Whether you already own your inversion table or you are still on the market for one, it’s always good to learn about the variety of exercises that you can use it for. Throughout my personal practice with hundreds of clients, I have found that a surprising number don’t know that their inversion tables can also be used for exercise. Although they can only be used for certain parts of the body, inversion tables can be an exceptional tool for building up core strength.
If what you want is a strong core, inversion tables can provide a very effective base to start with. As your core muscles grow stronger, you can increase the degrees by which you invert; allowing for a better workout. Below are some of the most common inversion table exercises to improve your fitness and help alleviate lower back pain.
Partial Inversion Stretching Exercises
While inverted, begin to stretch your body outwards in all directions. To get a good stretch in your torso, arch your torso to one side and then to the other. This allows the surrounding musculature to relax, and helps the mid and lower spine to stretch. Next, cross one arm over the whole length of your body and grab the opposite side of the inversion table. With a strong grip, rotate onto one shoulder and perform a stretch. Repeat this stretch on the other side as well.
To stretch your neck while inverted, rotate your head from side to side and lift your chin towards your chest without sitting up. Perform these exercise as often as you find helpful and as frequently as you wish.
Full Inversion Table Exercises
Before attempting full inversion exercises, it is important to always begin with partial inversion exercises first. This is important to ease your body into the unique stress of inverted exercise and avoid potential muscle damage. As you do partial inversion exercises, your body will grow more accustomed to the stress, and you will gradually begin to work up to full inversion exercises.
- Inverted Crunches: Place your hands across your chest, and lift your torso half way to your knees. Then, return back to the resting position. Be careful not to strain your neck. You should feel a strong sensation in your abdominal area as you complete the crunch.
- Inverted Sit Ups: As with inverted crunches, place your hands across your chest and perform a sit up all the way to your knees. If you struggle to do a sit-up while fully inverted, you can do an assisted sit-up by placing your hands behind your knees and using them to aid your sit up. Alternatively, you can decrease your level of decline to make inverted sit ups a bit easier. Inverted sit-ups are very challenging, and scientists have claimed that one inverted sit up is the same challenge as 10 normal sit ups. Be safe while you do these, and be sure to listen to your body. Do not push yourself to do any sit ups if you are struggling to maintain proper form.
- Inverted Squats: While inverted, pull with your legs, lifting your body upwards. This looks a lot like a normal standing squat, but upside down. This is a great exercise for your legs, and it provides a significantly different type of exercise from a typical squat.
Always Be Safe While Performing Inversion Table Exercises
Safety should be your first priority while performing any type of exercise. Inversion tables are great because they allow you to use gravity to your advantage, but you still need to use common sense. If you don’t already exersise, then your body is probably not used to the stress you will be putting it through. Always start small and begin with partial inversion exercise before gradually increasing to a full inversion exercise routine.
Some inversion tables, such as the Ironman ATIS 1000, come with ab-building capabilities. These tables are made to be used for exercise, and because of this, you may want to consider one if you plan to be doing the exercises from this article. The Teeter models are also good for this because of added extras like the Lumbar Bridge, which is very helpful when performing inverted exercises.
The 8-Week Inversion Table Exercise Plan For Strength & Weight Loss
I wrote the below 8-week weight loss and core strength plan to help you reach your goals within a structured weekly routine format. I have recommended the following plan to clients for a long time and I whole-heartedly believe in the effectiveness of this routine.
It’s well-known that performing inverted exercises results in rapid gains, mostly because the exercises are much harder to perform. There have been many studies conducted that have all pointed to the fact that inverted exercise is an extremely effective way to get in great shape.
Get Started With My 8-Week Program Today:
- Week 1: Week one is about getting your body adjusted to inversion and making sure you are comfortable with hard exercise. Perform inverted crunches in sets of 2-3 reps to test your body and find where your limits are. Don’t over do it. This is just to get comfortable.
- Weeks 2-3: During these weeks, begin adding stretching exercises into your routine. Begin your session with a round of stretches then finish off with crunches, again pushing yourself to your limit. Stretches will help to loosen your body and get you ready for the future weeks.
- Weeks 4-6: Now your body should be ready to handle sit-ups and squats. Begin week 4 with sit-ups and crunches, as well as stretches. In week 5, do stretching squats and crunches. In week 6, try the whole routine, stretching, crunches, sit-ups, and squats. Be careful at this stage not to go overboard. Give yourself a chance to rest, and listen to your body.
- Weeks 7-8: In the last weeks, you will should be comfortable deciding how much you need to exercise to get a healthy workout-burn. You should be performing the full routine from week 6, and you should be comfortable choosing where to rest and when to push harder and when to rest.
Inversion Table Exercises – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does regular exercise help with Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a defect of the spinal column that is often difficult to treat. In its most basic definition, we define Scoliosis as a spinal curve going from side-to-side. Generally, the spine will resemble either the letters S or C, rather than a straight line. In mild cases, 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 treat Scoliosis in severe cases. If you have a severe case of Scoliosis, it’s important to immediately consult a Doctor as you may need surgery to correct the problem. However, inversion therapy will not worsen Scoliosis, and you’re free to see for yourself if there is any improvement from exercising on your inversion table.
Q. Will Inversion Table Exercises help to cure Sciatica?
Inversion Therapy is commonly prescribed by doctors and physiotherapists all over the world for treatment of mild to moderate Sciatica. If you suffer from Sciatica, it is best to consult an expert and inquire as to whether inversion therapy is right for you. I have found inverted crunches to be extremely beneficial, as well as traditional inversion therapy (simply hanging upside down). It is not always necessary to perform exercises to help ease symptoms of Sciatica.
Q. Inversion Table Exercises and Lower Back Pain
If you suffer from lower back pain, I strongly advise you not to perform any sort of exercise on your inversion table. If you have not seen 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 before attempting to address the pain yourself. Once you identify the cause of the lower back pain, your Doctor will be able to advise whether inversion table therapy and regular exercise is right for you.
Q. I have a bulging disc – will exercising help?
Bulging discs are common – and as with lower back pain, I would only advise exercise if you have already seen a medical professional. However, it is safe to perform normal inversion therapy while suffering with a bulging disc. Inversion Therapy will often help to alleviate the symptoms and may even help to fix the problem.
Q. What are the benefits of doing an inversion table workout?
Working out will help your overall bodily health, and help you to achieve your fitness goals. When you work out regularly, you’ll see your core strength improve day-on-day, and you will feel healthier everyday. Inversion table exercise is like working out at the gym, except that you’re inverting upside down, and thus providing your body with a more rigorous workout program.