅ Backrest cover made of high-quality, double-stitched vinyl
✅ Backrest and lumbar pillow are made of memory-foam nylon
✅ Aids in relieving back pain and helps stimulate circulation
Combining such features as the high-density padding and ergonomic ankle cushions will give you a grip that’s secure yet remains comfortable through the full range of inversion. It also comes with a removable lumbar pillow and memory foam backrest for additional lower back support.
The extended safety handles enable you to manage your conversion speed, while the adjustable strap limits the angle. Inversion up to 180 degrees is possible, with a folding frame for easier storage.
The Ironman Gravity 4000 is a bestseller you can find on Amazon. It has thousands of highly-rated client reviews, mostly about how sturdy the frame is, how comfortable the ankle holders feel, and how valuable the features are in alleviating your back pain.
Finally, when it comes to cost, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is much more affordable than Teeter inversion tables, which makes it one of the best back stretching machines for its price.Check Pricing on Amazon
Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
Innova Fitness manufactures some of the top inversion tables on the market, such as the popular ITM4800 with heat and massage therapy, ITX9700, and ITX9800.
✅ Dimensions: 28″W x 46″L x 63″H
✅ User Height Range: 4ft 10in – 6ft 6in
✅ Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
✅ 5-position adjustable safety pin for inversion angle control
✅ Head and back support with foam padding for added comfort
✅ Molded ankle holders for a secure yet comfortable fit
✅ Full-length safety grips
✅ Foldable for quick and easy storage
The ITX9600 has proven to be one of the most popular inversion tables for spinal decompression and back stretching in terms of design. Thousands have already provided positive reviews on Amazon, praising its secure locking pin system, extensive user height settings, and affordable pricing.
One major shortcoming of the ITX9600 as a back stretching device is its lack of grip positions, which is why experts deem it to be not as effective as the Teeter EP-560. However, it’s still an effective remedy for back pain, thanks to its 180-degree inversion range and full-length handles.
Even if you don’t have much stretching experience, the ITX9600’s foldable A-frame design makes it comfortable, compact, and easy to use overall.Check Pricing on Amazon
Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
The Precor 240i StretchTrainer may come at a premium price but remains one of the most popular full-body stretching machines to date.
Thanks to its ergonomic handle design and seat position, you’re able to execute a variety of stretch routines that target every major muscle group. They include the muscles in your back, chest, shoulders, biceps, hamstrings, and core muscles (such as your obliques, intercostals, and abs).
✅ Dimensions: 52″L x 28″W x 36″H
✅ Product Weight: 60 lbs
✅ Warranty: Five years on the frame
✅ An instructional placard is attached to the frame, detailing the ideal stretch positions
✅ Features 8 core stretch routines that target your lower and upper back, shoulders, glutes, hips, quadriceps, and inner thighs.
High-quality cushioning, combined with durable seat and back covers, ensures a more comfortable stretching experience for you. These features encourage you to perform a wider variety of stretching exercises at home and are telltale signs that the product is of commercial-grade build quality.
The Precor 240i is one of the most highly-rated stretch machines on Amazon, with users noting improvements in flexibility and back pain relief. In addition, flexibility gains also help athletes perform better in sports, whether it’s the swing motion for golfers and baseball players or lower back strength for tennis players and gymnasts.
By supporting a full-body stretching routine, the Precor 240i proves transformative for users regardless of their age.Check Pricing on Amazon
Nitrofit Limber Pro Stretch Machine
The Nitrofit Limber Pro is the only stretch machine with a removable calf stretch board to date. You have the option to choose among three incline levels and adjust the intensity of the stretch according to your preference.
Also, the adjustable seat enables the Limber Pro to adapt to various flexibility levels and height of its users. Upon setting this seat in place using a simple locking pin, you’re free to select among seven seat positions available.
✅ Safety wrist straps
✅ Weight capacity: up to 300 lbs
✅ Steel frame equipped with foam knee and back cushions
✅ Front legs with built-in wheels for easy storage
✅ Dimensions: without the calf board- 50.5” L x 22.4” W
with the calf board fitted- 65.5” L x 22.4” W
✅ Removable and fully-adjustable calf board you can set at 16, 23, or 30 degrees
✅ Adaptive seat that accommodates users of different sizes and flexibility levels
✅ Allocated calf stretch station with support bars
The Nitro Fit Limber Pro supports an extensive range of seated and standing stretch positions that includes shoulder stretches, lat stretches for the back, and standing calf raises.
User feedback for the Limber Pro has been overwhelmingly positive, with primarily 5-star ratings on Amazon. Fitness enthusiasts find stretch exercises to be effective for back pain relief and spinal fusion surgery rehab. Also, they clearly appreciate the additional benefits that the calf board provides.Check Pricing on Amazon
Now that you have an idea about what to look for in a back stretching machine, its different types, and the top equipment available in the market today, let’s reiterate the importance of stretching.
We all know how prolonged inactivity can cause a drastic reduction of mobility in our muscles and joints, as well as muscle tightness. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure that stretching is a constant in your daily routine, regardless of your age or fitness level.
If you’re unable to stretch on your own, a back stretching machine is an excellent device to aid you along the way. For your safety and to maximize your equipment, make sure to adhere to the instructions on the user manual. Also, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting new exercise routines.
Finally, always keep in mind that in everything you do, consistency is key!