Inversion table exercises are an excellent way to reduce back pain, train core muscles without stressing the spine, relieve stress and age gracefully. These are just a few of the inversion table benefits you can expect when you invest in an inversion table. There are many inversion tables on the market, and if you are like me, you want to make sure you get the most for your money.
Why You Need an Inversion Table
The best inversion table is one that is not only easy to use, but will also allow you complete range of use. Having a table you never use will not help you at all in your quest for fitness, so make sure you buy one you can and will use. An inversion table uses the force of gravity to help decompress you spine, discs and nerves. Hanging from your feet on a sturdy inversion table that has a solid, supportive back and secure foot grips allows you to completely relax and let your muscles lengthen, stretch and decompress. Head stands and other similar exercises do not offer the decompression benefits of inversion tables since you have to use your muscles to support your weight.
Inversion tables are self-controlled with handles that are easy to manipulate so you can invert yourself and get yourself upright without help or assistance. I really like that after a hard workout focusing on upper body strength that is intensive in upper body and back work, I can come home and easily do inversion exercises to relieve stress, muscle tightness and fatigue from a strenuous gym workout.
Inversion table exercises can be done in a partial inversion position or a full inversion position. Depending on the level of comfort you have with the inversion table and the muscles you want to work and the results you hope to see, you can create a complete regimen to do on your inversion table. Since there are a full range of exercises you can do on your inversion table, they make a great addition to any home gym.
Types of Exercises You Can Do With an Inversion Table
In the partially inverted position, I like to do gentle stretches for my head, neck, upper back and torso. By crossing one arm over the other and gripping the frame of the table, I can get a great stretch for my deltoids and arms. The twisting motion of this exercise also gives my lower back a great stretch as the gravity works to lengthen and decompress my spine and muscles. Stretching my neck is easy with my inversion table and I love to use it for that after a stressful day at the office. I simply strap in, invert myself partially and gently lift my head while rotating it slowly from side to side. After a few rounds of that exercise, I gently press my head against the table while gently lifting my shoulders off the table for an extension stretch to relieve the stress that I seem to hold in my neck and shoulders.
In the fully inverted position, you can really target your core abdominal and back muscles. In high school, I was a fit athlete and regular sports practices kept my abs and back in shape. Now that I work in an office, I have to focus on keeping my abs fit, tight and toned. Unfortunately, years of cradling a phone on my shoulder at the office left me with a wrenched neck that is stressed by traditional crunches and sit ups.
Targeting your abs is difficult without doing crunches, and the inversion table gives me the ability to do crunches without straining my neck. I do inverted crunches by lifting my torso half way to my knees and then I do another round of full sit ups where I bring my entire body to my knees. These inverted half and full sit ups require more muscle than traditional crunches, so you will see flat abs quickly without strain to your neck and back.
Inverted squats are great for strengthening legs and toning thighs and quadriceps. I brace my feet against the frame of the table and then use my legs to pull my body weight up, as a traditional squat except I am pulling my body weight up toward the table frame. Back extensions are another exercise I can do on the inversion table without pain or discomfort. I grasp both sides of the frame and push my torso and back up, gently stretching my back and torso to full extension, return and repeat.
Benefits of Inversion Tables
I have found my inversion table provides many benefits. Reduced stress, relief from back, neck, and shoulder pain, stimulation of circulation, reduced strain on the body while doing back, abdominal and other exercises and increased vigor and vitality are some of the benefits I have noticed since I started using my inversion table.
Who Should Not Use an Inversion Table and What to Remember About Using One
I researched before I bought and made sure I knew all the inversion table risks and benefits.
- People with glaucoma or retinal detachments may experience increased eye and ear pressure, which can cause discomfort or bleeding.
- An increase in blood pressure can happen from the inversion, so people with hypertension or high blood pressure should limit time inverted.
- Overdoing it on the inversion table can lead to pulled and sore muscles, so be sure to pace yourself and do not overwork your body on the table.
- Some people report headaches after using an inversion table from the increase of blood flow to their heads, but limiting the amount of time you spend in full inversion can prevent most occurrences of headaches.
- To be sure you are healthy and able to use an inversion table, consult with your physician or physical therapist or trainer to get advice and guidance on what type of table and inversion exercises are right for you.
I may never be in the same shape I was while I ran track in high school, but I can be in the best shape possible for my age and place in life. My inversion table helps me elongate, lengthen and tone my muscles and prevents stress and strain to my neck and back. Inversion has been of great benefit to me, I hope it will help you, too. Visit online retailers or your local sporting goods store to look at models and see if an inversion table belongs in your home gym.