Chances are, if you invert every day during your first 30 days of owning a Teeter, you may notice a change in your stature. You’ll probably find that you’re standing taller and that your body has begun to fight back from the long-term effects of gravity.
When you are suffering from a bout of acute back pain, it may feel like the discomfort will never end. In the moment, we make promises to ourselves that we’ll start exercising, lose weight or whatever it takes to never have to experience the pain again. Many of our customers have found tremendous relief from back pain using a program of inversion with a Teeter Hang Ups, but ask what they should do when they no longer have back pain to help them resist future incidents?
Establish a Routine
At Teeter, we often compare the routine of inversion to brushing your teeth. You don’t just brush your teeth when you feel like they are dirty and need a good scrubbing – you brush them morning and night to prevent cavities and gum disease. You practice good dental hygiene so you don’t have to pay the price later on, and we think of inversion in much the same way.
Inversion for a few minutes a day can help keep your discs healthy and your skeleton in alignment so you decrease your potential for future injuries and discomfort. Ideally, you will invert every day to keep pain at bay… and not just when you feel like you need it. Morning inversion will help you stretch, get your blood circulating and feel energized, while evening inversion will help you decompress and relax. Take 3 minutes on your Teeter morning and night to start your day off with enthusiasm and end it with some quiet relaxation.
Inversion is not only a great tool for decompression, but using a Teeter Hang Ups can help you improve your flexibility. By staying flexible, you ensure your joints remain lubricated and you can prevent stiffness throughout your body. When you feel flexible, you are more active and less prone to injury.
Perform regular stretching exercises on your Teeter to stay flexible and decrease overall soreness after workouts.
Many injuries are a result of weak muscles that are not able to support your body properly, and a root cause of back injuries in particular is weak core strength (back & abdominal). By using a Teeter Hang Ups to perform key strengthening exercises, you are building up a foundation for your body to help protect yourself from future injuries and doing so without placing harmful loads on your back. When these same exercises are performed on a mat or the floor, you put an uncomfortable load on your spine that could possibly lead to injury.
You may initially be drawn to use your Teeter Hang Ups for relief of nagging back pain, but as you recover, the Teeter can be your greatest ally in keeping your joints and spine healthy, keeping your core strong and your body more flexible… helping to avoid future joint and back pain.
One of our favorite things about what we get to do everyday at Teeter is talk to our customers! You all have lots of great questions and we try to address some of the most common ones on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Every Friday, we’ll focus on one FAQ in more detail. We encourage you to email us or post a comment with additional questions and we’ll send you an answer you may even see your question pop up on a future blog post!
How To Exercise On Your Teeter
With over 2 million inversion table users in the past 30 years, Teeter has a lot of fans… but perhaps none more energetic than those who have inverted their way to flat abs, defined legs and cuter buns!
While a nice tush can make a fan out of anybody, perhaps the real reason why they are advocates is because they get results faster with less pain!
So once Teeter has helped you lose the back pain (which was most likely caused by weak and tired core muscles), don’t hide your inversion table under the bed or behind the door. Get back on it and work on strengthening the key groups of muscles that will help you combat back pain for years to come with these 4 exercises.
#1 – Inverted Back Extension
- Place both hands behind your head.
- Use your lower back muscles to slowly arch backward.
- Hold, release and repeat.
- Be careful not to rely on momentum and risk hyper-extension.
Benefit: Erector spinae, Multifidus, Biceps Femoris, Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Hamstrings. This will help promote good posture (the body position that best resists gravity) and support for your spine.
#2 – Inverted Crunches
- Cross both arms on your chest.
- Use your abdominals to crunch forward.
- Hold, release and repeat.
Benefit: Rectus Abdominis (Add obliques by bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee, then your left shoulder to your right knee).
#3 – Inverted Sit-Up
- Bend your knees slightly and contract your abs.
- Reach your arms toward your knees, lifting your entire torso upward.
- For assistance, place your hands behind your knees to finish the motion.
Benefit: Hip Flexor, Abdominis Muscles, Iliopsoas, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Rectus Femoris, Sartorius, Tibialis Anterior (Add obliques by bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee, then your left shoulder to your right knee). This is the only form of full-range sit-up that does not place loads on your back.
#4 – Inverted Squats
- Hold onto the A-frame legs to stabilize your body.
- Bend your knees, bringing you buns towards your heels.
- Hold, release and repeat.
Benefit: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Adductor Magnus, Soleus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Erector Spinae, Obliques, Rectus Abdominis.
One of our favorite things about what we get to do everyday at Teeter is talk to our customers! You all have lots of great questions and we try to address some of the most common ones on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Every Friday, we’ll focus on one FAQ in more detail. We encourage you to email us or post a comment with additional questions and we’ll send you an answer – you may even see your question pop up on a future blog post!
Perhaps the 3 most popular questions all start with “How…”
- How long should I invert?
- How often should I invert?
- How do I get started?
Since all of these are pretty straight forward, let’s answer all 3. In all cases, Rule #1 is to listen to your body and do only what feels comfortable. Don’t be afraid to take a break or reduce your angle/duration of inversion if needed.
How long should I invert?
When first inverting, start in 1-2 minute intervals
First time inverters should start inverting 1-2 minutes each session for 1 or 2 weeks. It will take time for your body to adjust and for you to feel comfortable inverting for a longer period of time.
Once you feel you are becoming accustomed to being inverted, gradually increase your time until you can invert for 3-5 minutes each session. Even though there isn’t necessarily a time limit to inversion, remember to listen to your body – it’s important for you to relax and enjoy the experience. If you feel you’ve had enough, then you should slowly return upright.
How often should I invert?
We recommend adding inversion into your daily routine. Many users invert an average of 2 times per day (morning and evening). Some use it more often – after going to the gym, during a break at work or to relax when they get home to help relieve tired and achy muscles and joints. The beauty of inversion is that it addresses the “quiet side of fitness,” which is to say that it doesn’t require a lot of energy to receive a lot of benefit. Teeter inversion tables make it easy to jump on and invert for just a few minutes, whenever you feel the need to stretch and gain a boost of energy.
How do I get started?
Remember Rule #1 – Listen to your body. If you don’t feel relaxed or are at all uncomfortable, then reduce your angle/duration of inversion.
Rule #2 – When using your inversion table for the first time, have a spotter who can help you return upright if needed while you fine-tune your optimal settings to achieve the perfect balance and control.
Rule #3 – Don’t do too much, too soon. You will be more comfortable and gain the most benefits if you gradually increase the angle and duration over time. Full inversion may be uncomfortable and unsatisfying early on until you’ve had a chance to become accustomed to the feeling and allow your body to adjust.
20 degrees is the best angle for beginners
Start at 20 degrees for the first couple of days until you feel comfortable with the balance and control.
If you’re comfortable, increase to 45 degrees through first week 2 or 3. If you have been inverting for 3-5 minutes at 45 degrees, and feel like you need more of a stretch, increase to 60 degrees.
60 degrees is what we call the “magic angle” – where your spine can fully decompress and you can experience the most benefits. Many people find that 60 degrees is where they are most happy… but if you still want more, then disconnect your tether strap and rotate into full inversion.
Inverting at 90 degrees provides freedom of movement for stretching and exercise. This is the position most people think of when they think of inversion. A lot of people think they will never want to fully invert, but over half of Teeter users actually do so on a regular basis!
When returning upright, do so slowly and stop when your body is parallel with the floor for 30-60 seconds to allow your body to adjust. This will also help you keep from feeling lightheaded or dizzy when you exit the inversion table.
Congratulations – you are now a professional Teeter inverter.
The discs in your spine act like shock absorbers for your vertebrae. They are made up of two main parts, the nucleus and the annulus. Think of a disc like a Twinkie – the annulus is the yellow cake and the nucleus is the cream filling. But instead of cream filling, the nucleus is made of jelly-like material that provides the flexibility and “cushioning” in your back.
What is a herniated disc? A herniated disc is also called a slipped, bulged or ruptured disc. When a disc is herniated, the cream filling (nucleus) pops through the yellow cake (annulus). As you see in the diagram, there are also nerves that run through the vertebrae and when a disc is herniated, it can impinge on the nerve and cause irritation. According to the Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc can cause “pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disc. Most people who have a herniated disc don’t need surgery to correct the problem.”
Inverting on a Teeter inversion table helps to decompress the vertebrae, widening the space between the vertebrae and alleviating the pressure on your discs. Taking that pressure off of the discs allows them to rehydrate and fill with nutrient-rich fluid so they naturally heal. The action of increasing the space margins between the vertebrae can actually create a mild suction in the disc, which may help encourage the bulged nucleus to return to its proper place.
How an Inversion Table Helps With a Herniated Disc
Inversion therapy with Teeter Hang Ups is an optimal way to help maintain back and spinal health by stretching tired, sore and irritated muscles, decompressing and elongating the spine and allowing the spine to naturally realign.
As always, check with your health care professional before starting inversion and make sure your equipment has been evaluated by a third party like Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) for safe construction and operation.
For some, the chilly fall weather doesn’t deter them from getting in their run for the day. While running promotes better health, it can be hard on your back and joints.
The Prince of Darkness may be onto something when he dangles upside down in his castle. Even the undead can benefit from increased blood circulation that can oxygenate the brain and the rest of you body better and feed them with vital nutrients keep your skin looking healthy, your mind agile, and your body more flexible.
The long baseball season is finally coming to a conclusion. Today the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals will go head-to-head to begin the World Series, an exciting match-up for a few reasons, most notably that both teams fought their way from the Wildcard round, proving their tenacity.
The health of your back is inextricably tied to your quality of life. Back pain can severely limit your ability to perform physical activities such as playing golf, tennis, or even getting out of bed in the morning. As Roger Teeter, the founder of Teeter Hang Ups, explains in his article for Arizona Sports & Lifestyle Magazine, investing in the health of your back and relieving back pain can lead to a more fulfilling life because you can get back to doing the things you love.
We’ve all heard our joints popping. But is all that cracking and creaking normal or a sign that your joints are yelling for help?