Inversion Table Exercises For Lower Back Pain and Strength

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Inversion Table Exercises

If you have already purchased an inversion table, or are looking to buy one, it’s always a good idea to have some of the most common exercises on hand so you can take full advantage of your table.

After talking with hundreds of clients, I have found it astonishing that many of my clients simply don’t realize that inversion tables can also double up as an exercise machine.

While you can only train and strengthen certain parts of your body, an inversion table is a great way to build core strength; simply because you are usually hanging upside down and working with the effects of gravity.

If you are looking to build core strength throughout your abdominal area, as well as your legs, an inversion table will give you an extremely effective base to start with.

As you start to see your core muscles increase in strength, you’ll be able to increase the degrees by which you invert; resulting in a stronger and more fulfilling workout regime.

Below, you’ll find some of the most common inversion table exercises that are performed to improve fitness and health.

Partial Inversion Stretching Exercises

Inversion Table Exercises

As you are inverting, gently stretch your whole body outwards. A good way to target your torso area is to arch your torso from side-to-side. This will help to loosen the surrounding muscles, as well as helping the mid and lower spine section to stretch.

Another effective stretching exercise is to cross one arm over the whole length of your body, gripping the opposite side of the inversion table. Once you have a firm and solid grip, rotate up onto one shoulder and perform a stretch. These stretching exercises can be performed as and when required, and can be as frequently as you wish.

You can also stretch the neck by inverting, and then proceeding to rotate your head from side to side. You can also choose to lift your head (but make sure that you don’t sit up).

Full Inversion Stretching Exercises

Before attempting full inversion stretching exercises, you should always start with partial inversion exercises. This is because your body will not be accustomed to the stress that you may be putting on it. This can often result in extremely sore muscles, and there is further potential to actually damage your muscles.

If you have already performed partial inversion exercises, then your body should be able to handle the stress of full inversion as your muscles will have developed more strength.

  • Inverted Crunches: Simply place your hands behind your head, or on your chest area, and begin lifting your torso half way to your knees. This will result in a powerful sensation as you feel your muscles working hard.
  • Sit Ups: As with inverted crunches, place your hands behind your head and perform a sit up to your knees. If you are struggling to do a sit-up while fully inverted, you may need to assist your knees by placing your hands behind them. Inverted sit ups are extremely difficult to pull off, and scientists have claimed that one inverted sit up delivers the same difficulty as 10 normal sit ups. It’s also important to ensure that you get it right, and always ensure that your safe. Never push yourself to do sit ups when your body is telling you that it is tired and worn out.
  • Inverted Squats: Inversion tables are great for exercising your legs – so take advantage of it. Place each hand on the legs of the inversion frame, and bend your knees. Begin lifting your whole body upwards. This will resemble a normal standing squat, except you are now also providing your legs with an exercise.
  • Inversion Table Stretching: Stretching is a great way to relieve tension and stress from your whole body – and particularly your spine. There are two types of stretching that I love, basic stretching and assisted stretching.

Always Be Safe While Performing Inversion Table Exercises

I always stress that safety should be your number one priority when performing inversion table exercises. Inversion tables are great for exercising because they allow you to work with gravity, rather than against it; but you still need to use common sense.

If you are not a regular exerciser, then your body probably isn’t accustomed to the stress you may be putting it through. Always start off small, and always start off with partial inversion exercises before moving upwards to full inversion exercises.

Some inversion tables, such as the Ironman ATIS 1000, come with ab-building capabilities. These tables are made to perform exercises on, and as such, if you are looking to get more out of your inversion table, it may just be worthwhile investing in a table that is made to be exercised on.

The Teeter models also come with added extras, such as the Lumbar Bridge, which is extremely helpful when performing inverted exercises.

Your Own 8-Week Inversion Table Exercise Plan For Strength & Weight Loss

I have written the below 8-week weight loss and core strength plan to help you achieve your desired goals within a structured weekly routine and regime that you can strictly adhere too. I have been recommending the below plan to my clients for a long-time, and thoroughly believe in the effectiveness of conducting thorough strength workouts on your inversion table.

It’s no hidden fact that inverting upside down and performing exercises results in rapid gains – mostly because the exercises are much more difficult to perform. The studies have been widely conducted, and all point to the same conclusion – that exercising while hanging upside down on an inversion table is effective – and perhaps the most effective way to target your chest area.

Get Started With My 8-Week Program Today:

  • Week 1: During week one, it’s all about adjusting your body to inversion and making sure that you feel comfortable with performing hard and strenuous exercises. During week one, I advise performing inverted crunches in reps of 2-3 and test your body to see how far you can go before you reach your breaking point. Don’t over-do it – just see where your limits are.
  • Week 2 & Week 3: During these two weeks, you can start to implement stretching exercises into your regime. Start your inversion table therapy with a round of stretches, and finish off with crunches – again pushing yourself to your limits. The stretches will loosen up your whole body and prepare you for the future weeks.
  • Week 4, 5 & 6: At this point, your body should be well trained to handle sit-ups and squats. Start week 4 with doing sit-ups and crunches, as well as stretches. During week 5, implement squats and crunches. During week 6, try and do al three – squats, sit-ups and crunches. Keep a close eye on your body and don’t over-do it. Make sure that you’re giving yourself chance to rest.
  • Week 7 & Week 8: During these two final weeks, you’ll be able to determine how much you need to workout to achieve a healthy burning effect. You should be able to do inverted crunches, sit ups and squats – while using stretching exercises to relax and prepare yourself for the exercise program.


Teeter Hang-Ups EP-960Teeter Hang-Ups EP-550Body Champ IT8070Ironman ATIS 1000

Inversion Table Exercises – Frequently Asked Questions

Does regular exercise help with Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a defect found in the spinal column that can often be difficult to treat. In its most simplistic definition, we define Scoliosis as a spinal column having a curve in going from side-to-side. Typically, the spine will look similar to either the letters S or C, rather than an ordinary straight line. In mild cases of Scoliosis, research and clinical studies have shown that inversion tables and regular exercise can have a positive effect on treating the physical defect. Unfortunately, inversion therapy has not been shown to effectively treat Scoliosis in severe cases. As such, if you believe that you have a severe case of Scoliosis, it’s important to immediately consult a registered Doctor as you may need surgery to correct the problem. It is important to note however, that inversion therapy will not worsen Scoliosis, and you’re free to see if there is any improvement from regularly exercising on your inversion table.

Will Inversion Table Exercises help to cure Sciatica?

Inversion Therapy is commonly prescribed by doctors and authorized physiotherapists all over the world for treatment of mild to moderate Sciatica. If you are suffering from Sciatica, it is best to first consult an expert and inquire as to whether inversion therapy would be suitable for you. I have personally found that doing inverted crunches to be extremely beneficial, as well as traditional inversion therapy (simply hanging upside down). It is not always necessary to perform exercises on your inversion table to tackle Sciatica.

Inversion Table Exercises and Lower Back Pain

If you are suffering from lower back pain, I would strongly advise against performing any sort of exercises on your inversion table. If you have not been to see a medical professional, your lower back pain may be the result of something severe that needs to be treated via other methods such as surgery. Always receive a diagnosis of the problem before attempting to rectify the pain yourself. Once you have identified the cause of the lower back pain, your Doctor should be in a better position to advise whether inversion table therapy and regular exercise is suitable for you.

I have a bulging disc – will exercising help?

Bulging discs are common – and as with lower back pain, I would only advise exercising if you have already been to see a medical professional. It is, however, safe to perform normal inversion therapy while suffering with a bulging disc. Inversion Therapy when done regularly will often help to alleviate the symptoms and may even help to fix the problem at hand.

What are the benefits of doing an inversion table workout?

Working out is about improving your overall bodily health, and helping you to achieve your goals. If you work out regularly, you’ll begin to see that your core strength improves day-on-day, and that you feel more healthy everyday. It’s much like working out at the gym, except that you’re inverting upside down, and thus providing your body with a more strenuous and hard-to-handle workout program.

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