What is a Fitness Inversion Table?

Dan Cavallari

A fitness inversion table is a type of inversion device that allows a user to essentially hang upside down. The purpose of the fitness inversion table is to allow the spine to decompress, or lengthen, thereby relieving pressure on the spinal discs as well as the nerves that run through the spine which may have been compressed by the spine or muscles supporting the spine. Such tables are usually used by athletes and people with chronic back pain. A person who has never used a fitness inversion table before should be careful not to hang inverted for too long, as this may lead to serious health issues.

A fitness inversion table can held relieve the pain caused by a herniated disc.
A fitness inversion table can held relieve the pain caused by a herniated disc.

Throughout a normal day, gravity pulls down on the body, causing the spine to compress, or shorten. This can put strain on the spinal discs, which are gel-filled sacs that rest between each vertebrae in the spine. When these spinal discs compress, they may rupture or bulge, leading to a condition known as a herniated disc. Herniated discs can be painful, and they can press against nerves that run through or near the spine, thereby leading to nerve pain throughout the areas of the body serviced by the nerve. A fitness inversion table allows a person to decompress the spine, thereby reducing the risk of disc herniation and nerve pain.

The fitness inversion table allows the spine to decompress, thereby relieving pressure on the spinal discs.
The fitness inversion table allows the spine to decompress, thereby relieving pressure on the spinal discs.

When the spine compresses, the muscles that surround and support the spine will also be affected. Tight muscles can also cause the spine to compress, leading to chronic or regular back pain. By hanging inverted on a fitness inversion table, a user can allow his or her natural body weight to stretch those muscles, thereby helping prevent muscle strains as well as spinal compression. The inversion should only be done for five to 15 minutes a day; longer periods of time may cause blood to rush to the head, making the user pass out or become dizzy.

A fitness inversion table also allows a user to stimulate blood flow throughout the body. As gravity pulls downward on the body throughout the day, blood tends to pool downward as well. Hanging upside down can allow that blood to redistribute throughout the body, thereby potentially creating more energy in the body. People often report feeling more clear-headed after inversion, as well as more relaxed. Some people enjoy meditating while inverted, further enhancing the fitness inversion table's health benefits.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I don't have back problems myself, but I bought a fitness inversion table to help shake up my daily workout. There are all sorts of inversion table exercises people can do that are more effective than the traditional ones. I have been doing sit-ups while inverted, for instance, and I have to engage a whole different set of core muscles. I also can't cheat by using momentum or anything.

I also do some stretches on a gravity inversion table just before my morning jog. I think the inversion helps to loosen up my entire back. I agree with the article about not spending too much time inverted, however. I once stayed inverted too long and passed out before I could pull myself back up. Fortunately, my wife noticed I was in trouble and pushed the table back up to vertical.


I have had chronic back problems for most of my adult life, and I would love to own a fitness inversion table. A friend of mine let me try his for 15 minutes, and I could feel every vertebrae in my spine snapping and popping (in a good way). I didn't even recline all the way, just about 3/4th of the way. I could feel my neck relaxing, too, and the blood rushing to my head made me feel more alert when I got back up.

I'm going to check out some inversion table reviews and see if I can order one soon. If I can get even a little relief from hanging upside down, it will be worth whatever price they charge.

Post your comments
Forgot password?