This article will address some of the common types of Teeter inversion table exercises and their benefits.
If you want to lower your back pain and enhance the flexibility of your body, then inversion exercises using an inversion table can really help. Upside down workouts cut down the stress that’s usually added to your spinal discs and vertebral when upright.
NOTE: If you are considering carrying out some inversion table exercises, you should always check with your physician or primary health care provider first and you should proceed with caution and be patient when developing your exercise regime.
A good choice of inversion table would be one by Teeter and this article shares some Teeter exercises for beginners that they can do.
Teeter Inversion Table Exercises
Below is a list of the exercises you can do on your inversion table.
For each of your sessions, begin by inverting to a moderate angle. Breathe deeply, concentrate, and relax your muscles.
Angle to Use: 30-45°
Duration of session: 1-3 minutes, once to twice a day
(1) Intermittent Inversion
Move alternately between 0° in horizontal form and 30-45° in equal periods of time. This is a way to condition yourself for the session. Also, it will help you get used to how the equipment operates.
(2) Overhead Stretch
Straighten your arm in and bring it to an overhead position. Stretch. Repeat with the other arm.
(3) Neck Stretch
Use your left hand and position it at the right side of your head. Gently pull your head towards your left shoulder. Repeat using the other hand.
(4) Side Arches
lace both your arms in an overhead position. Bring your waist into a C-shape by making your shoulders and hip lean towards each other. Repeat on the other side.
(5) Light Rotation
With your left arm still in its overhead position, reach the handles at the left side of your body using your right hand. Gently pull and rotate your torso and hips to the left. Repeat using the other side.
Angle to use: 45-60°
Duration of session: 3-5 minutes, once or twice a day
Lengthen tether strap to about 60° and the roller hinges to C or B setting. Shift your arms’ weights up and down in a rhythmic pattern to generate a rocking motion.
(2) Moderate Rotation
Reach your arm across your body and hold onto the bed of the table. Gently rotate your torso and hips while keeping your weight aligned with the table’s center.
(3) Moderate Decompression
(4) Lower Back Stretch
Place your right arm in an overhead position. Grasp the left handle using your left hand and push away while slowly rotating your hips towards the right. This stretches your lower back muscles. Repeat with the other side.
Tips to Remember
The longer you use your inversion table, the better you become. Take note that before proceeding to the advanced level, you should first be able to do the Teeter inversion table exercises in the right form, angle, and duration.
Avoid aggressively using the machine at it may be a cause for injury. Make sure to follow all Teeter Hang Up instructions and heed all warnings while doing exercises on your inversion table.
As mentioned above, you should always consult your doctor before using an inversion table.
Other Inversion Table Exercises
Performed in an inverted position, this is just like a typical squat. The inverted squat trains the hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
While hanging upside down, flex your hips to pull the torso towards your feet. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position and perform three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions.
This is probably the most common of the inversion table exercises. An inversion sit-up is believed to be much more effective than a traditional sit-up. However, the process is basically the same.
Simply lock your ankles into place and opt for a 45 degree angle or perhaps with the table parallel to the ground. This will make it easier for you to move the upper body forward, working the abdominal muscles at the same time.
Fold both arms across your chest and tuck your chin towards your sternum. Slowly flex the chest muscles and make a slight bending motion and the hips. This motion will lift the body against the force of gravity, which is like doing a sit-up with weights.
A few sets containing 10 – 20 reps on alternating days will have profound results after a few months for most people.
This one trains the stomach muscles. While hanging, lock the inversion table in position and then fold the arms across the upper body. The crunches are done by flexing the upper body while contracting the stomach muscles. Of course, here the movement range is limited as you are mostly focused on isolating the muscles of the stomach.
Also, avoid moving your hips while doing crunches for the best results. Ideally, pause at the top of each repetition and do three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions.
The best inversion tables come with excellent ankle straps or clamps that give you both stability and comfort. With this, you have the option of doing crunches even if your head might be pointing downwards.
When performing these, do so very gently, just enough to crush your middle and give your core a good workout. Some people can manage a full upside-down sit-up although this is only recommended for those who are fit and used to the routine.
The twist is done by rotating your body gradually. While hanging, keep your right arm across your upper body and hold the table’s left side. Slowly pull yourself in that particular direction and this enables your torso to rotate.
Repeat the same procedure with the left hand and on the right side of the table and complete three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions for each side.
The most basic form of inversion table exercise anyone can do is stretching. Aside from the basic stretching that the inversion table provides your entire back and legs, you can actually stretch further. You can twist from side to side, arch your back, or touch your knees and hold the position.
Stretching like this is easy no matter what angle you are at and it even provides better relief for back pain.
The most basic stretching you can do is, while upside down, reaching your arms and neck to their full extent. This stretches the spine much better, but there is no need to hold the position for more than two minutes at a time.
Inversion tables are complete when it comes to safety measures. They have straps for the ankles, legs, and waist to safely hold the user in position.
Doing crunches, sit-ups and body twists is possible and even more effective in a safely inverted position. Your knees and ankles will be kept in place and put your body in a steady position. Inverted sit-ups and crunches will become more efficient, whether these are done on a horizontal or vertical angle.
Because your ankles are locked into place and it is impossible for these to give way or budge, it is much easier to perform pull-ups. If you have difficulty doing a pull-up on a straight vertical position, you can simply adjust to a diagonal angle.
Using an inversion table does not require you to invert yourself to a 90-degree angle. In fact, the proper way of using inversion tables is by inverting a certain angle at a time. You can have yourself lie down flat on the table, non-inverted, and do crunches and sit-ups. Until you are getting better, you can adjust and change to a much steeper angle.
When tilted, use the handles to further stretch your leg area in order to relax the hamstring and calves. These areas of the body take a lot of beating throughout the day and stretching will help relieve any ache you might be feeling along this region.
Try to focus on your spine and imagine yourself standing up straight with the chest thrown out and stomach in. This will help “push” the bones into proper position, therefore improving posture.
Rocking is the simplest exercise possible, allowing you to soothe the bones into their proper positions. Simply move your body side to side while inverted. This can be done regardless of what angle you are at on the table. Don’t do this too roughly though, the goal is to rock yourself as if you’re falling asleep.
Decompression of Joints and Spine
There are many benefits to be had for people doing inversion table workouts.
Firstly, the inverted position decompresses the spine and relieves recurring or impending back pains. Inversion, with or without the aid of a table, promotes good blood circulation to the brain and most of the upper body.
Research also shows that stretching allows disks in the spine to decompress, as well as other joints in the body, including the knees. This is the reason why back pain is relieved and why people often refer to inversion tables as inversion therapy equipment.
A lot of people experience back pain, especially around the nape of the neck, because of sitting for long hours or simply holding a position for too long, which is often the case when you work with computers.
Alleviating Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common health problems patients complain about to their physicians. The problem can be caused by various conditions, but spinal damage such as discs that are herniated or degenerated causes the most severe pain.
Nerves that originate in the spinal column radiate outward to the back and limbs, and when these nerves are compressed the result can be debilitating, shooting pain.
The best inversion table exercises for back pain involve basic use of the table. All you have to do is strap yourself to the table and tilt it to 15 degrees as a starting point. Take your time as you don’t want to tilt too soon, since this can make all the blood rush to your head, causing nausea and dizziness.
From here, you can try increasing the angle by 10 degrees each time until you’re comfortable with a 45 degree angle. You can attempt a full upside down position if, and when, you think you’re capable of it.
These exercises help to reduce the pain causing pressure of the vertebrae on the nerve roots when the inversion table uses the pull of gravity to gently increase space between the vertebrae.
Inversion therapy is typically recommended as only part of a program to treat mild back pain, and is not an effective treatment for chronic pain. This more severe type of back pain may require epidural injections, anti-inflammatory drugs and perhaps even surgery.
Better Joint Control and Motion
The inversion position, having been established as decompressing, provides better joint motion. Working out with an inversion table will allow you to maximize your movements, especially for those who like to lift weights. Normally, lifting weights is a lot easier and safer to do when your muscles are not tensed.
When the weights are pulled up, it puts force not just on the muscles but also the joints. When the weights are let down, the force on the joints is tremendous if done incorrectly. Without proper joint motion, lifting weights can lead to sprains and muscle tearing. If inverted, the muscles and joints are loose which makes it much easier to move around and be in control.
An inversion table can relieve stress as effectively as a yoga class. Full-body stretching is very relaxing, and does not require the physical effort that yoga exercises do. This also helps your joints remain healthy and flexible so your level of activity will not be diminished as you age.
Are you as mentally alert as you could or should be? If not, inversion table exercises may help because it increases the supply of blood and oxygen to your brain. In addition, using an inversion table should help you maintain your height rather than “shrinking” as most people do over the years. This is because inversion therapy helps to counteract the effects of gravity when you “turn the tables” on a regular basis.
Inversion Table Workouts
Inversion tables are more popular among trainers and fitness enthusiasts
One might think it is difficult to perform an inversion table workout routine at all upside down, especially when the security straps are restrictive and motion is limited. There are in fact several exercises that can be done when strapped to an inversion table upside down, and here are some of the most common ones.
No matter what form of exercise you do, on an inversion table or not, it’s necessary to start slowly and increase gradually. Doing an inversion table workout is beneficial for experts but novice fitness enthusiasts should use it therapeutically at first until they are physically prepared for it.
For those who are determined to use inversion tables without prior workout experience, only basic stretching and exercises without weights should be carried out for starters.
If you are thinking of using an inversion table for a workout, then Teeter have a full range of tables with many inversion table reviews for each of their products. This should give you an idea of how people are using them.
It is very important that you consult with professional doctors first before you even consider using an inversion table.
Some fitness experts and body builders carry dumbbells while using inversion tables for workouts. Inversion table exercises for the abs is much like your average muscle training, the main difference being you are upside down.
It is however, not advised for beginners or those who are not experienced in weight training. It is because the inversion adds extra difficulty in lifting the weights, especially on a complete upside down angle.
Starting slowly with light weights is still applicable especially when on an inverted table. This will help your body grow accustomed first. Over time you can gradually increase the weights or change the angle of the table.
If you want to make your workouts more interesting, you can use some weight while on an angle. Note though that this is only advisable to those who have already developed some arm muscles and simply want to improve them.
Inversion Table Safety Tips
When performing inversion table exercises, there are several things you need to keep in mind for safety:
Always wear the appropriate clothes. In the case of inversion table exercises, this means well fitting clothes that let you move comfortably even when upside down. Do not opt for loose clothes since they can get in the way and block your movement when inverted.
Wear rubber shoes. You need a good grip on the table that also protects your feet at the same time. Never go barefoot during an inversion exercise.
If you’re a first time user with no idea how the table will affect you, make sure that someone else is there to watch you. Preferably someone who has used the tilt table before. They may need to act fast in case you find yourself becoming dizzy with the equipment.
Although being upside down has its advantages, the position can be detrimental for people with health issues. These specifically include, but are not limited to, those with hypothermia, blood clots, cardiovascular issues and the like who will find the table dangerous. Always, therefore, consult your doctor before using an inversion table.
Always carefully read the instructions provided with the table. Keep in mind that safety is top priority so check the straps twice before attempting any inversion angle.
You can also try out other exercises, depending on your level of expertise in using the inversion table. You can even incorporate other exercise equipment into the workout although this is only advisable for confirmed experts.
Considering the difficulty of the exercise, safety should always be foremost in the mind of the user.
Note though that prior to proceeding with inversion table exercises, it’s a good idea to first get used to the basics of using the machine.
For example, you might want to start off with a 10 degree tilt first, proceeding to 45 and then 90 with your head pointing downwards. Going too fast can actually cause dizziness due to the amount of blood rushing to your head.
The above are only a few of the many Teeter inversion table exercises you can perform. As a matter of fact, you can perform most traditional exercises on an inversion table and they’ll be more effective than their traditional counterpart. This is a great tool for anyone who is serious about losing weight or getting into shape.
Using an inversion table as treatment for back pain, for use in general exercising and, as a way to prevent some of the more common health problems that most people develop as they age, may be a good choice for you.
However, as previously stated, if you are considering carrying out some inversion table exercises, you should always keep in mind that the use of inversion tables is limited to people with a clean bill of health.
Some diseases or ailments can cause more harm than good when paired off with inversion exercises. For this reason, before even considering purchasing an inversion table, individuals are advised to question their doctor about the possibility of using one and whether this would affect their physical health. You should proceed with caution and be patient when developing your exercise regime.
Whatever you use the table for, you should always begin slowly and take at least two weeks to reach the full inversion position. Begin with about five minutes twice each day, and then gradually increase the angle and the time to allow your body to adjust to the therapy.
You can enjoy a lifetime of health benefits by carrying out teeter inversion table exercises in the proper manner.
Remember, before you use any product for health care, always consult with your physician or primary healthcare provider and seek the appropriate advice and supervision prior to use.