Does the world weigh heavy on your shoulders? If so, you’re certainly not alone. But don’t worry! Help is at hand in form of the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table. The benefits of inversion therapy have been extolled for hundreds of years. Gravity, age and injury can take a serious toll on the human body and can be cause of considerable pain ‘ especially back pain. When the body is inverted with the weight suspended from the lower extremities, the pull of gravity decompresses joints, potentially providing relief from painful muscle spasms, and back and joint pain. It’s no accident the Gravity 4000 is the best-selling and one of the most highly rated inversion tables on the market for several years, boasting sturdy construction, ease of use, a the best value for money.
Sales and popularity aside, the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table was an obvious choice for our Top Pick of the many inversion tables on the market. Made of tubular steel, the Gravity 4000 supports use of up to 350lbs so you know it’s built tough. It also offers several features someone seeking relief from back pain can really appreciate such as a removable lumbar pillow and a memory foam backrest. Value for money is really where the Gravity 4000 stands out though.
For those wanting not just an inversion table, but a machine that would be the envy of a high-end gymnasium, the Health Mark Pro Max Inversion Therapy Table is the only non-motorized bi-positional table available for purchase to the general public. Vaunting the ‘ultimate inversion therapy experience’, the Pro Max’s big selling point is that it can be used in the traditional face-up position as well as face-down, and being rated for use up to an astonishing 600lbs, can be used as a genuine piece of exercise equipment, and massage and therapy table rather than simply an inversion table.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to stretch your spine rather than your budget there are also plenty of options, not least of which is the Innova Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe Inversion Therapy Table. ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe offers steel construction, a surprisingly wide range of adjustment for the price – catering for heights from 4’10’ up to 6’6′ – and impeccable comfort.
- What is inversion therapy?
- What are the benefits of inversion therapy?
- Important things to consider
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- The step up
- The budget pick
- Specialized picks
- Best inversion table if you don’t have much space
- Best inversion table for taking a load off
- Best inversion table for the mightily framed
- The Competition
- Please don’t forget
- Wrapping it up
What is inversion therapy?
If you’re of an appropriate age, you may remember the ‘gravity boot’ fad of the 1980s, offering the chance for the brave to hang upside-down, suspended by their ankles from a door frame. If you’re blessed with the gift of youth, you may have heard Dan Brown, author of the worldwide best seller The Da Vinci Code, say he practices inversion to get his mind working and to spark creativity. While the ‘gravity boot’ remains the most aggressive form of inversion therapy, a safer and far more user-friendly solution presents itself in the form of the inversion table.
A typical inversion table consists of a sturdy platform with or without a cushioned pad to lie down on and straps or braces that secure your ankles, with the idea being that you tilt yourself upside down by degrees or fully inverted. When the body is inverted with the weight suspended from the lower extremities, the pull of gravity decompresses joints, potentially providing relief from painful muscle spasms and back and joint pain.
What are the benefits of inversion therapy?
The benefits of inversion therapy have been extolled for hundreds of years. Gravity, age and injury can take a serious toll on the human body and can be cause of considerable pain, especially back pain. Clinical research has shown inversion therapy can relieve chronic back stress by stretching and reducing pressure on soft tissue between vertebrae, reduce arthritis pain by flushing harmful compounds from joints, stimulate the immune system by circulating lymphatic fluid, prevent joint injury by improving ligament strength, alleviate varicose veins by enhancing blood circulation and improve muscle strength and organ health by stimulating blood flow, cycling fresh oxygen throughout the body.
Advocates of inversion therapy claim its benefits aren’t just limited to the physical, but can also enhance the mental. Dr Robert Martin , an early proponent of inversion therapy and the author of The Gravity Guiding System: Turning the Aging Process Upside Down, has stated that the brain operates 14% more accurately when your body is an inverted or inclined plane. Regular inversion, Dr Martin and other experts say, improves your concentration, memory, observation and clarity of thought.
Important things to consider
As with all forms of physical therapy, caution is advised. Inversion of the human body results in elevated blood pressure, so those afflicted with heart disease, high blood pressure, eye diseases such as glaucoma, or who are pregnant should consult their doctors first.
Those who suffer from obesity may experience pulled muscles and strained joints from being inverted, so should also use caution. The first time anyone tries inversion therapy, they should be sure to have someone standing by in case assistance is required to get out of the apparatus, or if health issues are experienced.
How we picked
With the many and varied options in choosing the right inversion table for your personal requirements, it can be a daunting task. In choosing the best of the best, there were several considerations that we looked for in each and every inversion table we tested.
Construction, durability and sturdiness were perhaps unsurprisingly first and foremost when it came to choosing a piece of equipment one essentially hangs upside down from. While the draws of lightweight composition and portability can be big selling points, safety always has to be of paramount importance. Additionally, inversion tables will commonly set you back at least $100 and can range upwards of $1000 so looking for something we can rely on to last is also a factor in our recommendations.
‘Ease of use’ is another phrase you are likely to read more than once when we’re discussing the merits on individual inversion tables. How easy the tables are to construct, use and the ease of inversion are all important considerations. Quality tables will offer controllable, selectable angles that range from a slight angle all the way up to the fully inverted 180 degrees and tables that offer smooth inversion will win out over unpredictable or awkward every single time.
When discussing products that people commonly use because they’re already experiencing levels of pain and discomfort, comfort goes a long way into our considerations. The simple fact is using an inversion table that isn’t comfortable could do more harm than good. Comfortable backrests, seats and ankle bars contribute to both safety and wellbeing.
Jen’s Top Pick: Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
When it comes to the best of the best, the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table is an obvious choice, being the best-selling and of the most popular inversion tables on the market for the last several years. The reasons as to why this is can be distilled into three factors: build, design and value.
Built from tubular steel, standard for inversion tables, the difference with the Gravity 4000 is that it has a weight capacity 350lbs, whereas tables at a similar price and much more have a maximum capacity of only 300lbs. In addition to this extra heft, the frame’s powder coated finish offers more durability than its painted counterparts, being hardier and reducing the risk of scratches, abrasions and even rust. One feature we found and particularly lauded by many of its satisfied customers is the comfort provided by the padded backrest and the removable lumbar support. The double-stitched, vinyl covered backrest contains 2.5 inches of padded memory foam and adds extra cushion and comfort to the back support. The backrest itself is wider than comparable models and adds to the overall level of comfort and stability. The removable lumbar support is attached to the backrest with Velcro and provides extra support for your lumbar curve that can be easily removed if desired.
The Gravity 4000 also justifies its choice as our Top Pick in its roundly excellent design. Another big plus as indicated by reviewers is its easy of construction out of the box, usually taking no more than 30 minutes. In order to achieve as highest possible base-to-height, the U-shaped frames are fitted with tough rubber stabilisers in the corners which will prevent any movement. The dual vinyl fabric shields on each of frame apexes eliminates any risk of pinched fingers or squashed hands ‘ again, something not featured on other tables. The ergonomically moulded adjustable ankle cushions and heel holders serve to reduce fatigue and discomfort and can be used with or without shoes. Not only that, but you can easily adjust the lock around the shape of your ankles using the palm-activated adjustable ratchet type locking system without the need for significant bending. This is a huge advantage the Gravity 4000 has in comparison to simple spring-loaded locking systems where the lock can’t be adjusted as precisely.
Ease of use is another great feature of the Gravity 4000. To invert, all you need to do is to rest your body against the backrest, slip your feet into the padded ankle cushions and raise your arms above your head. You will gradually invert up to your desired angle. The Gravity 4000 offers a full 90 degree range and the inversion system pivot arms have three positions you can use to increase or decrease the inversion range. When you’ve had enough, it’s a simple matter using the extra-long safety handles to rotate your body back to the upright position without any undue strain. These side handles give you complete control over how far you’re inverted and make it easier to return. Alternatively, you can always use the ‘safety handles’ attached to the frame sides, called so as you can use them to stop the inversion and pull back up in case anything goes wrong. Both sets of handles are covered in durable foam and are extremely comfortable to use. No matter what position the pivot arms are in, you can always limit the inversion angle using the provided tether, an adjustable strap with carabiners at each end connecting the inversion table frame and its backrest. You can adjust the length of that strap so it is taut when the table is tilted to the desired angle. This strap prevents the table from tilting any further than its length.
Even when considering the superior build quality and design, ease of use, comfort and its features, the most exceptional thing about the Gravity 4000 has got to be its price. We can say with confidence that you will be too if you follow our recommendation for Top Pick.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
As previously stated, the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table is an excellently put together machine made of the sturdiest of materials. The flip side of this however the Gravity 4000 weighs in at a hefty 83lbs in the box and 75lbs when fully constructed, making it one of the heavier tables in its price range. Although the table can be easily folded for storage when not in use, its folded dimensions are 65″ high x 26″ wide x 17″ deep, making it unlikely to fit under all but the tallest of beds.
One other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re seeking a table to do inversion exercises, the Gravity 4000 may not be your best choice. As it lacks a convenient method for setting angles, you won’t be able to lock into any position ‘ a drawback if you want to use it for sit ups or abdominal core training. This is possible when you are fully inverted, however.
The step up
Normally, an inversion table has but one purpose: to invert the user. However, for those wanting not just an inversion table but a device that would be the envy of any high-end gymnasium, the Health Mark Pro Max Inversion Therapy Table is the most advanced inversion table on the market. Originally designed for the professional therapy business, the Pro Max is the only non-motorised bi-positional table available. What this means is that it can be used in the traditional face-up position as well as face-down and therefore doubles as a therapy or massage table. Being able to support up to 600lbs ‘ double the usual standard ‘ the Pro Max can also be used as a genuine piece of exercise equipment. It’s little wonder why its manufacturers call it the ‘ultimate inversion therapy experience’
The table really is the ultimate in design, coming with six pre-set angles allowing the user to set the angle of inversion before lying down, making it easier to choose the right degree of inversion rather than having to figure it out while in the inverted position. Better yet, you can relax backward until the machine reaches the finishing point so you don’t have to worry about balancing the machine. Unlike the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table, the Pro Max locks the inversion angle, letting you work your abdominals, shoulders and/or neck region. For advanced users, full inversion is possible from either the face-up or face down position, allowing you to perform back hyper-extensions or a complete abdominal workout. The Pro Max also features dual-180 degree inversion and full-arc handlebars for an easy return to the horizontal from any angle. The front and rear ankle brackets, along with the roller thigh and knee supports make it very easy and comfortable for the user to invert without any assistance.
The Pro Max is constructed of heavy gauge tubular steel, has a foam padded backrest, ankle rests, pads and a headrest. A clever feature is the headrest doubles as a crescent face rest as you would find on a massage table, enabling the user to achieve a comfortable face-down position without straining their back. This also has the effect of improving the user’s posture by allowing them to lie perfectly flat during their face-down inversion therapy.
The Pro Max is definitely at the higher end of the market. Another factor to consider is the table’s sheer size: 58′ high x 28′ wide x 45 inches deep weighing in at 100lbs. The Pro Max does not fold for storage but the table does come with two removable castors to assist in easier transport.
Even when you account for the Pro Max’s size and equally formidable price tag, what you are getting is the absolute premium in what any inversion table has to offer. When you consider this table also doubles as a massage/therapy table and as an exercise machine ‘ and how much those devices would cost to purchase alone ‘ there’s no doubt the Health Mark Pro Max Inversion Therapy Table still offers excellent value for money.
The budget pick
If you are looking for a full-featured, well-built inversion table without the bells and whistles that won’t break the bank, the Innova Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe Inversion Therapy Table may be exactly what you’re looking for. Offering tubular steel construction, a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs, a large padded backrest, thick foam leg rollers and soft-touch foam handlebars, there’s a lot to like about the ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe. If you simply want to invert yourself or work your abdominals, you can save a lot of money with this table while not having to forgo comfort or stability.
What sets the ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe apart from its other budget-priced counterparts is the 4-position side pin that allows for safe and easy inversion positions without the use of the old style strap commonly found on similarly priced tables. It’s easy to adjust and guarantees a consistent inversion angle each time you use it. While the ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe does not allow full 180 degree inversion like some tables, with the highest pin setting allowing for an inversion angle 80 degrees past the horizontal, those seeking all but the most advanced inversion experience will still find everything they might want.
The ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe offers a surprisingly wide range of adjustment for the price, catering for heights from 4’10’ up to 6’6′. Although you still have the pull-pin design for adjusting the settings, the foam heel holders are ergonomically moulded and cushioned with a dense padding. This is similar to what we’ve seen on more expensive inversion tables such as the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table with the only difference being the leg rollers are still foam, whereas the higher priced models use the moulded cushioning here as well. The foam cushioning in the backrest is fairly standard and around one inch thick ‘ slightly slimmer than the 2.5 inch ribbed foam found the Gravity 4000. However, like the Gravity 4000, the ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe’s back support padding is vinyl coated to help enhance durability and reduce the risk of tears during use. The soft foam on the handlebars is quite comfortable to touch and really helps to provide a sense of control when the table is in use.
Weighing in at just 59 lbs, the ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe is considerably lighter than other inversion tables, making it much easier to move around once assembled. While it does fold for storage, it does not fold completely flat nor does it have a locking mechanism once the unit is folded, meaning you may still have to lean it against a wall or lay it flat on the ground when not in use.
There’s no denying the Gravity 4000 is a worthier product with a few more features, the price of ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe table is less than half of its counterpart while still boasting a very similar feature-set. Considering the many outstanding qualities of the Innova Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe Inversion Therapy Table, the positives far outweigh the niggling concerns and help to position this inversion table our Budget Pick.
Best inversion table if you don’t have much space
If space is a concern, or having a mechanically operated piece of equipment in your home that reminds you too much of the gym membership you should be making more use of, the Einstein Bodyslant Inversion Slant Board is an interesting alternative.
Not quite a table but truly unique in its design, the Bodyslant presents itself more as a piece of modular furniture than simply an inversion device. The very definition of versatility, it transforms into no less than seven different configurations, including a lounge, a bed, a hassock and even an ottoman. If you don’t have a lot of space and don’t want a bulky piece of equipment taking up that space, the Bodyslant can fit in effortlessly as’ well’ part of the furniture. And with the manufacturer offering an gobsmacking ten year warranty, it’s a part of the furniture that’s going to be with you for a very long time.
The Bodyslant is unashamedly tailored more towards those whose physical ability is somewhat limited or less athletic than that required by your standard inversion tables. So, if hanging by your ankles or full 180 degree inversion seems a little intimidating, the Einstein Bodyslant Inversion Slant Board might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Best inversion table for taking a load off
There are limited number options in the market regarding seated inversion equipment, but the best we found by far was the Health Mark IV18600 Pro Inversion Therapy Chair. Offering superior effectiveness, comfort and ease of use, this inversion chair features seated rolled leg supports that make this an ideal solution for those with weakened or injured knees, ankles or feet.
The IV18600 Pro allows you to invert at an angle of up to 70 degrees in the ergonomically correct position, with knees above the hip flexors, and is designed with a variety abdominal workouts in mind. Built from powder coated heavy-gauge tubular steel, the IV18600 Pro is rated for use up to 300lbs, and also features a padded seat with adjustable backrest, an adjustable angle belt and adjustable safety lap belt. The Health Mark IV18600 Pro Inversion Therapy Chair is no heavyweight, either, clocking in at a lean 58lbs.
Best inversion table for the mightily framed
If you’ve been blessed with big bones and a mighty frame, the Ironman High Capacity 3000 Inversion Table has got you covered. Offering many of the features that made the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table an easy choice for top tick, the High Capacity 3000 offers and extra wide table and frame for additional support.
Just like its cousin, the High Capacity 3000 is built from powder coated tubular steel, supports up to 350lbs, offers full 180 degree inversion, folds for storage, and features non-skid floor stabilisers, 2.5 inch foam covered backrest with double stitching, the unique ratcheted ankle locking system with ergonomically moulded cushions and safety vinyl side covers.
The Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 Ltd Inversion Table is an extremely popular choice in the inversion table market. Featuring a patented pressure-reducing ankle system for superior comfort while inverting, fully adjustable backrest, a steel base with non-skid floor stabilisers and pre-set rotational control, the EP-560 Ltd is also customisable with optional accessories such as gravity boots, tractions handles and a vibrating cushion. With a maximum capacity of 300lbs, the EP-560 Ltd also comes with a five year warranty for that extra piece of mind.
The particular model we’ve chosen here, the Teeter EP-560 Ltd. Inversion Table with Back Pain Relief Kit features adjustable acupressure nodes, designed to place pressure on muscle trigger points, and a fully adjustable lumbar bridge. The acupressure nodes, which are available in four different sizes, offer customisable pressure-point relief, helping to release tension, increase surface circulation, and relieve muscle discomfort. These can be placed anywhere along the bed and can be used inverted to a static incline to maintain a steady pressure, or in a varying, oscillated position to slide over the nodes for a shiatsu-style massage. These can also be purchased separately as with the other customisable accessories.
Another variation on a tried-and-true favourite, the Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy Inversion Table brings all the admirable traits that made the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table our Top Pick with a new feature: infrared heat therapy. Featuring powder coated tubular steel, a capacity of up to 350lbs, full 180 degree inversion, three pre-set starting positions, non-skid floor stabilisers, a 2.5 inch foam covered backrest with double stitching, the unique ratcheted ankle locking system with ergonomically moulded cushions and safety vinyl side covers, the IFT 4000 comes with ultra-thin carbon fibre heating elements in backrest that produce a gentle heat, soothing your back and providing relief from minor muscle pains. The IFT 4000 can produce a heat up to 140 degrees and can be controlled and monitored via the included remote control and LCD display. The remote control can be used either lying flat or inverted and unit can be stored in a handy pocket located on the safety vinyl cover. The Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Therapy Inversion Table offers the best features of our Top Pick with therapeutic benefits for sore muscles as a warm bath. What’s not to like?
A strong contender for our Budget Pick was the Body Champ IT8070 Inversion Therapy Table, boasting not only affordability but ease of use and quality construction. Because of its emphasis on light-weight design and build, the IT8070 is one of the smallest and lighted full-sized inversion tables you’re likely to find. It weighs in at only 50lbs and in its folded the positon measures only 75 inches high x 29 inches wide x 13 inches deep and features a folded safety lock, making it far more apt to being stored under a bed or in a closet. This, of course, comes with a consideration: the IT8070 has a maximum capacity of just 250lbs.
That being said, featuring a pull-pin adjustment system, high-density foam ankle rollers, U-shaped handrails for added security, the Body Champ IT8070 Inversion Therapy Table is a cost-effective option, and may considered an excellent starting point if you’re interested in inversion therapy.
Another inversion table that comes highly regarded is the Health Mark IVO18660 Pro Inversion Therapy Table, and with good reason. Featuring powder coated tubular steel construction, side pinch guards, curved rolled foam ankle supports, full inversion capability, curved handlebars for ease of inversion and a 300lb weight capacity, the IVO18660 has all qualities you could want in an inversion table. Three-position pivot arms help you control your maximum inversion angle and the sensitivity of movement at the same time ‘ a nice feature for inversion novices ‘ and when you first use the table you can set the position to make the table respond slower when tilting back. One unique design feature worth mentioning is the 840 denim nylon bed included instead of the standard rigid bed and/or backrest. This serves to both increase comfort levels and reduce overall weight of the bed ‘ a lightweight at just 50lbs ‘ for ease for transport. Additionally, fabric tables with little to no padding may be more flexible if you’re intending to use the table in a vigorous exercise routine. The IVO18660 also folds for storage.
Please don’t forget
It is worth mentioning again that if you’re new to inversion therapy, as with all forms of physical therapy, caution is advised. Those afflicted with heart disease, high blood pressure, eye diseases such as glaucoma, or who are pregnant should consult their doctors first. Those who suffer from obesity may experience pulled muscles and strained joints from being inverted, so should also use caution. As cited previously, there are many options for a lower intensity inversion experience, such as the versatile Einstein Bodyslant Inversion Slant Board or the seated design of the Health Mark IV18600 Pro Inversion Therapy Chair.
The first time anyone tries inversion therapy, they should be sure to have someone standing by, in case assistance is required to get out of the apparatus, or if health issues are experienced.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully, through our exhaustive selection process, we’ve made choosing the right inversion table for you a little less daunting. In our considerations for making our selection of recommended tables, quality construction, ease of use and comfort were all paramount. In the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table you will find all of these as well as an abundance of great features and unparalleled value for money. In the Innova Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Deluxe Inversion Therapy Table you will find a table that doubles as a massage/therapy table and an exercise machine, not to mention the highest levels quality, ease of use and comfort designed for professionals (with a price to match). In the Health Mark Pro Max Inversion Therapy Table you will find a well built, easy to use, comfortable inversion table without the frills at a price that won’t strain the hip-pocket.
And with that, all that’s left to say is ‘hang loose!’.