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Inversion Table Exercises

How to Work your Way into Inversion Table Exercises

It wasn’t so long ago that inversion table exercises had gotten a bad rap, all because of what turned out to be an erroneous report suggesting they increased users’ chances of stroke and eye problems.  That was way back when the Reagan administration was in office.  Even now, however, you still don’t run into that many inversion tables.  It is only now, after years in the wilderness that the inversion table has started to make its way back into the good graces of those that suffer from back pain.

If you do suffer from back pain, however, inversion table exercises can be one of the best things to do to help ease your difficulties.  By reversing the natural pull of gravity, inversion table exercises allow you to work out any kinks in your spine.

The inversion machine, however, takes a little getting used to before you go full bore ahead on it.  Here’s a guide on how to work your way into inversion table exercises.

What is an inversion table?

The inversion table is balanced in such a way that it raises the user’s feet over his or her head so that gravity reverses (“inverts”) itself.  This allows the user to do exercises that increase the mobility of and relieve the pressure on, the spine.  Inversion therapy is now a common method of relieving certain kinds of back pain.

Consult your Chiropractor

If you have not done so, you should be sure to consult a licensed chiropractor so you can have your back pain evaluated.  Your chiropractor may have further indications for using your inversion table.  Your chiropractor may even suggest certain inversion table exercises that will be especially helpful for the particulars of your condition.

Habituating Yourself to the Inversion Table

Begin by carefully reading your inversion table user’s guide to make sure that you fully understand how properly to strap yourself on to the table.  Incorrectly doing so may lead to injury.  It is also a good idea to always have someone else at home with you when you use your table so that you do no get stuck.

In the beginning, all you should look to do is get used to being on the table.  This is not yet the stage to get yourself used to any elaborate or intense exercises.  At this stage, it is all about getting your body habituated to being inverted.  So strap yourself in at a very light angle (no more than 20 degrees) and for no more than 10 minutes per day.  (Less if you have a history of blood pressure problems or other circulation problems that could become a problem, consult with your cardiologist.)

After a couple of weeks, you can start increasing the angle and doing some light exercises.  You want to work yourself up gradually from 15 degrees to 60 degrees over the course of a couple of weeks, so that by the end of the first month you are ready for full exercises.  Try to increase your inversion by about 3 degrees to every day so that you go up about 10 degrees every 3 days. 

In this early stage, you want only to spend about a quarter of an hour on your inversion table.  Many users find it best to alternate between inversion and the upright position at half-minute intervals.  You might try light exercises at this point.

If during, or shortly after, your exercises you feel any worrying symptoms, such as racing heart, dizziness, or nausea, discontinue use until you can consult your doctor.

Once your first month of habituation is over, you are now ready to do some heavy-duty strength training.  Soon you will be enjoying the increased strength and mobility that are the results of your inversion table exercises.


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