10 Best Inversion Tables | April 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you suffer from backaches, you'll fall head over heels for these inversion tables. They can provide a decompressive stretch to relieve minor back pains, and some offer infrared heat therapy technology, too, to assist with other bodily aches. Skip to the best inversion table on Amazon.
10 Best Inversion Tables | April 2017
Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
The compact and portable Pure Fitness 8514IT sports a slimmer profile than most tables, making it an ideal option for smaller spaces with limited storage. It is difficult and frustrating to assemble, though, due to poor instructions.
  • durable and washable vinyl padding
  • allows for 3 inversion positions
  • seems to wobble a little bit
Brand Pure Fitness
Model 8514IT
Weight 49.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The Best Choice Products SKY83 is great for all levels, from beginner to advanced, with the ability to progress at your own speed. It comes at a great value, but the quality and craftsmanship are sub par compared to other models.
  • removable nylon support pads
  • sturdy and functional
  • safety straps slip off easily
Brand Best Choice Products
Model SKY83
Weight 49.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Exerpeutic 5503 requires a few minutes of use each day to relieve lower backaches, and it also helps to increase body flexibility. The adjustable tether strap allows for different inverting angles up to 180 degrees, but it's cumbersome when trying to move it around.
  • easy-grip full loop handlebars
  • solid base doesn't wobble
  • height adjustable for all users
Brand Exerpeutic
Model 5503
Weight 58 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Ironman Gravity 4000 offers comfort and safety for those looking to relieve lower backaches due to sitting or standing. It has tough rubber floor stabilizers to prevent any movement when inverting, and a scratch-resistant powder-coated finish to keep it looking good.
  • vinyl covered memory foam back rest
  • ergonomic ankle braces
  • protective vinyl side covers
Brand IRONMAN fitness
Model 5402
Weight 87 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
Despite its lightweight, foldable frame that weighs just 50 pounds, the Emer Gravity Therapy INVR-01 still feels surprisingly stable when inverting oneself. It also features non-skid feet for added peace of mind, and doesn't take up too much floor space.
  • plush foam on the leg rollers
  • offers results in 5 minutes a day
  • assembly instructions are confusing
Brand Emer
Model pending
Weight 55 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
The Kettler Apollo Gravity Trainer is the ideal solution for all of your back-related issues. It features a sturdy, heavy duty, powder-coated tubing frame, and a hygienic ergonomic cushioned padding for maximum comfort, plus it can be folded up for compact storage.
  • adjusts beyond a 180-degree angle
  • has 7 fixed positions
  • multi-position footplate
Brand Kettler
Model 7426-700
Weight 78 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
Experience back therapy like never before with the Ironman IFT 4000, which combines inversion relaxation with advanced F.I.R. infrared heat therapy technology. The result is gentle and soothing, yet long lasting, relief from minor back pains.
  • 3 adjustable starting angles
  • easy in and out of the ankle holders
  • mesh pocket holds personal items
Brand IRONMAN fitness
Model 5214
Weight 82 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The premium Teeter Hang Ups EP-960 features adjustable acupressure nodes to release pent up stress, and a supportive lumbar bridge that will help back pain sufferers achieve the ultimate decompressive stretch. For added safety, it has locking hinges.
  • adjustable foot platform height
  • simple to assemble
  • extra long grip surface
Brand Teeter
Model E610089L
Weight 75.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
The Innova Fitness ITX9600 can accommodate larger individuals, thanks to its extra long, and extra wide backrest that is fully padded for optimal comfort and support while in use. Its price makes it ideal for those on a tight budget, too.
  • consistently smooth operation
  • ideal for runners and weightlifters
  • returns easily to upright positions
Brand Innova Health and Fitne
Model ITX9600
Weight 56.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The Health Mark Pro Max effectively stimulates blood flow, improves posture, and decompresses the spine to reduce back pain and give you a better overall sense of well-being. It can be used in either a face down or face up position for more versatility.
  • has 5 preset angles
  • suitable for users up to 600 pounds
  • thick foam padding on the back
Brand Health Mark
Model IVO18680
Weight 100 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Separates a Good Inversion Table From a Great One?

First and foremost, any great inversion table needs to be able to adjust based on a person's size, and it also needs to be able to adjust (and lock in) based on specific angles. Rudimentary tables can only sit upright, or flip upside-down. This limits a table in that dangling at an angle could hold the key to healing certain muscle issues. Adjusting a table is also critical to doing exercises that can strengthen a person's abs, lower-back, obliques, and torso.

Any top-of-the-line inversion table needs to be well-anchored. That could mean having a weighted base that forbids the table from being knocked over, and it could mean purchasing a model that is designed to be hard-bolted into the floor. The bottom line is that any owner is going to be relying on this piece of equipment to support him or her while dangling upside-down. With that in mind it's worth pursuing an inversion table that features soft-grip handrails, as opposed to 3" handles. Rubberized rails are an essential part of controlling the speed at which a table flips around.

Specialists may recommend an inversion table that features a flattened board for patients who are experiencing a very specific type of pain (e.g., sciatic nerve, etc.) By and large, however, any high-grade inversion table should probably feature an ample amount of padding. There are select tables that offer features like infrared heat therapy or a vibrating mode (for massage). These tables are expensive, and they can be high-maintenance. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to determine whether the potential benefits might justify the cost.

Inversion 101: A Handful of Exercises For Beginners

Most people associate an inversion table with some form of back therapy, which is accurate. The simple act of lying on an inversion table has been shown to provide significant relief for several muscle groups throughout the spine. And yet in reality, mitigating pain is just a jumping-off point. People can also use an inversion table to build muscle mass, thereby strengthening several areas that can traumatize the core.

Start with some stretching. Every day before you recline on an inversion table, cross your legs and lean down, allowing your fingers to dangle freely. Hold for 10 seconds, and then bring yourself back into a standing position. Over the course of several days, you're likely to notice that your fingers start dangling lower. The ultimate goal is to have your fingers touch your toes.

Once you're positioned on the table, grip the handles while remaining upright. Slowly bend your knees up toward your waist. Hold. Release. Repeat. As you become more comfortable with this exercise, which is known as the captain's chair, you can begin to increase the difficulty level by adjusting the angle (or inversion) of the table.

If you want to work your upper-body, invert the table, and then attempt to pull your shoulders forward with the eventual goal being to complete several reps that peak with your torso sitting perpendicular to your waist (envision a capital L). This is challenging, which is why it makes sense to build up incrementally, strengthening your obliques and lower-back along the way.

Once you really get going, you can take a shot at some inverted sit-ups. Bend your legs while lying on the inverted table. Clasp your hands behind your head and bring your torso all the way up to your knees. After the peak of every rep, recline ever-so-slowly until your back rest flat along the board. You'll know you're in great shape if you can do anything more than five of these.

A Brief History of Inversion Therapy

Hippocrates, a Greek physician who is often referred to as the Father of Medicine, started using inversion therapy to set bones and correct spinal injuries as early as 400 BCE. According to record, Hippocrates designed a flat bench that featured restraints for binding patients' limbs. Once a patient was locked in, Hippocrates would stretch the restraints by way of wenches, thereby re-aligning the bones, while decompressing several of the muscles in the back.

Ironically, Hippocrates' bench would eventually provide the impetus for a medieval torture device that is known as The Rack. Torture notwithstanding, the inversion bench remained popular as a form of treatment until the Middle Ages, at which point physicians began replacing it by dangling their patients upside-down from a wall.

Modern inversion therapy took a major turn during the 1960s, when a California chiropractor named Robert Martin introduced what he called his "Gravity Guidance System." Gravity Guidance was a form of inversion therapy that was centered around a futuristic-looking table and its accompanying pair of boots. Martin was a great pitchman, and several other companies began to mimic his products. But the inversion market didn't experience any breakout success until Richard Gere appeared wearing a pair of Gravity Boots during the 1980 movie, American Gigolo.

During the 1990s, inversion therapy came under fire based on claims that dangling upside-down could result in significant health risks, including blood clots and the possibility of a stroke. Proponents of inversion therapy dismissed these claims as being unfounded. Today, those proponents have grown to include the U.S. Military, which uses inversion therapy as an effective means of treating back pain.

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Last updated on April 21 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.