Inversion therapy is thousands of years old. Evidence from ancient stone seals indicate that yogis were utilizing inverted poses as far back as 3000 B.C., and in 400 B.C. Hippocrates lifted his patients up a ladder using ropes and pulleys in order to relieve their complaints. In the 1960s inversion was endorsed by Dr. Robert Martin, who touted the postural benefits of this therapy on talk shows and in popular magazines and newspapers.
The popularity of the practice rose until the early 1980s when a study was published and misinterpreted by the media, who spread rumors that turning upside down could cause a stroke. There was no actual evidence of this happening to anyone but the implication was damaging nonetheless. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that inversions reputation experienced a turnaround, and the industry has been growing in popularity once again ever since.
Decompressing the spine through stretching it out on an inversion table can free pinched nerves, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, and release back muscles that have a tendency to spasm and cramp. While there are some situations in which inversion is not recommended (most having to do with heart, eye, and ear health), the practice can be extremely beneficial to those in overall general good health.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge, so to speak, you want to get a good idea of the features as well as the benefits and downsides to specific tables you’re considering for home use. There are so many available that it can get overwhelming trying to compare them all. We’ve reviewed most inversion tables that are out on the market. You can check out all of our reviews. Today we are reviewing the Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine.
About the Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine
One of the first concerns you probably have is how much weight the table can support. The Invertio has a weight capacity of 300 lbs., which is great for larger users. Next you want to know if the table can adjust to your height. This model has a higher minimum than many tables, at 5’1”, but extends to a generous 6’6” for tall users. The height settings are marked on the frame so that you can easily figure out where to set it.
The contoured backrest is padded, and features a removable headrest pillow. One thing that sets the Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine apart is that the listing states the backrest size (44.5 x 18.75 inches). It can be difficult to obtain this information on some tables, so having this knowledge is very useful in determining whether it’s wide enough for you to be comfortable.
The inversion setting is accomplished by way of a preset bolt system for added safety, rather than the older strap-style system. This means you can choose your angle – up to a full 180 degrees – set it securely, then hop on and invert knowing everything is locked into place already.
The ankles are held in place by four soft, comfortable roller pads. The eight-way adjustable ankle supports offer the ability to create a custom hold. They lock into place securely and release easily when you’re done. This table also features extra-long handrails at 34 inches, padded for soft comfort when pulling yourself back upright.
Non-skid, non-marring feet keep the unit from skidding across the floor while you’re using it, yet also keep your floors protected from marks and damage. When it comes time to put the Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine, it folds down almost flat for the ultimate in convenient storage.
Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
Construction: Heavy-duty 1.25” high-strength steel tubing
Dimensions (assembled): 51” (L) x 28.25” (W) x 59.5” (H)
Shipping weight: 57.2 lbs.
Pros and Cons
The Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine has a high overall rating of four out of five stars, and is praised for its sturdy construction and effectiveness against pain and other ailments. Assembly is also straight-forward, with adequate instructions and even a basic tool set included.
Multiple users have stated a problem with the balance – having to set the height lower than appropriate to get the table to invert, which then causes the user’s head to be off the end of the surface. This may be a user-specific issue, the cause is unclear.
One other complaint is that there are no instructions for use of the table, although this can be easily remedied by searching the Internet.
Overview of Features
With soft padding all around – on the backrest and head pillow, handrails, and foot rollers – there’s plenty of comfort. The ability to fold the Invertio inversion table for storage is especially helpful for those who live in small spaces, and the wide range of adjustability means virtually everyone in the house can use it (unless you’re unusually short). Ease of adjustment has also been touted by users as a plus of this unit.
The bolt system to adjust your inversion angle is thought to be safer than a strap system, and the ankle supports feature an unusually large amount of positions to adjust the fit. Being able to invert the full 180 degrees is a big advantage to advanced users.
While assembly is straight-forward, there are a lot of parts and those with health problems may need help putting the unit together.
Don’t be afraid to shop around. There are plenty of different features, options, and price ranges available and reading reviews can reveal a host of details that listings don’t always cover. Keep an eye out in particular for issues with assembly and instructions, as this is one of the most common problem areas for this type of equipment.
The Ironman LX300 Inversion Therapy Table is available at a similar price point, which is good for the respected Ironman name. It does have a lower weight capacity than the Invertio Inversion Table Back Stretching Machine, at 275 lbs., however the height range is larger, adjusting for users as short as 4’10”. If you prefer ankle cups with foam rollers over four foam rollers, the Ironman is a good choice. It has a strap rather than bolt system to regulate your inversion, and does invert a full 180 degrees. The construction is durable, with 1.5” steel tubing and a crossbar base for stability.
For around the same price you could also go with the Innova Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe Inversion Therapy Table. This model features a contoured, padded backrest with segmented head cushion in sharp black and silver, and a four-position safety pin system for positioning, rather than a strap. The ankles are a combo of cups and rollers, and the handrails are covered in soft, comfortable foam. This table can hold up to 300 lbs. and users from 4’10” to 6’6”.
Inversion isn’t for everyone. If you’re pregnant, or have a heart condition, this practice may not be a good idea since inverting can put stress on the circulatory system. It also puts pressure on the eyes, so if you have glaucoma or another eye condition, or an ear infection, you should avoid this exercise. Always check with your healthcare professional to see if a new fitness routine is appropriate for you.
Be sure to follow your unit’s instructions carefully. You should always start out spending a minimal amount of time upside down, in order to acclimate your body to the exercise. One to two minutes is sufficient. Over time you can work your way up to as much as 10-20 minutes per session, a few times per day.