last updated: July 27th 2016
We have done the legwork for you and handpicked the best inversion tables on the market. Read our expert reviews and compare features and prices below.
Inversion therapy is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of back pain as well as the strengthening of the core muscle group. Inversion therapy is usually conducted on what is known as an inversion table. Basically, inversion therapy causes each joint of the body to be loaded in the opposite manner than it would be by standing. Chiropractors often use this method of therapy to achieve spinal decompression.
With the popularity of inversion therapy, inversion tables have been manufactured for private sale, allowing individuals to receive the benefits of inversion therapy in their own home.
One reason that inversion therapy and inversion tables are increasing in popularity at such a rapid rate is because the benefits are multitudinous. Many people, including professional athletes, use inversion tables as a part of their core training. Actually, there is a direct biomechanical correlation between developing a strong core and alleviating back pain. A strong core is vital to optimizing any biomechanical activity. Core muscles are essentially used in any and all physical activity.
Compare: Top 10 Best Inversion Tables of 2016
|Inversion Table||Full Review||Dimensions (WxHxD)||Weight||Weight Capacity||Height Capacity||Price||Rating|
|Ironman ATIS 1000|
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|26 x 62 x 49||76 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'6||$$$||4.7/ 5|
|Ironman Gravity 4000|
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|26 x 65 x 49||75 lbs.||350 lbs.||6'6||$$$||4.9 / 5|
|Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared|
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|29 x 51 x 49||75 lbs.||350 lbs.||6'6||$$$$||4.6/ 5|
|Ironman LX 300|
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|26 x 65 x 46.4||75 lbs.||350 lbs.||6'6||$$||4.2/ 5|
|Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 LTD|
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|28.8 x 86 x 84||65 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'6||$$$$||4.8 / 5|
|Teeter Hang Ups EP-960|
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|28.8 x 60 x 58.5||73 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'6||$$$$$||4.9 / 5|
|Body Champ IT8070|
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|29.5 x 55.5 x 29.5||46 lbs.||250 lbs.||6'8||$$||4.5/ 5|
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|N/A||53 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'6||$$||4.4/ 5|
|Exerpeutic /w Comfort Foam Backrest|
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|27 x 57 x 46.4||58 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'6||$||4.3/ 5|
|Innova Fitness ITX9600|
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|28 x 63 x 46||59 lbs.||300 lbs.||6'5||$$||4.4 / 5|
What is Inversion Table Therapy?
An inversion table is a contraption that is designed to suspend the body in an inverted position. The designs of inversion tables range from very simple to exceptionally complex. The inversion table was initially designed for the purpose of placing the body in an inverted position, whether completely or at an angle, with the primary objective being to achieve a certain level of therapeutic benefits. This process is most commonly referred to as inverting.
The initial central focus of inversion therapy was to achieve spinal decompression, which helps to stretch and realign the spine. Basically, moving against the natural flow of gravity creates space between the vertebrae that does not exist when standing, relieving pressure on the discs. The relief of this pressure subsequently results in the spine having the freedom of movement necessary to realign itself. This process has also been proven to improve circulation within the spinal column.
Below are just some of the functions of core muscles:
- Supports posture
- Assists in controlled breathing
- Supports all body movements
- Reduces joint stress
- Alleviates Neck Pain
- Support the Spine
Without going into too much detail concerning the core, it is important to have at least a limited perspicacity of the core to be effective in taking advantage of an inversion table. Even the alleviation of back pain is achieved through the use of an inversion table is primarily related to the core.
The Benefits of an Inversion Table
Actually, inversion can be achieved in a number of ways, such as handstands or headstands, but the most effective and safe way to accomplish this is on an inversion table. Obviously, there is a certain level of risk involved with performing handstands or headstands, and the ability to hold these stands for prolonged periods of time is limited at best. The inversion table allows and individual to achieve optimal results by facilitating and sustaining the therapeutic action long enough to actually benefit from it.
Some of the benefits associated with the use of an inversion table are:
- The relief of neck pain is one of the most celebrated benefits associated with the use of an inversion table. Stretching the spine also serves to alleviate stress in the muscles associated with the neck, allowing the neck and shoulders to relax. People who work in IT related fields benefits greatly in this area, being that they spend an exorbitant amount of time behind computers.
- It also helps to alleviate joint pain. Actually, all of the major joints in the body benefit from inversion therapy, so spending time on an inversion table is just what the doctor ordered for the alleviation of joint pain and stress. This can do wonders for tendonitis.
- Very few people are aware that inversion helps to flush out the lymph system. With the lymph system being so vital to the proper function of the body’s immune system, it is vital to flush out the system periodically. This is especially beneficial for those who live sedentary lifestyles. A sedentary lifestyle can become a major contributor to excessive fluid retention, which can lead to a multiplicity of complications, including hypertension, joint inflammation and more.
- The inversion table can also work to improve posture, introducing a number of additional benefits, including the body’s ability to keep the spine aligned naturally. Good posture conjoined with a strong core can help keep the spine properly aligned. Both posture and core strengthening can be accomplished using an inversion table.
- Muscle relief is another benefit of using an inversion table. Hanging upside down helps to stretch the muscles in the hips, hamstrings and back. For those who have tight hamstrings and back muscles this is great. One way that a person can gauge the level of tightness in those muscles is to stand up straight, then bend over to touch their toes without bending the knees. If they struggle to do this, then they have excessive tightness in one or all of those areas. Tightness in these muscles can lead to structural issues or injuries, so it is imperative to take the necessary actions to alleviate that tightness.
- As mentioned earlier, improved circulation is another benefit of inversion therapy. There have been studies released that revealed that inversion therapy helps to reduce the appearance of varicose veins — if they are not too far advanced. Inverting allows the small gates within the veins to relax so that they are able to rebuild, improving their ability to improve circulation.
- And of course, spinal decompression is the primary benefit of inversion therapy, helping to realign the spine and eliminate back pain.
Note: The vast majority of inversion tables are designed to facilitate intense core training. A strong core is the foundation for a physically functional body.
How to Use the Inversion Table in 12 Steps
Inversion tables are highly effective, but they are not overly complicated to understand or use. It is important to keep safety in mind, however.
Step 1: This may seem insulting, but anytime someone is going to use equipment, it is important to read the instructions and owner’s manual to gain at least a minimal perspicacity and familiarity with the equipment. There are some pieces of equipment that may have a proclivity to pinch certain body parts. Reading the instructions and manual can simplify the process.
Step 2: Determine the focus of the exercise. Are you looking to strengthen the core or achieve spinal decompression? This will help when it comes time to make adjustments.
Step 3: Take the time to adjust the table to your specific height. Your head should be able to rest comfortably on the bed of the table without hanging off.
Step 4: Determine the degree or angle at which you want to be inverted. For someone who is inverting for the first time, it might be best to start with an angle instead of going for a full inversion straight out of the gate. Inversion does take some adaption before your body will become comfortable with it.
Step 5: Stand with your back aligned with the table and secure your feet into the footrest. Once you have securely fastened your feet into the foot rest, lean back into the table to initiate the inversion.
Step 6: Use the handles (If applicable) to provide the stability necessary to make yourself comfortable.
Step 7: Breathing is an important part of this exercise. Take slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling each breath through your mouth.
Step 8: Remember to relax. The breathing will help with that. The more relaxed that you are, the longer you will be able to remain inverted. Beginners, it may be somewhat disconcerting for you to be inverted, at least at the beginning. You can try short inversion episodes initially, only staying inverted for two to three minutes each time. As you get used to the process, you can gradually increase up to 10 minutes then 20.
Step 9: Focus on stretching your back while in the inverted position. The inversion process will create space between the vertebrae that will allow you to achieve a deeper stretch than usual. This will help in realigning your spine.
Step10: Engage your core muscles, including your hip flexors, abdominal muscles and oblique muscles as well as your hips and gluteus.
Step 11: Isolate the abs even more by performing inverted crunches, which are great for enhancing the strength and endurance of the abs. Place your hands behind your hand for support. Using only your abdominal muscles, bring your torso towards your thighs. Do not use your hands and arms to help with the exercise by pulling your head up. It could cause you to strain your neck muscles.
Step 12: When you are ready to return to the upright position, use your hands to stabilize yourself. Make sure that when you begin to rotate to an upright position that you do it slowly. Moving too rapidly can make you dizzy.
Warning: As with any exercise regimen, you should consult your physician before beginning an inversion routine. You should also have someone nearby while inverting — for the sake of safety.
Reviews: Our Top Picks
- Equipped with memory foam that works extremely well to improve the level of comfort while inverting
- Exceptional support
- Molded ankle cushions, allowing for comfort at multiple angles
- Remarkable safety mechanisms to ensure that the table remains locked in the desired position
- Equipped a lumbar pillow for added back comfort
- One common minor complaint is that at 75 pounds the table can be difficult to handle, even when folded.
- Another common complaint is the size. Even when folded, it can be a challenge to tuck it away.
For the person looking for a table that performs well at a reasonable price, this table is not a bad choice. Outside of the weight and the bulkiness, it does what it was designed to do. If functionality is the primary concern, this table should meet your approval. If practicality is an issue, you may have some challenges with it.
- Extremely affordable when juxtaposed to the higher-end models that are on the market
- Easy to assemble, although you may need some assistance
- You have the capacity to set up the table for your exact weight
- Simple and easy height adjustments
- Allows for multiple preset angles
- The foot restraints could be a little more comfortable
- There is a 250 pound maximum weight limit
This is another affordable table that gets the job done; however, the comfort level leaves a little to be desired. The 250 pound weight limit may be an issue for some. As far as functionality goes, it gets the job done. This is a great table for a beginner that will not be spending prolonged time on the inversion table.
- The thing that sticks out about this table, outside of functionality, is the value as it relates to affordability. Obviously, not everyone can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an inversion table. This table can be fit into almost any budget.
- Comfort was a primary focal point when designing this table. With a ¾ inch comfort foam pad, comfort is at a premium
- Cushioned angle holders also add to the comfort and support prolonged inversion sessions
- An adjustable tether provides an additional level of security and stability. This will help to relieve the back strain.
- It is easy to assemble and the package includes all the necessary for assembly.
- At 64 pounds, it can be somewhat tedious to move around.
- You have to remove the back rest in order to fold it
Outside of the weight, this table is ideal for the person who will devote a considerable amount of time to inversion therapy and exercise. It has an immensely high level of comfort and it performs well.
- Extremely sturdy and convenient.
- It possess superior lumbar support, making it an ideal choice for athletes looking to improve and maintain optimal flexibility and core strength.
- The quick release system allows you to unlock your ankles without having to bend over.
- The ankle brackets are designed for support.
- Easy to assemble
- Some have complained that the ankle mechanism can become uncomfortable during long inversion sessions.
- Not a lot of room to rest your arms.
For the person who is serious about training, this inversion table is ideal. Athletes will love its sturdy and dependable design. It works great for those with a crowded budget as well. It is compact enough to fold away, making it very practical for home use.
- Can be easily folded
- Exceptional weight and height capacity, making it more versatile than the average inversion table.
- Has side handles for more control and security
- Comes with a five year warranty
- It also comes with a DVD user guide to help familiarize you with the product.
- Has the capacity to produce exceptional results
- One of the more comfortable tables on the market
- Highly functional
- The only noteworthy downside is the fact that it is relatively expensive
Despite the fact that the table is somewhat expensive, it maintains its value. In other words, the buyer will definitely get what they paid for and more. For those who can afford it, this table is worth every dime.
Either of these tables have a lot to offer in the right situation. It is important for anyone that is considering inversion therapy to determine their primary objective. This will help them decide which table is best. Obviously, a table that has a strong focus on comfort will be ideal for a person that is looking to engage in prolonged inversion sessions. A table that has more functionality and adjustable options will be more suited for the athletes or fitness minded person looking to improve core strength and flexibility.
Budget is another factor that cannot be ignored. Each of the tables listed in this guide has great value, meaning that you will get what you pay for and more. This also means the more that you pay, the more you get. It is advisable to find that happy medium in which you purchase a table that is within your budget that also meets the primary requirements necessary to accomplish your primary objective.