Inversion Table Exercises for Beginners

Your first few sessions using your inversion table are the best time to get comfortable using it, and to experience the relaxing benefits of inversion therapy.

I’ve picked some simple exercises for you to try. Each one has three different intensity levels, so you can increase the difficulty when you feel comfortable and ready to do so. Do not rush to High level, because every level has its own benefits.

Go slow, enjoy the ride, and relax your mind so your body can follow. Your muscles tense up not only because of physical injuries but also due to emotions like stress, frustration, anxiety, and sadness. Ease your mind, so your muscles can relax and let go of the tension.

Exercises Tips

Inversion table therapy allows you to reverse the effect of gravity on your body. This produces a complete body stretch. Stretching is an effective way to release tension and eliminate pain.

To fully relax your muscles, you’ll need to first relax your mind. Clear your head from any thoughts, feelings or emotions. Too much brain activity will produce stress and tension in your body, making your muscles contract, creating stiffness, which will lead to pain.

Clearing your head is not easy, but it does get easier with practice. You’ll soon learn some tricks that help you to quiet your mind, allowing you to relax and stretch more easily.

One that works for me is focusing on the changes I feel in my body as I do the exercises. I concentrate on how my muscles feel as I relax, noticing any reduction in pain and increase in relaxation.

Ask yourself what do you feel when you’re inverted? Do you feel better? Do you feel comfortable? Locate any tension in your muscles and relax your mind to allow that tension to go away. Let go of any negative thoughts and emotions so the tension accumulated in your muscles can follow.

I always try to meditate at least for five minutes before I use my inversion table, so my mind is relaxed and ready for therapy. This significantly increases the effectiveness of inversion therapy.

Always change position very slowly on your inversion table, especially when coming back from 60 or 90 degrees. Ascend slowly to reduce the chances of dizziness, and allow your spine to re-align gradually. Go slowly, and don’t rush it.

Disclaimer

Inversion therapy exercises have helped to relieve my back pain. But, I’m no doctor and nor am I trying to be one. These exercises are not meant to be a replacement for the treatments offered by your family doctor, orthopedist, chiropractor or physiotherapist.

Setting up your inversion table

Before starting, don’t forget to adjust the height, the ankle locking system, and the responsiveness of your table, making sure you also know how to fold it, if necessary. I cover all this in my article How to Setup Your Inversion Table.

See Also  5 Stretching Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

The Inversion Table I use

Based on my experience, I’ve put together my three favorite inversion tables and why I currently use The Teeter. Learn how to find the best model for you here.

Exercises for Beginners

1. Intermittent Inversion

The idea of this exercise is to warm up your body, to make you feel comfortable with inversion, and going up and down on the table.

Don’t go too fast as you might feel dizzy. Go slowly, feel the differences in each position, and enjoy the effects on your muscles, spine, and head.

intermitten inversion

At the beginning, it may seem strange, but don’t worry. Just go slowly and you’ll soon get comfortable. As you do more sessions, you’ll get more used to the table, and you will be able to stay inverted for longer, and also increase the angle of inversion.

But remember, the goal is not just to increase the angle of inversion or the time, but to relax your mind too so your muscles can also relax with the stretch.

From Light to High: Start slowly, and always listen to your body

For your first session, I recommend you use the two first levels, Light and Light Plus. You can always do another session later on during the day.

Light Intensity Level

Start with one minute on zero degrees (horizontal position).

a) Go slowly to 30 degrees, and stay there for one minute.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable, do not force it. Just stay there for as long as you can. Listen to your body, and let it get comfortable with inversions. Do not force, do not rush it.

During your first 30-degree inversion experience, ask yourself a few questions.

How comfortable are you?

Is it different to what you expected?

Can you feel your muscles stretching and your spine lengthening?

Focus on these changes, clearing your mind of any other thoughts.

Inversion therapy goes hand to hand with meditation. Mediation helps to clear your mind during inversion by clearing away unwanted thoughts, relaxing your mind, and therefore your muscles.

You could also try focusing on relaxing music if that helps.

The goal is to keep thoughts of the working day, relationships, and life in general out of your mind, giving your brain a break so your body can rest and heal.

b)  Go back to 0 degrees (horizontal position) and stay there one minute.

If you feel comfortable, and you are enjoying it, repeat Step A and Step B three times.

For every repetition, stay a little bit longer if you continue to feel comfortable.

Light Plus

a) Start out with one minute on zero degrees (horizontal position)

b) Move slowly to 45 degrees, and stay there for one minute.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable then don’t force it. Go back to Level one, or give another try another day. Allow your body to get comfortable with the process.

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Repeat the step A and step B three times, if you feel comfortable to do so.

Moderate

This level is for more experienced users. If this is your first time, and you still want to try it, I recommend you go very slowly to avoid any dizziness.

Only go for this level if you have comfortably finished the two previous levels.

a) Start out with one minute on zero degrees (horizontal position)

b) Move slowly to 60 degrees, and stay there for 30 seconds. If you are not comfortable, this means you are not ready. Listen to your body, and allow time to heal and recover.

Repeat these two steps three times.

Moderate Plus

a) Start with one minute on zero degrees (horizontal position).

b) Move slowly to 60 degrees, and stay there for one minute. If you are not comfortable, it means you are not ready. Listen to your body, allowing time to heal and recover.

Repeat these two steps three times.

2. Low Back Stretch (Light – High)

I recommend that you start with the light intensity level, and only increase to the moderate level when you are comfortable.

Low Back Stretch

This is one of the core exercises I use to stretch the lower back muscles and actively reduce pain in this area. It’s perfect for my lower back pain, and also very effective for those suffering from sciatic nerve pain, also known as sciatica.

That’s why this exercise is part of two routines: exercises for back pain relief (the routine I do three times per week, available here) and exercises for sciatica pain relief (available here).

Light (30-45 degrees): Start at 30 degrees for one to three minutes. When you are comfortable, move to 45 degrees and stay for one to three minutes.

Moderate (45-60 degrees): Start at 45 degrees, and stay for three to five minutes. When comfortable, move to 60 degrees, for three to five minutes.

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five to ten minutes. I don’t recommend this level for beginners. It’s only here so you can see how, in the future, you can increase the intensity by increasing the angle of inversion and the duration of the exercise.

Start Position: 30, 45, 60 or 90 degrees, depending on the intensity level you’ve picked.

Place your right arm overhead, and your left hand on the left handle.

With your left hand, push away. While pushing, rotate your hips to the right.

Feel the complete stretch of your lower left back muscles.

Relax and Enjoy: Stay in that position for one to five minutes, depending on how comfortable you are, and which level are you up to.

Change arms.

Place your left arm overhead, and your right hand on the right outside handle of the table.

See Also  Inversion Table Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Push with your right hand and, at the same time, rotate your hips to the left.

Relax your back muscles, and feel all the right lower right back muscles being stretched.

Stay in this position for one to five minutes, depending on whether you are using the Light, Moderate or High level.

This exercise is perfect for relieving lower back pain. By stretching the low back muscles, the muscles become relaxed, unblocked, and reducing any tension and pain.

3. Decompression (Light to High)

decompression - inversion table exerciseThis is one of my favorites. Get a complete body stretch and enjoy how changing gravity effects all the parts of your body.

Start at the light intensity level and, after a few sessions, you will feel comfortable and ready to go to the next level.

Listen to your body, and don’t rush to increase the angle. This is not a race. Enjoy the inversion and feel the benefits.

Light (30-45 degrees): Start at 30 degrees for one to three minutes. When you are comfortable, move to 45 degrees and stay for one to three minutes.

Moderate (45-60 degrees): Start at 45 degrees, and stay for three to five minutes. When comfortable, move to 60 degrees, for three to five minutes.

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five to ten minutes. I don’t recommend this level for beginners. It’s only here so you can see how, in the future, you can increase the intensity by increasing the angle of inversion and the duration of the exercise.

Start Position: 30, 45, 60 or 90 degrees, depending on the intensity level you’ve picked.

Place both hands around your head, or hold the top of the table bed. Feel the complete stretch of your back and torso. Breathe deeply and relax your muscles for a more effective lower back stretch.

Relax and Enjoy: The first time, do it for one minute, and then stop. If you feel good, do it for another minute. If you are uncomfortable, stop, and try it again another time during your day.

This exercise is perfect for those, like myself, who suffer from low back pain.

 

More Exercises

I’ve also created routines for back pain relief, the one I do three times a week.

I’ve also made a routine for neck pain relief, available here, and another routine for sciatica pain relief that you can check out here.

Inversion table exercises and routines post

Exercises here

Simple exercises to get you started with your inversion table. More exercises and routines available.

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Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m so happy that you’re here! I've shared my story here

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