Wondering how long you should hang upside down on your inversion table? It depends on you. What’s important is that you respond to your body and optimize your inversion experience to achieve long-term health benefits. That being said, there is a right way and wrong way to invert, and improper technique or overstraining your body could lead to health issues. This guide will cover everything you need to know about the frequency and duration of your inversion therapy sessions.
We receive a lot of questions about inversion therapy, the most common one being “how often should I use my inversion table?”
The reason this question is so hard to answer is because it varies from person to person. The good news is that inversion therapy is EXTREMELY easy to do right and very hard to do wrong.
Here’s what research and medical science has shown us about inversion frequency and duration.
Understanding the underlying principles behind this revolutionary therapeutic technique will help you gain perspective on how to use your table for maximum benefit.
By suspending your body upside down regularly, you are decompressing your spine and stretching the discs out. This effectively reduces pain and helps heal the conditions that cause chronic back issues.
With enough regular therapy sessions, your spine adjusts to a “new normal.” Your goal in therapy is to get your back to decompress and return to its regular, healthy position.
Think of it like “training” your spine to realign itself. With that in mind, here’s what you should know.
As a rule of thumb, inversion therapy is a matter of frequency rather than duration. Several short sessions throughout the day are far superior to 1 long session.
Keeping with our exercise theme, think of it like several short workouts per day rather than one long one. This helps the spine get accustomed to stretching out and decompressing. The more often you stretch out your spine and joints, the more they adjust to this new normal. Eventually, they will stay in that position even when you are not inverting.
Research shows that inverting 3 times per day is a great start. Short sessions are enough to get the ball rolling. As you progress, you can even begin to incorporate inversion into complicated fitness regimes (for example, situps or crunches on your inversion table!).
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though. 2-3 times per day is perfect for now.
Like we said before, frequency is more important than duration. However, duration still is important for one key reason: injury.
Warning: It’s important to know that longer sessions DO NOT equal more benefits. Especially when you are just starting out, long sessions can lead to injuries. Your spine, muscles, and joints are not used to this position or movements. You must slowly work up to more intense sessions, just as you would with any training program.
When just beginning, 1-2 minute sessions are all you need to achieve results. As you progress and your body becomes more and more acclimated to your training, you may have to increase the duration or angle of your inversion.
Eventually, you can work up to 3-5 minute sessions. From there, it’s more about listening to your body and knowing when your muscles and joints are relaxed. This takes a lot of practice, so don’t worry about it yet.
The time of day isn’t very important (though some research indicates there’s a correlation between effectiveness and session timing).
However, we do find personally that inverting in the morning or evening helps us relax and achieve better results. Inverting in the morning helps us start the day off right with a burst of energy and mental clarity. Inverting before bed helps us relax and prepares our joints for sleeping in the right position.
If you’re a more advanced user, you should invert after high-impact exercises such as running or basketball.
After reading the latest literature and experiencing anecdotal evidence from hundreds of users, we’ve found a few tips to help you get the best experience from your inversion therapy sessions:
Using your inversion table correctly is the key to achieving the best results. Remember, frequency is more important than duration, especially in the beginning. And always listen to your body! If you can handle more, turn it up a notch. If not, go easy!