6 Best Inversion Therapy Tables For Hanging Upside Down (Updated 2019) - MMA Life

6 Best Inversion Therapy Tables For Hanging Upside Down (Updated 2019)

Inversion therapy, also called gravity inversion therapy, is the practice of having the body hang or be upside down, and the desired goal is to take pressure off the spine, vertebrae, and neck. A lot of fighters and athletes of high impact sports have gotten on the train as of late because of its purported benefits for relieving pain originating from the spine.

The theory behind inversion therapy is that, by reversing gravity's effects on the human body, the body's muscles, joints, and spine can stretch out, relax, and decompress. As a result, health issues such as sciatica, disc and nerve tissue compression, muscle spasms, and chronic back pain are hopefully relieved. Other benefits may include improved lymph circulation, better joint health, and, when combined with exercise, core strengthening and weight loss. 

Background and Benefits of Inversion Therapy

The practice of inversion therapy is not new- in 400 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates reportedly used a system of ropes, pulleys, and a ladder to hang one of his patients upside down to alleviate back pain (Hippocrates, selected works Loeb series. 8 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1923-1995). More recently, inversion traction therapy has been tested as a method for patients with back or neck issues to avoid painful surgery, reduce or eliminate chronic pain medication use, and regain quality of life.

Because inversion traction therapy has received only modest scientific investigation, there is not a lot of scientific consensus regarding its purported benefits and risks. However, several research studies conducted on this alternative therapy have reported positive results. For example, when 24 patients in a randomized pilot trial were subjected to inversion therapy and physiotherapy, versus physiotherapy alone, over three times more patients in the combination therapy than the single therapy avoided later surgery.

Another study, with a larger group of 64 patients, all with confirmed cases of disc herniation, was divided into a traction therapy or control group. Following 10 weeks of traction therapy, the experimental group reported less pain and disability, and showed improved intevertebral movements compared with the control group.

Finally, a case study reported that a patient who suffered from chronic low back pain as a result of sciatica and disc herniation and sequestration, and who underwent inversion table therapy over the course of nine weeks, noticed significant alleviation of his symptoms. With continued treatment over several years, this patient experienced physical healing and even greater symptom reduction. 

Chronic neck and back pain is a common issue for martial artists and athletes who participate in high impact sports. Thus inversion therapy may be a mode of regular mode of therapy for both treatment and prevention.

Below you will find our reviews of some of the best inversion tables on the market. There are many different manufacturers of inversion therapy tables. The following six were found to be the best in terms of their features, benefits, and overall quality. We provided a table for a quick overview of the 6 and also provided separate reviews of each below the comparison table.

Quick Comparison Table

Bag

Max Weight

Angle Positions

Overall Rating

Ironman Gravity 4000

350 lbs (159 kg)

3

9/10

Health Gear ITM5500 

300 lbs (136 kg)

4

8/10

Teeter EP-560 

300 lbs (136 kg)

3

9/10

Exerpeutic 975SL

350 lbs (159)

No limit

9/10

IRONMAN IFT 4000

350 lbs (159 kg)

3

9/10

Innova ITX9600

300 lbs (136 kg)

6

9/10

1. IRONMAN Gravity 4000 Inversion Table

This 180 degree inversion table is constructed from tubular steel, has a 350 lb (158.75) support capacity, and is adjustable up to an individual height of 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters). Its extra long safety handles are padded, making them easier to hold, and the base is supported by rubber non-skid floor stabilizers. A PVC equipment mat is included with this table for noise reduction and floor protection during exercise.

An integrated palm-activated ratchet ankle locking system ensures optimal control even while inverted, while the vinyl-covered, 2 inch (5 cm) thick memory foam backrest and ergonomically-molded ankle cushions provide for a custom fit that won't result in slips. There is a removable lumbar pillow that supports the lower back. Three built-in angle adjustments are integrated into this system via its pivot arms: 15, 30, and 45 degrees. Finally, the back support area of the table features a heating element to aid in muscle relaxation and improved blood flow during inversion.  

This table's folded dimensions are 26(L) x 17(W) x 80(H) inches. 

Pros

  • Extremely durable and rugged.  
  • Capable of handling big and tall individuals.
  • Adapts to different physical proportions.

Cons

  • Table is heavy and hard to move. 
  • Needs a lot of clear space

Overall Rating: 9/10

2. Health Gear ITM5500 Technology Inversion Table with Vibro Massage/Heat 

This stylish, heavy-gauge steel, inversion table features a 3 inch (7.6 cm) padded foam backrest, long support arms, a removable heat and massage pad, ankle lock lever, and dual foam-padded ankle supports. As opposed to other inversion tables, which utilize tether straps for angle adjustment, the ITM5500 houses a side inversion pin for set 20/40/60/90 degree inversion. This enables the user to stay on the table while adjusting it to as much as 90 degrees from its home (0 degree) position. In contrast, tether straps require the user to leave the table first before setting a new angle.

The ITM 5500 has an individual hold capacity up to 300 lbs in weight (136 kg) and 6 feet, 5 inches (1.95 meters) in height. Its built-in wheels enable the unit to be moved around easily. The table dimensions are 52(L) x 28(W) x 63(H) inches. 

Pros

  • Heat and massage pad can be used in bed or on a chair. 
  • The massage function has three different settings. 
  • Easy to assemble and fold. 

Cons

  • Heat and massage functions are not very strong. 

Overall Rating: 8/10

3. Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table

If you are an ardent Joe Rogan podcast listener, you will probably recognize this brand. Joe Rogan recommended this table on his podcast with Jesse Ventura. Here is what he said:

“I've suffered from several back injuries over the years (bulging discs) from jiujitsu and working out. One of the things that has helped me a lot is using one of those Teeter Inversion Tables. I strap my ankles into this thing and I hang upside down - it's a great way to decompress your back and get rid of pain.”

This inversion table accommodates individual weights up to 300 lbs (136 kg) and heights up to 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters). It has been cleared by the FDA as a 510(k) Class I medical device for the treatment of muscle tension and back issues such as sciatica, degenerative disc disease, and herniated disc. It also carries a UL 1647 safety certification for quality and durability.

The Teeter EP-560 consists of heavy gauge steel complete with security features such as self-locking hinges, cam locks, and squeak-free pivot bearings. Its unique pressure-reducing ankle locks are made from molded foam that wraps almost entirely around the ankle. The ankle locks also include a comfort dial. 

The branded ComfortTrak bed of the Teeter EP-560 has slit venting and includes a small adjustable pillow, acupressure nodes that fit into the bed backing, and a lumbar bridge. An adjustable tether strap system enables the movement of the table through inversion angles ranging from 0 (fully upright) to 180 (completely inverted). The tether strap also enables the user to invert to the pre-set 20, 40, or 60 degrees. 

This item has the dimensions of 84(L) x 29(W) x 86(H) inches and comes with an impressive 5 year warranty.  

Pros

  • Easy and quick to assemble. 
  • Easy to fold for storage. 
  • One of the longest warranties in the industry.

Cons

  • Fairly heavy to move. 
  • Does not have extended reach ankle system of the EP-970 model. 

Overall Rating: 9/10

4. Exerpeutic 975SL Inversion Table

This inversion table accommodates individuals up to 350 lbs (159 kg) and 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters) in height. It features long safety handles, Airsoft ankle supports, and an extra long palm-activated ankle lock lever. The backrest consists of 2.3 inches (5 cm) of nylon and memory foam, which is complemented with an optional lumbar support pillow.

One of the key benefits of this device over other inversion therapy tables is its patented iControl disk brake inversion limiter, which enables complete control over the angle of inversion, as well as any personally selected inversion angle. Furthermore, this brake system can be used while the individual is lying on the table and inverting, which negates the need to get up and interrupt the therapy. 

The iControl disk brake enables gradual inversion at infinite angles, and prevents unpleasant side effects that set inversion angle limiters may induce, like a sudden rush of blood to the head. By locking and unlocking this device, the backrest can be positioned from upright to full inversion status. 

The dimensions of the Exerpeutic 975SL are 75.6(L) x 31(W) x 58.3(H) inches when open and 39.5(H) x 32(W) x 74.5(D) when folded. 

Pros

  • Easy to assemble.  
  • Sturdy construction for big and tall individuals. 
  • Dual ratchet lock mechanism holds ankles safely and securely.

Cons

  • At 74.1 lbs (33.5 kg), the unit is hard to move. 
  • Requires a lot of clearance space. 

Overall Rating: 9/10

5. IRONMAN IFT 4000 Infared Therapy Inversion Table

The IRONMAN IFT 4000 is one of the more recent inversion therapy tables on the market, and it features a 2.5 inch (6.35 cm) ribbed foam backrest that radiates infrared heat of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to aid in muscle relaxation and decompression. The heat is produced by a thin, carbon fiber element built into the back of the backrest. It is operated by a wired LED controller that includes a timer and temperature display, as well as a battery-operated remote control. 

The IFT 4000 is quite sturdy, and its tubular steel frame holds individuals weighing up to 350 lbs  (159 kg) and standing 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters) tall. The unit contains rubber floor stabilizers to prevent skidding during inversion.

Three different starting inversion positions (15/30/45 degrees) are available via the unit's pivot arms. By using the strap inversion limiter, the user can have the table invert a full 180 degrees, or any degree inbetween. Other features of the IRONMAN IFT 4000 include padded handles, which are designed to be extra long so that they can be used to help users return to an upright position. Likewise, the handles can be gripped and used during stretches or other body positions during inversion. 

Pros

  • Easy to assemble. 
  • Far Infrared Rays (FIR) technology soothes muscles.
  • Thick padded backrest supports the back.

Cons

  • Ankle cushions may be uncomfortable for some users. 
  • A little hard to move.

Overall Rating: 9/10

6. Innova ITX9600 Inversion Table 

This table is constructed from heavy duty gauge tubular steel that supports an individual weight up to 300 lbs (136kg) and 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters) in height . Both the headrest and backrest are padded, and the headrest is adjustable to three different positions. The unit's foam handlebars make for a more comfortable grip during use.

Inversion is facilitated by a six position pin inversion angle limiter, which permits inversion at 15, 30, 45, 60, 85 and 90 degrees. This angle pin system is much safer to use than typical strap-based systems and clearly defines the exact angle of inversion. The table's True Balance system uses an individual's center of gravity to enable smooth inversion, while its reversible U-shaped holders and foam rollers provide for a custom fit and secure hold when the ankles are secured. 

The Innova ITX9600 measures 46(L) x 28(W) x 63(H) inches and weighs 52 lbs (23.5 kg). 

Pros

  • Lighter than most inversion therapy tables. 
  • Sturdy, dependable steel construction. 
  • Generous padding in head and back areas. 
  • Cheapest one on the list.

Cons

  • Ankle supports may be uncomfortable for some users. 
  • Difficult to store, even when folding.

Overall Rating: 9/10

(Last Updated On: September 14, 2019)
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