Inversion tables are a trend today. Because of the increasing popularity of inversion therapy, a lot of people purchase inversion tables as a better alternative to gravity boots, which are usually more expensive and has less options when it comes to angle settings.
While gravity boots only allow the user to completely hang upside-down, a person can lie comfortably on an inversion table and choose the degree with which to invert.
However, despite inversion therapy’s effectiveness in combating both acute and chronic back pain, an inversion table does not come cheap, and people wonder if there are other uses to this equipment aside from inversion therapy.
If you happen to purchase a strong and sturdy inversion table that can carry your weight without any trouble, then you can definitely use your equipment in other forms of inversion table exercises.
In this article, you will find four inversion table exercises that you can easily do on your inversion table. But first, here are some tips on how to properly perform inversion therapy on your equipment.
In any of the inversion table exercises that you will find in this article, you should always begin by setting up your inversion table on a flat surface where it will not slip or slide. You should wear athletic shoes and flexible clothes if possible to remain comfortable during the exercise.
Before moving onto the inverted position, make sure that all of the safety features are in place. Now, different inversion tables have different safety mechanisms.
You may find ankle straps, locks or bars, body straps or belts, or both ankle and body security feature on your equipment—just make sure that you properly secure your body onto the table.
Once you have secured yourself onto the equipment, position your body on the table with your head safe on the headrest and your hands gripping the handlebars firmly. Slowly, push the table downward to an inverted position.
If you are a beginner, start on a higher angle, and then progress lower as you get used to the therapy. Do not unbuckle or remove the safety mechanisms in any circumstances. They will ensure that you stay on the table even when you are completely inverted.
Every one to three minutes, raise your body to a horizontal position. This stops the blood from flooding to your head and prevents you from feeling nauseous or lightheaded.
If you have acute or chronic back pain, do this exercise for at least ten minutes every day. Consistent inversion therapy will keep your back muscles and spine at ease, and eliminate any stress that your back may be experiencing from intense physical work or a whole day sitting in the office.
Once you are safe and secured on your inversion table, push your upper torso down and your lower torso up so that your feet are raised and your head is close to the floor. Let go of the handlebars and place your hands to your head. Your fingers must be assisting the back of your head and your palms should be resting near your temples, just like you do when you are doing normal crunches.
Slowly, lift your shoulders towards your core. Your elbows must be pointing to your knees or thighs, depending on your flexibility. Hold this position for about five to ten seconds, or for as long as you can.
And then, again slowly, return to the inverted position by lowering your back back on the table. Repeat the steps ten to fifteen times if you are a beginner, more if you are already experienced in this type of inversion table exercise.
Inverted squats are a bit more challenging to perform. In this exercise, you will also need to secure yourself onto the table.
You also have to choose between two levels of difficulties—the beginner level allows you to use the handlebars as support so that you can gain momentum when pulling yourself up.
Meanwhile, in the advanced level, you should rest your hands behind your head (as they are on the inverted crunches) and pull yourself up using only your glutes and hamstrings. You can also bend your knees to give your legs a workout.
You can do simple inverted stretches or assisted inverted stretches on your inversion table. When doing a simple inverted stretch, you should slowly tilt yourself on a complete inverted position.
While you lower your head towards the floor, your hands should be placed behind your head. And then, once you reach the vertical position, you should extend your arms to the floor and just let your spine to decompress and release tension.
Meanwhile, when doing the assisted inverted stretches, a friend or a workout partner should your hands while you lower yourself in an angled inverted position.
When you reach your desired final position, your partner should gently and slowly pull on your arms to stretch your whole body out.
Aside from releasing stress from the spine, inverted stretches will also help you build strength and endurance.
However, remember to take precaution when doing these inversion table exercises, and to come up from the inverted position every minute or so to prevent lightheadedness and nausea.