Inversion Therapy Benefits 

What if I told you that I had grown a full inch, healed a serious neck injury, and sculpted a chiseled six-pack all from using a single technique?  You might think that I was trying to sell you some miracle product or that it was too good to be true.  Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. I am excited to introduce you to an increasingly popular and incredibly powerful practice known as inversion therapy.  Performing inversion therapy regularly can result in a variety of health benefits, ranging from pain relief to spinal decompression.

gravity boots

Gravity Boots

In basic terms, inversion therapy is the act of hanging upside down.  To practice inversion therapy safely, it is necessary to use the appropriate equipment.  Two basic kinds of equipment are commonly used for this activity.  One apparatus is called an inversion table. This is a device that allows a person to adjust their angle of inversion, thereby enabling that person to safely experience its full benefit.  Another piece of equipment commonly used is a pair of gravity boots.  Gravity boots are a more advanced option than the inversion table and provide the practitioner with the ability to hang completely upside down from any standard bar, such as a pull-up bar.  Since gravity boots are less expensive and more portable than inversion table, they have become the preferred piece of equipment for proponents of this type of therapy.

Inversion Table

Inversion Table

The main function of inversion therapy is spinal decompression.  Over time, the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the vertebrate in the spine becomes compressed by gravity.  This is a natural, yet undesirable, characteristic of aging that leads to pain in the form of bulging or herniated discs and misalignment of the vertebrae.  Another undesirable side effect of spinal compression is that the discs naturally wear down as you age, making you appear shorter.   Decompression elongates the space between the vertebrae resulting in many beneficial effects.

Injury Prevention and Healing

The primary use of inversion therapy is to alleviate back and neck pain.  Hanging upside down for 5-10 minutes a few times a week can effectively relieve pressure on your spinal discs and nerves.  This will decrease the pain associated with a bulging disc or pinched nerve. 

Inversion therapy can also be used as a preventative measure.  If you have a history of neck or back pain, or if you simply want to avoid this type of discomfort in the future, practicing inversion therapy regularly can help.  It will keep your spine healthy and strong by preventing the negative effects of gravity and heavy weight training on the spine.  Even if you aren’t experiencing neck or back pain, inversion therapy has plenty of advantages.    

Aside from being used as a way to heal and prevent spinal injuries, inversion therapy has its fair share of benefits that anyone can profit from.  As mentioned previously, inversion therapy elongates the spine, which makes you taller. After using inversion therapy for several months, you will probably find that you have “grown” an inch or more.  A lifetime of spinal compression from gravity, working out, and even carrying a backpack, the average person can lose up to two inches of their actual height.  Inversion therapy is a safe and effective way to reverse those effects. 

Since you will be hanging upside down, the blood flow to your upper body and the extremities will increase dramatically.  This results in a redistribution of blood flow throughout the entire body, including the heart and the brain.  The increase of blood flow to these vital organs enables them to function more efficiently and enhances the overall health of the body.   This will also enhance your body’s ability to recover after strenuous weight training and cardiovascular workouts. 

Advanced Abdominal Workouts

When using gravity boots for inversion, one can get an excellent abs workout that cannot be experienced with any other equipment.  Although performing sit-ups or crunches while hanging completely upside down is certainly considered an advanced form of abdominal training, it is well worth the effort since this type of exercise allows you to experience maximum tension on your core muscles. 

This type of workout will stimulate your core in a way that you have never experienced before and will lead you to an exponential surge of new growth and development. 

To do sit-ups with gravity boots, simply secure yourself on a bar and slowly let yourself hang upside down.  The key to performing this exercise is to do so in a slow and controlled manner.  Since this is an advanced exercise, it is best to make the transition gradually and work your way up in reps as you become more familiar with the equipment.  Instead of doing full sit-ups, you may want to start with crunches instead.  I have provided an abdominal routine for beginners as well as an advanced version that is sure to help you achieve a strong, lean six pack.

Beginner Inversion Core Workout

3 Sets of 15 Inverted Crunches

3 Sets of 5 Inverted Sit-ups

Advanced Inversion Core Workout

4 Sets of 15 Inverted Sit-ups

4 Sets of 15 Inverted Crunches

3 Sets of 15 Inverted Oblique Crunches

Inversion therapy is certainly a unique supplement to the average health and fitness regimen, but the benefits are well worth the effort.  Incorporating this practice will add another dimension to your fitness program and keep things fresh and exciting.  It will also keep you healthy and prevent injury.  Whether you are trying to cure your neck or back problems or simply want to experience the unbelievable effects inversion therapy has to offer, invest in some gravity boots and give it a shot!