T Nation

Inversion Tables are Worth their Weight in Gold!

I have had extension based back pain for months. I attribute it to paying way to much attention to faulty coaching cues on the squat, like “arch hard.” I would arch hard and it would put me in hyperlordosis ended up causing problems anytime I used heavier weights. It got to the point i could no longer squat or deadlift without my right leg shutting down and my right lower back aching. Sometimes in the bottom position of a squat or at lockout I would get a sharp shooting pain up and down the right side of my back. It was extension based pain because it got to the point to where if i did an excessive anterior pelvic tilt like “arching hard” I could feel a pinch and the pain would shoot up again.

I tried all the regular prescriptions for back pain. I did SMR on the usual spots religiously, stretched the typical culprits multiple times daily, and switched to strictly unilateral work focusing mostly on the posterior chain. I didn’t arch hard but focused on “staying tall” trying to make the spine long which I think is a much better cue. Nothing seemed to help. One time after one of the acute pain attacks. I got my roomate to hang me upside down from his shoulders for a couple seconds, just because my back felt so compressed and it just felt like it would bring relief. It brought a little bit of relief which was more than i was getting from all the usual prescriptions I got from reading the site. I continued to have him do this the next couple of times it flared up until i wanted to try more than just a few seconds of inversion.

Craigslist and $80 later I had an inversion table. On the 4th day of using it i was hanging like usual and kind of fidgeting about doing all kinds of movements to stretch out and then there was a massive popping sound and instant relief. I stayed inverted for the rest of the time i had planned, got off the table and felt like a million bucks. The pain was no longer nagging. I could do pelvic tilts with no pain. I haven’t gotten back to bilateral squats and deadlifts yet as I want to take it slow, but the improvement in pain and movement quality is night an day. I can feel my right leg working more and there is no more chronic pain.

If your back ever feels tight and you imagine it might bring some relief to decompress definitely get an inversion table and give it a solid try.

Side effect: I was coming off of a pretty bad sprained ankle from a football game, and was having trouble rehabbing it (4 week old injury still not full ROM and some pain when fully flexed). I was toying around with traction with bands and it was helping. 4 days of hanging upside down by my ankles dorsiflexed and plantarflexed in all different positions, and the ankle is feeling a lot better.

Anybody have similar inversion table stories? I remember researching here before i bought mine but didn’t find much.

No, but I would love to try one.

I swear by inversion as well. If someone is looking for an inexpensive alternative to a table, yoga supply shops sell a rope harness that loops around your waste that serves a similar purpose. I actually find it a bit better for my back as my legs aren’t absorbing any of the force of the traction.


The model I pictured can also serve many of the same uses as a TRX.

If you check out any of the videos of chinese weightlifters you will see that they all use inversion tables after their workouts. There must be some good in them.

Is there a difference between inversion tables, yoga inversion straps, and gravity boots or is it a price thing?

ive always wanted to try one out. $80 isn’t too shabby…

Im bumping this thread because I am looking into buying an inversion table or gravity boots and was wondering if anyone recenlty has had any experience with either.

I looked into the inversion table and it’s pretty expensive-around 300 at the sports authority near me.

Anyways anyone use these? have they helped?

Try it this way~~


edit: ok that’s an old video but apparently the uploader censored the spine decompression out. Anyways it’s pretty self-explanatory… set up like he does in the video before it gets censored, and hang from the pull-up bar with straps and put your feet up on the box in front of you.