What are inversion tables and how can they help you in and out of the gym?

Are you always in the gym, but somehow never have time for stretching? Are you looking for a new way to perform the same stretches, or a completely new way to decompress after training or work? Inversion therapy may be the answer you are looking for. Simply put, inversion therapy involves being suspended and hanging upside down with the aim of providing added release after training or as a way of dealing with back pain and discomfort.

Using an inversion table is one way to achieve the desired upside-down position. So, what exactly is an inversion table?

The typical design is based on a sturdy yet lightweight metal frame the backrest and headrest are attached to. This is where your upper body is resting on while suspended. Your ankles are secured with padded ankle straps or restraints, thus preventing slipping. Your arms rest on ergonomic handles (they can also be used for actively getting in and out of an inversion), while your desired end position is secured with a system of safety pegs or pins, again preventing accidental slipping or overstretching.

Inversion tables also come with many additional features (you can opt for a more expensive model that will have them from the start or buy accessories for your inversion table later on, once you decide you need them):

  • no-slip mat (to further secure the frame of your inversion table and protect sensitive floors from damage)
  • heating and/or vibrating cushions specifically designed for the lower back (lumbar spine)
  • neck support (ergonomic neck massager)
  • storage caddies (for water bottles and other sport equipment)

When can you use an inversion table? Adding inversion therapy to your training regime is always beneficial, but it is also encouraged in cases of more serious back pain and conditions such as:

    • sciatica: pain in the lower back, buttocks and back of the leg caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve
    • muscle spasms: involuntary contractions of one or more muscles
    • herniated discs: this condition occurs when a damaged spinal disk puts pressure on a surrounding nerve. This causes pain in the extremities associated with the affected nerve
    • osteoarthritis: the degeneration of joints and bone tissue caused by aging
    • scoliosis: deformation of the spine caused by putting excessive pressure on the spine
    • various autoimmune conditions, such as fibromyalgia

The positive effects are many. Including relief from painful conditions mentioned above, they also include:

  • spinal decompression and increased flexibility
  • improved sleep quality
  • improved posture
  • improved circulation
  • hormonal regulation
  • less severe symptoms of PMS

You can get an inversion table to use at home and easily reap all the benefits this simple yet effective device provides. If you spend a lot of time working out, gravity boots may be the perfect accessory for you: they provide added decompression of the leg muscles while used during inversion therapy. Used in the gym, they assist you in performing inverted exercises for increased core and leg strength. They are lightweight, which makes them an ideal on-the-go gym accessory for a busy schedule.

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