Lately, I’ve been feeling some muscle discomfort especially in my hamstrings, calves and feet. This discomfort comes either from cramps or muscle stiffness and can be very painful at times especially the day after a gym session or long walk.
One way I’ve found to prevent muscle strain and stiffness in my legs is through stretching. Stretching before and or after a gym session has dramatically reduced the stiffness in my legs, hamstrings, feet and calves. It’s improved my overall health as I’m more active with less likelihood of injury plus my mood is much better as I’m no longer sore!
Stretching is really important, especially as you age and begin to lose flexibility and mobility. Stretching is particularly important for athletes and gym enthusiasts but it’s also really important for everyone. It’s important because when you stretch your muscles become more flexible and soft, when your body is tight, you’re more likely to experience discomfort, and it could even increase your risk of injury.
We’ve talked about back stretchers in a previous article but today we’ll discuss other types of stretching products and equipment for your legs and feet. Regular stretching helps lubricate your joints and ligaments, improving your range of motion and blood flow in your lower leg muscles, allowing them to recover after exercise. In doing so, it also prevents strains and injuries from sports, exercise, yoga, pilates and other activities. You can read our guide on why stretching is important for further information.
If you can’t make it to a yoga studio, stretching in the comfort of your own home or gym can be an option. This can be challenging for a lot of people, so there are specially designed machines and equipment that not only take the guesswork out of stretching, but also make it more fun. Below, we cover some of the top pieces of equipment that can be used to aid stretch the body and are designed to help you target some of the most frequent muscle groups that experience muscle pain with ease. If you’re hoping to add a stretcher to your fitness routine or you want to add a stretch to a pre or post workout session, these machines and equipment will help you get the job done right.
Before you buy
The idea behind most stretcher products are fairly simple in practice, but most products do have different feature-sets, prices and quality levels. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can start your research:
Ease of use
All products that aid in stretching should ideally be simple to use. The majority that we have chosen are manual so they should be very simple to understand. If you need extra help all our featured products come with a simple instruction booklet or a YouTube search will come up with a how-to guide to show you how to use the product better, create a deeper stretch and/or aid in giving you the desired results you’re after.
We are aware that different people have different budgets, so we have chosen a range of products with different price points and most are under $50. We’ve chosen these products to save you money as most stretching devices don’t need to be overly expensive or technical.
Area of concern
The best product for you will depend on where you’re feeling the tension. If you’re feeling stress and tension in your legs then the best stretcher for you will depend on where abouts in your leg you’re feeling the pain i.e. a hamstring stretcher will help you with pain in the back of your legs.
If you are after a particular stretching device, it’s a good idea to read and see as many reviews as possible to get a broad and better idea of what other users think. By reading reviews, you’ll be able to get a completely honest and unbiased look at the device, as well as getting answers to any questions you have.
To kick our reviews off, here’s a handy, quick guide to some of the best stretcher products in the marketplace at the moment.
|Name and link||Type||Image||Price||Best for|
|AmazeFan||Leg stretcher||$29.99||The AmazeFan helps you stretch your legs and hamstrings as far as possible without an assistant. It’s ideal for athletes, dancers, gymnasts and anyone looking to improve their flexibility in their legs.|
|Tolbi||Leg stretcher||$14.95||The Tolbi improves your leg stretchers and range of motion with a bundle of products in a cute tote bag that conveniently hangs over your door. It’s ideal for dancers, gymnasts, athletes, gym goers and anyone looking to improve their flexibility through stretching.|
|AgileTreat||Foot stretcher||$24.97||This foot stretcher is ideal for assisting in relieving common foot complaints such as pain in the plantar fascia, achilles tendon, and calf muscle.|
|Yes4All||Calf stretcher||$13.49||The Yes4All Foot Rocker is your ultimate solution to tired calves specifically for reducing strains and providing relief for your lower body, it’s the one piece of equipment that you simply can’t miss! Ideal for walkers, runners, hikers and anyone experiencing calf pain.|
The AmazeFan may be lightweight at 4.4 pounds (2 kilos) but it delivers a powerful stretch. It’s comfortable, adjustable and well designed to give you a deep stretch in your hamstring, inner thigh and legs. Perfect for Martial Arts, Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Dance, Gymnastics, Athletics, Running, Fitness or any sports that require a certain level of flexibility or if you’re just feeling tension in the back of your legs and want a good stretch. Ideally used pre training and post training to soften muscles before training and relax muscles after a hard workout.
- A great quality carry bag so that you can bring the AmazeFan with you anywhere.
- Made from a high-quality, stainless steel, anti-rust and corrosion resistance material.
- Thick sponge padding in the feet area and soles so that it won’t damage your floors and is comfortable on your legs, back and feet.
The Tolbi stretcher is great for anyone who wants to improve their flexibility and relieve any strain in the back of their calves, hamstrings, arms, and shoulders using a resistance band and or a door stretch strap. It’s ideal for any dancer, athlete, cheerleader or anyone looking for a sturdy, budget friendly leg stretcher that can be used in many different ways to improve their performance and achieve a stretch in many different areas of the body. This product can be used before a training session after a workout or as a standalone stretching session to condition your body regularly.
- Over the door hook with foam protective padding and 7mm metal D-ring that slips over the back of the door to hook the stretching strap through.
- 150gr top quality cotton leg stretching strap.
- High quality elastic resistance band.
- An simple instruction manual with many stretches and examples.
- A cute tote bag to keep all your items together.
The AgileTreat is great for achieving a deep foot stretch and helps relieve pain from foot ailments such as plantar fascia, achilles tendon, and pain in the calf muscle. The stretcher works as an ambulation splint at night to help with toe walking, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, achilles and heel pain, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, flat feet and other gait abnormalities by promoting proper plantar flexion and restoring range of motion to the ankle. It’s great as a stand alone device or to encompass as part of your pre and or post workout routine.
- Ergonomically designed to grip easily and made of strong, durable, non-elastic polyester canvas strapping with an extra wide foot strap.
- Made with easy to grip stretch strapping with ergonomically designed handles allowing you to perform unassisted stretches.
- Comes with a convenient bag for transportation.
The Yes4All is the perfect piece of equipment to hold an effective stretch in your ankle, calf, foot, toes and heels. The foot rocker gently stretches and improves flexibility for health and performance issues such as tight calves, achilles tendonitis, heel pain, tight tendons, sore hamstrings and sore feet. It’s great as a preventative tool to reduce the risk of pain and strain during exercise and as a post workout stretch to reduce lactic acid build up.
- Simple and easy to understand design.
- Great addition to part of an after exercise routine.
- Features an anti-slip surface with rubber strips on the base. It guarantees safety while providing effective stretches.
- Works on almost all types of surfaces and accommodates to a wide amount of shoe sizes from size 14 to size 21.
- This product is great for all levels of fitness who like to do their stretchers at home or at work.
Frequently Asked Questions
When would I need a stretching product?
If you are prone to muscle stiffness, soreness, medical issues in your muscles or cramps, a stretching product may help by loosening tight muscles and increasing the flexibility in the legs. It can be used before a workout and or after a workout or as a standalone stretching session. It is advised to always consult a medical professional and pr physical therapists before starting any new stretches or exercises in your routine to ensure you get the desired outcome from your product.
How often should I use the product?
Generally, a 20 to 30-minute session at least three times per week is ideal to see the desired results, although medical guidance is recommended as every individual is different.
Where should I buy my stretcher?
There are many online and offline retailers out there, so where you shop is not too important as long as they have good reviews and customer service. The Amazon website and online store is well-stocked with the above products and offers a great platform to review and discuss any products.
When it comes to stretching your body, you want a product that’s lightweight, portable, durable and most of all effective. All the products on our list will provide you with the ability to get a deep stretch and hold it for longer. You can’t go wrong with any choices on our list.
As a final reminder, we’d like to highlight that these devices are only meant to aid and assist in stretching your muscles for therapeutic purposes. It’s best to check with your health worker or sports therapist before using any of these products as incorrect usage might not give you the desired results you are after.