Inversion Table Routines & Exercises

Here are some specially designed routines for specific muscles to help you reduce the tension and stiffness accumulated in those areas.

Follow the exercises to stretch your muscles, focusing on relaxing your mind. Don’t let your mind wander, and focus on the exercise you’re doing. It may not be easy, but try to do it during every session.

Most of the exercises are categorized into three levels of intensity, Light – Moderate – High.

Light: Recommended for beginners. Starts at 30 degrees up to 45 Degrees. Duration of one to three minutes.

Moderate: For more experienced users. 45 to 60 degrees for three to five minutes.

High: Only recommended for advanced exercisers and after several sessions of inversion. 60 to 90 degrees for five to ten minutes.

Understanding Intensity Levels

There are 2 important variables for intensity:

  • The Angle: Starting at 30 degrees up to 90 degrees (full inversion). The higher the angle, the higher the intensity. But remember, every position produces different benefits.
  • Session time: Increasing session time allows longer for the spine to decompress. You should not stay inverted for longer than ten minutes at a time. More frequent sessions are always more effective than one very long session. Starting with short (one to three minute) sessions (Light level) allows your body to get used to the exercise. Going to Moderate level (three to five minutes) is the time your spine needs to decompress.

From Light to Moderate

For beginners, I recommend you start on the Light Level to allow your body to get used to the exercise.

For some exercises, it took me three sessions to go from light to moderate, but nine sessions with others to make the same progress. Take your time, and listen your body. Sustainable, slow progress is better than fast but short progress.

Once you feel comfortable for one to three minutes on 30 to 45 degrees (Light level), go to Moderate level.

Once you have done a few sessions of an exercise on moderate for three to five minutes, go to High level.

Rushing to High intensity level is never a good idea. Take it easy, and progress carefully and wisely.

All levels provide different benefits, so be sure to go through them all.

Disclaimer

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

Inversion table exercises

I’ve created some routines to provide you with back and neck pain relief.

Note: These exercises are not a replacement for any treatment recommended by a health professional.

For Beginners

Inversion Table exercises for beginners postFirst time starting? Here are some simple exercises to help you get comfortable with inversion and start feeling the benefits.

Click here to check out the routine

For Back Pain Relief

Inversion Table Exercises for Back Pain Relief postThis is the routine I used the most to treat my own lower back pain.

Click here to check my routine

For Neck Pain

Inversion Table exercises for neck pain relief postSpecific exercises to stretch your upper back and neck muscles.

See Also  Inversion Therapy

When my neck gets tense and stiff, I do this routine to help relax the muscles and alleviate any pain. Click here to find the exercises.

For Sciatica

Inversion Table Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief postDecompressing the spine helps bulging discs re-hydrate, and reduces the pressure on a pinched nerve.

These exercises will help to reduce the pain caused by the sciatic nerve. Click here to check this routine

 

 

List of All Exercises

1. Neck Stretch (Light to High)

nech stretch inversion table exerciseLight (30-45 degrees):  Start at 30 degrees for one to three minutes. When comfortable, go to 45 degrees and stay there for one to three minutes.

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

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five up to ten minutes.

Place your left hand on the right side of your head and very gently pull your head towards your left shoulder.

Maintain for one up to five minutes, depending on the intensity level.

Change and do the same for the other side.

2. Oscillation

Make sure the safety strap (tether strap) is set to 60 degrees to ensure it will not invert all the way, possibly causing injury.

Once on the inversion table, slowly shift the weight of your arms up and down. Do this with a gentle rhythm, creating a wave natural motion, which is why the name of the exercise is oscillation.

If this is your first time doing this, do it for one minute only. Stop and, if you still feel comfortable, do one minute more.

Once you get used to the oscillating movement, increase the time per session.

Oscillation produces a relaxing sensation. The movement helps to calm your mind and reduce your brain activity.

Remember: Regular short exercise sessions are more effective than not very regular, longer sessions. Be consistent and exercise two or three times a week. There is no need to do any of the exercises for longer than five minutes.

3. Low Back Stretch (Light – High)

Low Back Stretch

Pick your intensity level.

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

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

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five up to ten minutes.

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.

Push away with your left hand. While pushing, rotate your hips to the right.

Feel the stretch in your left lower 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. Then, change arms.

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

With your right hand, start pushing and, at the same time, rotate your hips to the left.

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

Stay in this position, nicely relaxed, for one to five minutes, depending on whether you have selected Light, Moderate, or High level of intensity.

This exercise is perfect for relieving lower back pain. By stretching the lower back muscles, they relax and unlock to reduce tension and pain.

This exercise is one of my inversion table therapy routine staples, and I do it at least three times a week.

See Also  5 Minutes Home Routine for Frozen Shoulder

3. Rotation (Light to High)

inversion table therapy rotation advanced exercise zoom inLight (30-45 degrees):  Start at 30 degrees for one to three minutes. When comfortable, go to 45 degrees and stay there for one to three minutes.

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

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five up to ten minutes.

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

Place your left arm across your torso, and hold on to the table. Rotate your torso and hips to the same side. Keep the midline of your body centered to the bed table. Place the other arm around your head.

Pull with your left arm to stretch and elongate the torso muscles.

Relax and Enjoy:  Start with one minute. As you repeat the exercise and get more comfortable, increase the intensity level. Continue for up to five  minutes.

Once finished, do the same for the other side.

4. Decompression (Light to High)

These levels are only for guidance. 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 comfortable, go to 45 degrees and stay there for one to three minutes.

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

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degrees for five up to ten minutes.

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 stretch in your back and torso. Breathe deeply and relax for a more effective lower back stretch.

Relax and Enjoy: For the first time, do this exercise for one minute only, then stop. If you feel good, do another minute. Stop and try it again later in the day.

This exercise is perfect for those, like myself, who suffer from low back pain. Decompressing the spine creates more space between the vertebra, allowing the discs to re-hydrate.

5. Intermittent Inversion

intermitten inversionDepending on the number of inversion table therapy sessions you have done, and your experience, there are different levels. Level one is for beginners and, slowly, you increase the angle of inversion, and the time you spend hang upside down.

These exercises can be performed once or twice a day. If you are just starting out, I recommend just one session per day.

From Light to Moderate: Start slowly and always listen to your body

Light

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. Listen to your body, allowing yourself to become comfortable with inversions. Do not force it, and do not rush it.

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

Repeat steps A and B three times, providing you feel comfortable and continue to enjoy it.

Light Plus

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

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

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

Repeat steps A and B three times, providing you feel comfortable and continue to enjoy it.

Moderate

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

See Also  Inversion Table Exercises for Beginners

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

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

Repeat these two steps three times.

Moderate Plus

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

b) Go 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, and allow time for your body to heal and recover.

Repeat these two steps for 3 times.

High

This is a full inversion exercise, and not recommended for beginners.

  1. Start at zero degrees for one minute. Very slowly go to full inversion. Stay there no longer than seven minutes.
  2. Once finished, return very slowly to the start position.

Repeat the previous levels, increasing the time on each exercise. The longer the inversion, the more intense the exercise becomes.

from horizontal to full inversion

6. Overhead Stretch (Light – Moderate)

Overhead Stretch inversion table exercisesThe first time, go Light. Start with 30 degrees for one to three minutes.

When you feel comfortable, increase the difficulty so you get a more intense stretch. Move to 45 degrees for three to five minutes.

Use your left arm to reach straight overhead and stretch.

Stretch for one to three minutes with one arm and then change sides.

Breathe normally, and relax on the table. Feel the stretch and your muscles relaxing.

When comfortable at 45 degrees, move to 60 degrees, which is the Moderate level.

Stretch for three up to seven minutes with one arm, and then change sides.

For High level, go for full inversion at 90 degrees. Stay up to seven minutes each side.

I usually have music on the background to help clear my head.

7. Side Arches (Light to High)

Side-Arches-inversion table exercisesLight (30-45 degrees):  Start at 30 degrees for one to three minutes. When comfortable, go to 45 degrees and stay there for one to three minutes.

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

High (60-90 degrees): Start at 60 degree
s for five up to ten minutes.

Place your arms overhead, and curve your upper body to form a “C” shape by starting at the waist and bringing the hip and the shoulder toward each other. Repeat to the other side

8. Full Inversion


Note:
To do this exercise, you should have previously tried the other exercises so you are 100% comfortable with inversion therapy, and confident using the equipment.

full inversion - inversion table exercisesRemove the safety strap. Slowly rotate to a fully inverted position. Listen to your body, breathe deeply and slowly. Feel your muscles relaxing completely and your spine decompressing.

If it’s your first time doing a full inversion, stay fully inverted for just a few seconds, and then return slowly to starting position. This will allow you to get used to being completely upside down.

Once you feel comfortable being fully inverted, you can stay there a little bit more.

Remember: It’s always more effective to do frequent but short sessions than it is to do one long session. Little and often is best!

Exercise credits

Note: I’ve based these exercises on a guide provided by Teeter. These are not my exercises. I have simply organized them and created different levels to make it easier for beginners. All the credit for the guide goes to Teeter.

Learn More About Inversion Therapy

My story, how I started why and how you can start today. Find more in here.

Inversion Therapy Post

Start here

Diferente exercises allow you to stretch different muscles. Create your own routines by combining different exercises.

About Author

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

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