Inversion therapy has been through several phases of popularity since the 1960s, and is currently in the midst of a strong resurgence. Inversion therapy takes the form of performing exercises while in some way inverted. The simplest manner is with so called gravity boots, but these offer a number of challenges, especially for a solo practitioner.
Instead inversion tables are offered as the solution. Whereas gravity boots strap your feet and ankles down and suspend you completely vertically, inversion tables offer various mechanisms to be suspended, and most importantly let you adjust the angle at which you’re inverted. This makes exercise safer and easier.
The biggest advantage coming from inversion therapy is the decompression of your body’s joints below the point of fastening. While during normal exercise and day to day tasks your body and joints are being compressed due to gravity, inverting yourself lets that same force stretch you out. This can have a number of benefits and is commercially advertised as providing back pain relief.
Inversion tables are produced by many different companies, all with different mechanisms for rotation, control and fastening. Many of them include additional features such as specific back support mechanisms, or have built in heating therapy apparatus. If you have been specifically advised to purchase an inversion table, you should definitely find out if there is specific functionality that will best aid your condition.
In addition, take care to consider the physical makeup and limits of specific inversion tables. Different types of plastics, foams and metals will be used. Check weight limits and how adjustable a table is to ensure that the one you pick can accommodate you. These factors can play a big role in how comfortable you feel. And also how safe, you don’t want to be hanging upside down while it feels like it may feel apart at any stage. To avoid that, you can just pick one from our list below of the top 5 inversion tables.
Top 5 Inversion Tables
Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table | Top overall inversion Table
Everyone knows the name Ironman, it’s the series of insane triathlons where athletes cover extreme distances for the title of being an Ironman. What you may not have known is that they manufacture and sell a number of exercise apparatuses, inversion tables included.
The sturdy machine is structured out of tubular steel frame and finished with a black powder coat, that helps prevent scratches. The steel frame gives it a total weight of 75 pounds which is manageable in a small home gym. It can also fold up for vertical storage in an upright cupboard or in a corner. When stored the table goes from measuring 26×49 inches and 65 inches high, to 26×17 inches and 80 inches high. The steel frame is necessary though as it allows someone weighing up to 350 pounds to use it. That is 50 pounds more than the industry standard of 300 pounds.
The Gravity 4000 sports tough rubber feet to ensure it doesn’t skid, and helps stabilize the table during use. The back rest is made of memory foam with a nylon cover, and it inverts up to 180 degrees. The ankle cushions are ergonomically molded, feature memory foam and an easy in and out mechanism. In fact, it’s Ironman’s patented palm activated mechanism which makes use of an adjustable ratchet mechanism to ensure you are comfortable and secure. The ankle cushions’ distance to the table is also adjustable, making it easy for people of different heights to use the product.
The product is advertised as a sturdy inversion table that may help reduce back stress and help stimulate circulation. The safety handles are extra-long to make returning to an upright position easy and also have vinyl safety covers. With the table, you also get a removable lumbar pillow which can provide extra lower back support. It is fairly well-priced for an inversion table, and comes from a brand whose name is important to them. Having produced inversion tables for over 10 years, they guarantee satisfaction and provide a 30-day full refund return option.
Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table | Top entry-level inversion table
Innova manufacture a wide range of inversion tables and other exercise equipment such as stationery bikes and weight benches, all of them at very reasonable prices, and the Innova ITX9600 is actually the cheapest on our list of top 5 inversion tables.
Although the ITX9600 is advertised as heavy duty, it’s maximum load is 300 pounds. While this is going to be sufficient for the majority of people, and is standard for inversion tables, it’s not as much as what the Ironman provided. It is half the price though. The adjustable length system can comfortably accommodate people as short as 4 foot 10, or as tall as 6 foot 6.
The backrest is made of foam and is enclosed by their patent pending protective cover. The same cover is seen on the head rest, which is also adjustable in height. The agronomical ankle holding system is easy to slip in and out of, has protective foam and a quick release lever as well.
Rotating is easy with large non-slip rails, and the ITX9600 has lockable positions. There are 5 different specific positions you can choose from, and a safety pin ensures an easy and fixed hold. Set up, the table measures 46×28 inches and is 63 inches high. It also folds up for easy storage, significantly reducing its floor print. At only 50 pounds, it’s also fairly light, which should make moving it about easy.
The frame itself is made of heavy gauge steel, so you’ll have no fears of it collapsing under you and rubber feet on the four corners will help keep you set in one place while exercising. A good product at a very agreeable price. The product has all the main things you need in an inversion table, and includes a one year warranty should anything go wrong.
Teeter Inversion Table EP-560 | Features Acupressure nodes
Teeter has long been the leading name in inversion tables, especially in the United States. In fact, they gladly boast that they are the only FDA cleared inversion table, that is indicated for back pain, muscle tensions and other conditions. The name, with its 35-year long legacy, does come at a price though. The Teeter EP-560 is the second most expensive product on our list, second only to the Teeter EP-960. Don’t let the price put you off though, as there are advantages to going with the industry favorite.
Teeter take a different approach to the back-rest design. Instead of a soft foam back rest, the Teeter EP-560 makes use of a strong, flexible plastic, with a small foam head pillow for protection. This optimizes stretch, providing both comfort and maximum relief. The back-pain relief kit present on this model additionally adds acupressure nodes in several key points on the backrest. 8 nodes provide trigger-point release, and an extra lumbar bridge supports the lower back and focuses traction.
The Teeter EP-560 can accommodate people weighing up to 300 pounds, again less than the Ironman, but it is made from heavy-gauge, high grade steel parts, and makes use of patented security features, such as auto-locking hinges. The table can handle even shorter people, starting at just 4 foot 8, up to a maximum height of 6 foot 6.
The feet fasteners make use of more patented technology, featuring unmatched comfort and support in the form of their wrap-around ankle cups for the perfect fit. The table’s design offers precision rotation for total control. Simple arm movements allow you to shift your body weight providing effortless inversion. This is supplemented by extra-long, stretch max handles and an EZ-angle safety tether, meaning you can exercise however you want while securely in position.
If this wasn’t enough, the Teeter also comes with a 5-year full warranty, and DVD. It can be put together in a simple 5-step assembly, and can fold up for storage, occupying just 20×29 inches of floor space, and sitting 66 inches high.
Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Inversion Table | Top heat treatment Inversion Table
Although this is another Ironman product, and features the same 4000 denotation, don’t let that make you think that these are similar products. With our previous option being from the Gravity range, this IFT 4000 Infrared table is a different kettle of fish entirely.
From a physical standpoint, the Ironman product is another heavy hitter supporting people up to 6 foot 6, and weighing up to 350 pounds. When in use, it measures 49×26 inches and 65 inches high, but will fold up to 26×17 inches and 80 inches high. Another sign of quality is the weight of 75 pounds.
The ankle locking system is Ironman’s standard, patented ratchet system which can be palm activated and is easy to reach. The ergonomically molded ankle cushions are there to securely hold your ankles while also being comfortable. The big difference between this product and others is their inclusion of infrared heat therapy. This is implemented into the backrest.
The backrest comprises 2.5 inches of molded foam for extra comfort. Ultra-thin far infrared ray (FIR) carbon fiber heating elements are embedded in the back rest and provide a natural and gentle heat to help sooth your back. This can provide temporary relief from minor muscle spasms. Heating takes only 10-15 minutes and an LED display is provided so you can adjust the time and temperature. An additional remote control is available to ensure you maintain control while inverting.
The entire table inverts up to a full 180 degrees, made easy thanks to extra-long, foam covered safety handles. Additionally, the IFT 4000 features inverting hand grips for easy positioning and return of the body while inverting. Large non-skid rubber floor stabilizers ensure you don’t move while performing your exercises.
The addition of the FIR heat therapy is a real game changer in the inversion table offerings. While this does add to your cost, the price can still be considered reasonable when compared to other products on the market.
Teeter Inversion Table EP-960 | Best ankle support
Being very similar in appearance and price to the Teeter EP-560, the 960 has several key differences. Firstly, this model does not feature the additional back pain relief kit we discussed earlier. What it does have is an enhanced ankle support as well as EZ-stretch traction handles.
Similar in appearance also means similar in specifications. The table can support the same users, from a height of 4 foot 8 up to 6 foot 6 with a maximum weight of 300 pounds. Likewise, it will fold up to be stored away with dimensions 20×29 inches and a height of 66 inches.
The special EZ-Reach ankle system on this model is one of its unique features. It has a triple lock security system and an extended handle to reduce required bending when securing your ankles. Furthermore, it has extra support for added ergonomic benefits. It completely surrounds the ankle to help distribute the weight comfortably around the feet and heels. Additionally, the foot platform has a specific comfort dialer which allows you to change the height for smaller or larger feet.
Other unique components are the stretch max handles. With an extra-long grip surface, they offer even more stretching options. Traction handles allow you to add decompression at lesser angles, as well as offering the opportunity to provide a rhythmic oscillation.
Another strong offering from the biggest name in inversion tables.
Inversion tables can be extremely diverse in operation and functionality which can make picking one quite tricky. We hope with our list that we’ve managed to educate you a bit in what your options are and that you agree with our list of the top 5 inversion tables. Regardless of what your requirements are, one of these should definitely be appropriate for you.
If you suffer from any chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, be sure to consult with your doctor before performing inversion therapy. While risks with inversion therapy are minimal, they can be increased by certain conditions. You should also consider having someone nearby when first using the apparatus, just to ensure you’re fully comfortable with it.