If you’re considering purchasing an inversion table, then you undoubtedly already know of the many benefits of turning your life upside down, so to speak. Inverting releases pressure on the vertebrae, allowing spinal fluid to circulate more freely and relieving compression on nerves. This practice can offer drug-free pain relief for the back, neck, and hips, and increase blood flow all over the body which assists in the ability to heal.
The benefits of inversion therapy are so extensive that the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School, following six years of comprehensive study on the topic, instituted the practice into its rigorous training regimen at Fort Benning, GA. They determined that soldiers who inverted as a regular part of their routine healed better and faster than their counterparts, and suffered fewer joint-related injuries.
Best of all, you can get all these advantages in only a few minutes a day. Unlike other elements of your fitness routine, inverting only requires a small amount of time – one to two minutes per session at first, building up to a maximum of 10-20 minutes.
About the Merax Foldable Premium Gravity Inversion Table
The Merax inversion table is a fairly typical example of a budget-minded table. While affordable, it also has a few features that you usually find on mid-range models. The Merax accommodates users from 4’10” to 6’3” and has a weight limit of 300 pounds. This is higher than many of the tables in the $100 range, making it a great option for larger users. This model features a dual-pin system for securing the table into the right height adjustment for you, and the long handles have a low-profile cushioning for simple, comfortable return to the upright position.
The backrest of the Merax is padded, and features a lumbar cushion support for added comfort while inverting. The pivot joint has a three-position design so that you have total control over how – and how fast – the table inverts. The safety strap offers extra security and control over full inversion, and the full crossbar base prevents wiggling and instability.
This model utilizes a combination of ankle cups and padded foam rollers to keep your feet in place. These cuffs are adjustable via a pull pin system to give you the best fit, and they allow full 180 degree inversion. In addition, you can fold the table up for easy storage – a big deal when you’re short on square footage.
Merax offers specifications for three different versions of the Merax inversion table. Depending upon the color of the backrest in the photo, the measurements and weights correlate as follows:
Weight capacity (all tables): 300 lbs.
Color: Red with Backrest
Dimensions (assembled): 59″ (H) x 28″ (W) x 41″ (L)
Product Weight: 61 lbs.
Dimensions (assembled): 57″ (H) x 28″ (W) x 41″ (L)
Product Weight: 59 lbs.
3-Position pivot joints allow you to control rotation speed
Dimensions (assembled): 60″ (H) x 26″ (W) x 47″ (L)
Product Weight: 52 lbs.
Pros and Cons
The Merax foldable premium gravity inversion table gets rave reviews for its stability and durable construction. Users also report on its effectiveness, claiming that using the table gave them relief for back pain.
When it comes to features, the 300 lb. weight limit is a valuable find for those with a larger frame, but the height limit of 6’3” is a bit discouraging, as larger people are often taller as well. Most tables on the market offer a height capacity of at least 6’5” to 6’6”.
The main issue that raises complaints on this table is one that is a recurring problem with inversion equipment – incorrect or insufficient instructions. Kelly says, “The bolts and nuts instructed to use in the first two steps were switched around and no written instructions were given.” If you’re not mechanically inclined or handy with interpreting illustrated, potentially confusing, instructions, assembling the Merax might be frustrating.
If you’re 6’3” or under, and don’t mind possibly having to make your own way as far as assembly, the Merax is a good value with decent specs.
Overview of Features
The Merax is a solid table for the price point. The ankle cups and lumbar support cushion are extras that you typically have to pay more to get on an inversion table, making this one an attractive choice. Adjustable pivot point, adjustable ankle cuffs, and the safety strap add to the comfort and customizability of the table. The construction is sturdy, which increases your confidence in your safety, and the fixed platform base means stability during use.
With a little searching and feature comparison you can easily find a product that is roughly equivalent to the Merax, without some of the negatives, for around the same price. Simply decide what features are most important to you – a lumbar cushion for added back support, or perhaps avoiding foam rollers at the ankles. Whatever your priorities you can find a table to match.
If you want to stay around the same cost, but skip the instructions problem, the Innova ITX9700 Memory Foam Inversion Table with Lumbar Pad for Hot and Cold Compress is a feature-packed alternative. As usual, Innova comes through with innovative features like the memory foam backrest, removable head pillow, and removable lumbar pad that can hold a hot/cold compress for additional back relief.
This model accommodates users up to 6’6”, for great versatility, and the heavy-duty steel tube construction offers a weight limit of 300 lbs. Best of all, the directions are clear and easy to follow, and most users are able to get the table assembled in an hour or so. You may need another person to help with a part or two, but overall there are very few reported problems with assembly.
You can also go with a trusted name in fitness with the Ironman Gravity 1000 Inversion Table. This model is also constructed of tough tubular steel, a comfortable yet durable nylon backrest, and has non-skid rubber floor stabilizers for added safety. The full ankle cups are ergonomically molded and the table has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The Ironman measures up at 25 x 62 x 49 inches, and weighs just 46 lbs., extraordinarily light for its class. According to previous buyers, the assembly instructions are good and putting it together is fairly simple.
Both the Innova and the Ironman brands have good reputations for quality equipment and easy assembly. Access to information about their inversion tables and other products is much easier to come by than with the Merax brand. While Merax does have a website, information is still sparse, and customer service issues may be a concern. Just be sure to read all the reviews on each product you’re considering, as these have a lot of valuable bits of information to offer that can help you make the right decision for you.
Avoid inversion therapy if you are pregnant, have heart problems, inner ear issues (such as an ear infection), eye health problems like glaucoma, or if you have a hiatal hernia or surgical orthopedic implants. There may be other conditions that preclude inverting for you, so be sure to consult your healthcare provider before instituting any new fitness regimen.