As a qualified physiotherapist, I often find myself teaching my clients how to use an inversion table. To be short and simple, using an inversion table is fairly straight forward; but there is safety concerns that you should be aware of.
For those who are unaware, an inversion table is a back-related device that assists in curing and preventing back related problems and more specifically, pain. Some of the benefits of regularly using an inversion table including improving and increasing blood circulation, improving body posture and flexibility, improving concentration and relieving overall mental and muscle stress.
Inversion Therapy is also extremely beneficial in tackling back-related issues, such as sciatica, disc-related problems (degenerated discs, herniated discs etc) and generally improving our well-being.
There is no denying that an inversion table is only as effective as you allow it to be. You need to ensure that you are inverting at the correct degree for your user level, as well as ensuring that you are not putting too much stress on your body.
I have written numerous articles across my website which cover safety, inversion angles and allocated exercise time slots. In addition to this, it will depend what inversion table you currently have. I have found that the majority of inversion tables come complete with a user manual, or step-by-step DVD made by the manufacturer.
These instructional DVD’s are perfect for showcasing some of the exercises you can perform; but not so great at actually telling you how to effectively invert while being safe.
Step-By-Step Guide On Using An Inversion Table
Follow the below step-by-step guide on using an inversion table to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety.
⇢ STEP 1: CHOOSE AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT
Choosing the right environment and place to invert is crucial. You need to choose an open room where you have lots of space to move around. Place your inversion table in a position where there will be no interruptions – away from tables and chairs.
⇢ STEP 2: CORRECTLY ADJUST YOUR INVERSION TABLE
As per your inversion tables instruction booklet or DVD, you should adjust your table according to your individual height and weight. Some tables may have advanced safety straps, and you should ensure that these are tightened. This step only needs to be performed once if you are the sole user of the product.
⇢ STEP 3: TIGHTEN THE SAFETY STRAPS
As mentioned in step two, you should double-check that the safety straps are correctly attached to the inversion table. Once attached and secure, you will need to fasten them and begin tightening them. The user manual should offer guidance for attaching the straps, and give you a detailed overview of how the straps are connected to one another. While standing up, fasten the straps around your body and sufficiently tighten them to ensure they aren’t too loose.
⇢ STEP 4: REVERT THE TABLE TO THE LEAST DEGREE ANGLE
The minimum degree angle for the majority of tables will be 10-degrees. You should always set your inversion table back to it’s least angle before mounting.
⇢ STEP 5: STEP ONTO THE TABLE
Once all of the safety checks have been complete, and the table is at a 10-degree angle, you are ready to mount.
⇢ STEP 6: ENSURE YOUR FEET ARE SECURE AND COMFORTABLE
Once you are mounted, ensure that the feet straps are correctly fastened and feel comfortable. It is of paramount importance that your feet do not move during inversion therapy. The majority of inversion tables currently available come complete with ankle adjustments. If you are finding them to be uncomfortable, I have found that wearing tennis shoes negates the discomfort.
⇢ STEP 7: LIFT YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR SHOULDERS
Once your feet are secured, you can proceed to lift your hands above your shoulders. It is important that your hands are above your shoulders during inversion therapy, as this is what results in your spine receiving an effective workout.
⇢ STEP 8: PRACTICE AT LOW DEGREE ANGLES
If you are starting inversion therapy for the first time, I strongly recommend practising at a smaller angle. If you over work your body, you will find that you put too much pressure on your spinal column. As a beginner, I would stick to inverting between 10 degrees and 40 degrees. You can also stand still, and simply invert at the default setting.
⇢ STEP 9: INVERT AT HIGHER DEGREE ANGLES
As you begin to use your inversion table more and more, your body will become adjusted to the switch in gravity; allowing you to invert with higher degree angles. Over a period of several weeks, you can slowly increase the angle at which you invert until you reach the maximum angle. You should always listen to your body. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop inverting immediately.