Today’s busy and stressful lifestyle undeniably takes its toll on our body. Sitting for long hours, carrying heavy bags, strenuous exercise, and even poor posture all contribute to back pain.
As diverse as its causes, there are also different treatment approaches. Some seek the help of physical therapists and chiropractors while others resort to meditation or yoga. And then there’s inversion therapy.
Inversion therapy is fast gaining popularity as an effective back pain remedy. It involves positioning your body upside down so that the head is lower than the heart. It reverses the effect of gravity to take the pressure off the nerves and disks in the spine, therefore relieving back pain. Furthermore, it helps ease stress, improve joint health, and increase flexibility.
It may sound intimidating but you can achieve these benefits using your very own inversion table, right from the comfort of your home.
This article will guide you as you start your journey towards better back health. We will help you choose what features suit your fitness goals and let you in on the cream of the crop – the best models that emerged from our rigorous evaluations. We will enlighten you further as we answer some frequently asked questions.
Once you have decided to give this type of therapy a try, the next step is listing down the fine print. As you search for your own table, what characteristics are non-negotiable? What features are good to have but you can do without?
Refer to these criteria to make sure that you make an intelligent decision.
There is no question that the number one feature to look for in an inversion table is sturdiness or durability. In your desire to treat back pain, you wouldn’t want to risk injuring yourself further. Look for a heavy-duty metal frame that has a solid construction.
2. Safety Features
Closely related to the previous item and also non-negotiable is the table’s safety features. It should have secure but comfortable ankle holders, specified weight limit of at least 250 lbs., height adjustment feature, and ergonomic safety handles.
A good table has a comfortable surface. Some have padded backrests while others are made of flexible material that molds the shape of your back with every stretch or movement. A headrest and a lumbar bar are also useful.
Since this practice is ideally done for a few minutes every day, having a unit that you can easily set up is an advantage. Look for one that is stable but easy to assemble. Most are also foldable so you can quickly store them when not in use.
If your budget is flexible, you can opt for more expensive tables that utilize infrared heating technology for a more soothing experience.
Top 5 Inversion Tables
Although they may not be a major financial investment, it is still best to choose wisely. And choosing from a very wide selection can be a daunting task.
You are one step ahead because we already assessed each of them for you. After a comprehensive evaluation, we proudly present the distinguished list of the top 5 tables:
Try Googling “inversion tables” and Teeter Hang-ups will surely be one of the top search results. It is not surprising that one of its bestsellers, the Teeter EP-960 Ltd, emerged on top of our list.
From its components to its construction, it clearly demonstrates superior quality. In addition, its solid structure is fused with numerous comfort elements.
Its safe and comfortable ankle holders have an EZ reach release system – such a valuable feature when even the slightest back bending is a chore in itself!
The ComforTrak Bed flexes with your movements so you can fully stretch without being limited by a solid backrest. It also has a removable head pillow, a lumbar bridge, and height-adjustable Accupressure Nodes for pressure-point muscle relief.
More than helping you get back to the upright position, the traction handles have a push button that easily releases you from full inversion.
Whether you prefer a mild inversion or you like going completely upside down, controlling the rotation is very easy. You simply adjust the tether strap to the preset markings at 20, 40 or 60 degrees. Height settings can also be adjusted.
This easy-to-install table is also foldable for effortless storage.
If you won’t settle for anything less than the best, don’t think twice about getting the Teeter EP-960 Ltd. Click here for a more detailed review.
At almost 1/3 the price of the Teeter EP-960 Ltd, it can rival more expensive products in terms of form and function.
Ironman Fitness puts premium on stability and safety. No wonder that the Gravity 4000 has one of the highest user weight capacities. It has a tough steel frame with rubber floor stabilizers so the table keeps steady while you invert. There is an adjustable safety tether strap to control the maximum angle of inversion. You or your little ones don’t have to worry about your fingers being caught because the sides are also covered with vinyl.
While the ankle holders can be made more comfortable, its easy-reach locking system is a pleasant feature. Other comfort features include its multi-layer memory foam backrest, extra-long, foam-covered handles, user height options, and a removable lumbar pillow for extra lower back support.
If you are looking for affordability that is complemented by strong construction, safety and comfort, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is the best inversion table for you. Learn more about it in this post.
Like other Teeter products, setting it up is easy. You can finish assembly in few easy steps and it even comes with a Getting Started DVD with 5 bonus exercise routines.
You will feel safe while inverting on the Teeter EP-560 Ltd. It is quite bulky but it compensates by being very stable and sturdy.
Set it according to your height requirement and you can easily balance and control your movements by simply moving your arms. You also don’t need to keep estimating how far you want to be inverted because its tether strap has settings to mark mild, average, and full inversion.
Its comfortable backrest allows you to relax and focus on just how good the spinal decompression feels. It even has nodes that you an adjust to target specific pressure points.
Click here to learn more about the Teeter EP-560 Ltd.
Despite being very affordable, Ironman Fitness did not cut back on the quality of this table. In fact, it is both sturdy and comfortable.
The square frame is made of heavy-duty steel that stays stable while inverting. Its ankle holders are quite comfortable and you can stay relaxed with its soft foam backrest.
While some people prefer sophisticated features, there are also those that go for simple, uncomplicated machines like the Ironman LX300. Its ankle holders have a pull-pin mechanism for quick release. The height setting is also easy to adjust based on your needs.
Although it has a slightly lower weight capacity, it can still be used by most body types.
For those who want an affordable and basic table that can get the job done, you will be happy with the Ironman LX300. Click here for more information about it.
It’s difficult not to include the Ironman IFT1000 in the list of good tables. Why? Because relishing the benefits of inversion and infrared heat technology at the same time is just fantastic!
This strongly constructed table may be a bit bulky but it also gives you the confidence that you can invert safely. It is also easy to balance so inversion is smooth and effortless.
The ankle holders are ergonomically designed for comfort so there is no need to wear shoes or special boots.
You can control the inversion using a tether strap while the handles on the sides help you get back up.
The biggest selling point of the Ironman IFT1000 is its Far Infrared (F.I.R.) Heat Therapy-enabled backrest. It relaxes the back and soothes minor muscle pain through the natural and gentle heat it emits. You can also set your desired temperature and duration using the remote control. Guaranteed safe, totally relaxing, and definitely convenient.
If you want to integrate heat technology with inversion therapy, the Ironman IFT1000 is a wise choice. Check out a more detailed review in this post.
The other runner-up finisher is another product from Ironman Fitness, the Gravity 1000.
Although it comes in many parts and assembly can be a challenge, the end product is secure with an extra-wide steel frame and rubber floor stabilizers.
The Gravity 1000 is quite affordable, but it covers the most important aspects of an inversion table. It has a comfortable nylon backrest, a decent weight capacity and an easy height adjustment method. It can also be folded for convenient storage.
While ankle locks and release mechanism are areas for improvement, its overall quality and performance still make it an effective option.
You can learn more about the Ironman Gravity 1000 in this full review.
It would be easier to know what product is best for you if you know the general categories that they belong to.
Based on how inversion is executed, the tables can be manual or automatic. A manual table uses your weight to tilt and operate the equipment. It usually requires the use of your arms to control its movement. On the other hand, an automatic table has a motor that helps you control the degree of inversion. This allows you to freely stretch your arms without any effect on the table’s function.
You can also choose between fixed and portable ones. Portable tables are usually smaller and lighter. They also fold easily for storage. Keep this in mind: whether fixed or portable, all of them must be strong enough to support your body weight.
There are products that also incorporate the use of infrared heat technology. This powerful combination is helpful in relaxing sore muscles and increasing blood flow.
The Top Brands
For many years, two names have been considered as the powerhouse in manufacturing machines that help people achieve their fitness goals. True enough, they have proven to produce the best inversion tables on the market today.
Teeter Hang Ups
The Teeter Hang Ups story began with a personal quest for back pain relief.
Ever since Roger Teeter tried inversion therapy at a water ski event in 1980, he and his wife started manufacturing and selling inversion products. Their aim was to help more people find natural relief from back pain.
Today, they continue to produce inversion equipment and accessories that have specialized and patented features. The company espouses superior quality and ensures that their products pass strict certification standards.
Teeter tables are known to be easy to assemble and user-friendly. The table even comes with a downloadable application and a Getting Started DVD with 5 bonus healthy back routines.
They also have a comfortable backrest with accessories like adjustable Accupressure nodes and a lumbar pillow for added relief.
Indeed, Teeter Hang Ups deserves to be recognized as one of the top inversion table brands.
Ironman Fitness is known for manufacturing topnotch training machines, whether for triathlon preparation or simply keeping an active and healthy lifestyle.
The company maintains the highest standards through engineering and lab testing. And these superior machines usually come in very reasonable prices!
Their tables commonly have solid frames, comfortable backrests, a tether strap for inversion control and extra-long handles for easy return to the upright position.
Aside from inversion tables, it also has stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, weigh benches and power cages.
If it’s an Ironman, you are sure that it’s a fine piece of equipment.
Other Things to Consider
Are you still wondering if inversion therapy is for you? We have compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you figure that out.
1. What are the benefits?
It is great for reducing back pain. But do you know that other areas of the body can also benefit from it? When you invert, you get neck, joint and muscle pain relief, lymph system cleansing, blood circulation improvement, posture correction, and spinal decompression.
2. Is it safe for everyone?
While inversion therapy is generally safe and has numerous benefits, people with certain conditions are cautioned against it. If you are pregnant or if you have heart/circulatory disorders, hypertension, extreme obesity, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, or spinal injury, consult your doctors before trying it.
3. How long should I invert?
Beginners should start slowly and carefully. 10-20 degrees for 1-2 minutes during the first 2 weeks will do. Once you become more comfortable inverting, you can work up to 60 degrees for longer periods of time. Remember that inverting for more than 30 minutes is not necessary.
4. Is inversion therapy painful?
As long as you don’t have any of the contraindications or are given clearance from your doctor, there should be no reason for to be painful or uncomfortable. Furthermore, remember to assemble the table correctly, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and build up the duration and degree of inversion gradually to make sure that you do not encounter any problem while inverting.
5. What are the limitations of inversion tables?
Inversion tables have different weight limits but most tables have a user weight capacity of 300 lbs. Height adjustment is also a common feature, with the tallest setting usually at 6’6″.
Inversion Table Tutorial: Safe, Short & Simple Routine
It is common to hear one thing from people who finally got their own inversion tables: I wish I had known about this amazing equipment years ago!
There’s just so much to love about having one at home. You can hop on anytime of the day and you instantly do your back and, as you probably know by now, a lot of other body parts as well, a very big favor. Most tables are very easy to assemble and even easier to use. You have the power to adjust the height and inversion control settings to suit your preference. They even fold for convenient storage.
You do not need to worry about security and comfort because inversion table manufacturers, especially Teeter Hang-ups and Ironman Fitness got you covered. Secure and comfortable ankle holders, relaxing backrests, and long, foam-covered handles are well taken care of.
Get the Teeter EP-960 Ltd now and your future healthier self will definitely thank you for it!