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Inversion Table Exercises - A Video Series Tutorial

Updated on March 22, 2015

Inversion Table Exercises - More Than Just Hanging

Inversion table exercises can be very beneficial to your health. Hanging upside-down while performing different activities can be advantageous to your back, abs, joints, lungs, and brain. It can help relieve back pain, reduce stress, aid in stress-free strength training, and much more. Most people like to engage in stretching exercises to relieve back pain. Some people like to de-stress and rejuvenate. Regular exercisers like to do stress-free abdominal and upper-body workouts while hanging upside down. Athletes such as scuba-divers, gymnasts, and springboard-divers use inversion training so they can acclimate themselves to being upside-down.

There are many exercises you can do on an inversion table besides just hanging. This article presents a video series that demonstrates the different exercises you can perform on a finely balanced inversion table. The video host is Dr. Ed Riffel, a chiropractor and an expert on inversion tables. He has made a whole series on how to do inversion table exercises. I have sorted through these videos and present them to you in groupings of different types of inversion table workouts. As Dr. Riffel demonstrates the exercises, he also describes the many inversion table benefits.

Maybe you've been wondering if it's really worth it to buy an inversion table. This video tutorial shows that the benefits from doing inversion table exercises are wide and varied - enough to make a purchase worth your time and money. If you're unsure of what kind of table to purchase, read Inversion Table Comparisons. If you already have an inversion table then these exercises are just what you need to maximize the benefits of inversion therapy.


Check with your physician before using an inversion table. There are many health conditions that make inversion therapy unsafe. These can include eye conditions, heart conditions, high blood pressure, spinal conditions, and bone conditions.

Inversion Table Safety

What To Know Before Using Your Home Inversion Table

It's important that you know how to use your inversion table and are comfortable with it before you start doing more advanced inversion table exercises. It is generally recommended that you only invert for a few minutes when you first start. When you get used to that then increase your time slowly over the next few weeks. As you become more comfortable being inverted, increase your time to 10-20 minutes. When you can hold your inversion for 10-20 minutes without discomfort then you should be ready to move onto more advanced inversion table exercises.

It should be mentioned that you do not need to do a full inversion to reap all the benefits of inversion therapy. The Doctor in this video tutorial series performs many of his exercises fully inverted. However, you can perform all of these exercises at any angle.

It's usually more comfortable to wear shoes and a shirt that is tucked in or very tight. It's best to always have a spotter around in case you need help. Never do anything that causes pain, discomfort, or anxiety. And to repeat my earlier warning, consult your doctor before attempting inversion therapy.

Safety Checklist

Get a spotter

Make sure the table is locked into the right height

Attach the tether strap for partial inversions

Make sure your ankles are securely locked in

Video Playback Tip

To turn off the closed captions hover your mouse over the triangle in the lower right hand corner and click on "CC"

Basic Inversion Table Instructions

How To Use An Inversion Table

Before we get into advanced inversion table exercises, lets start with basic operations. The first three videos in this series shows us how to get on an inversion table, how to do a full inversion, and how to come up from an inverted angle.




Teeter Hangups Inversion Table - Best For Inversion Table Exercises

The Doctor in this video series performs his inversion table exercises on a teeter hang ups inversion table. He can control all angles of the table by simply raising and lowering his arms. His teeter table also locks into a full inversion for stable exercising. The Teeter Inversion Tables are widely considered one of the best inversion tables you can buy for these very reasons. The Teeter F5000 model spotlighted here looks very similar to the table in the videos. It's a very popular model and is one of the best rated inversion tables by users on Amazon.

Teeter Hang Ups F5000 Inversion Table
Teeter Hang Ups F5000 Inversion Table

Amazon 5-Star User Review:"This product does just as advertised. It assembles very easy and the quality is top notch. Motions are easily achieved just by moving your arms up and down a little. You can literally feel the effects from the 1st time you use it... The teeter brand of inversion products is simply a wonderful purchase."


Inversion Table Exercises For Back Care

Stretching Exercises

The next set of videos demonstrate stretching exercises. There are three different kinds of stretches presented here. Spinal extensions help to relieve pressure in your spine and all your joints. Lumbar stretching is an advanced exercise that helps correct the curvature of the spine and also works the hips, glutes, and arms. Spinal rotations help to stretch out the obliques and core muscles.




Other Benefits Of Inversion Therapy

Relax, Open Your Lungs, Balance Your Brain

The next two videos show the inversion table exercises that focus on benefits other than back care. They focus on relaxation, mental coordination, oxygenating the body, and stress reduction.

The first video shows how to relax while balancing at a horizontal angle. The second tutorial demonstrates brachiation. Intermittent stretching on an inversion table simulates the same motions as swinging on a brachiation ladder. A brachiation-ladder is the same as monkey-bars. This motion can be quite beneficial. It opens up the lungs which helps us to breath deeper, getting more oxygen to our body. It stretches the upper body which aids in stress-reduction. It also coordinates and balances brain activities.



Strength Training On An Inversion Table

Abdominal And Weight Training Exercises

The last three videos demonstrate advanced inversion table exercises. These include abdominal workouts and weightlifting. Abdominal training on an inversion table is easier on your spine and neck while being very challenging for your abs. It's a fantastic exercise for those interested in stress-free fitness. These exercises are for the more advanced user, but if you are familiar with your table and you have a spotter then you should be fine. Remember, you should never do anything that causes pain. If these exercises cause pain then stop immediately.




Which Inversion Exercises Do People Like?

Vote in the poll below then check the results to see which inversion therapy exercises are most popular.

What type of inversion table exercises interest you the most?

See results

Another Great Inversion Table - Ironman ATIS 4000 Inversion Table

In order to do the advanced abdominal and weight lifting workouts you need to have a table that locks into place. This ironman inversion table spotlighted below can lock into 10 different angles. This is great for people that want more control over their workout. This table is also good for people who want to do abdominal exercises but don't like doing full inversions.

Ironman ATIS 4000 Inversion Table
Ironman ATIS 4000 Inversion Table

Amazon 5 star user review:"I love it! I was looking for an inversion table that was well built and one that didn't have the common complaint of being uncomfortable on the feet. It's hard to buy a product without trying it out ahead of time, but I am completely happy with the Ironman ATIS 4000.

First of all, is is built very well and is extremely solid. It took me about 1-1/2 hours to assemble it by myself. Although it's heavy (~100 lbs), I can slide it around by myself. The foot/ankle restraint has to be one of the better ones out there. It has padded clamps on the lower calves and ankles and it is easy to get in and out of. I can hang for 20 minutes at a 45deg angle without any discomfort.

Once you get the height/weight balance bar adjusted properly, it is very easy to rotate into an inverted position. I like the adjustable lever that locks the table into a position without having to worry about it rotating if you move your arms around. Best of all, my back feels wonderfull after using the table"


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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I like the article, it's a nice continuity you have going with your last one

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      nice lens...5*... this looks like it would be a lot of relief for a back