Best Inversion Chair Reviews and Benefits
Inversion therapy is beneficial for everyone, but the best way to get upside down is definitely not one-size-fits-all. Whereas some people can pop into a handstand and hold it for minutes at a time, most of us need a little assistance to put our feet above our heart.
Lucky for the rest of us, there are several ways you can get the benefits of inversion therapy but the most popular and well known method is with an inversion table that gently tilts you into an upside down position.
But as popular as the inversion table may be, it is not the holy grail of inversion. As with most things in life, it comes with both advantages and drawbacks, particularly its tendency to put pressure on the ankles.
For many of us with injury-prone and -recovering ankles, a safer alternative to the inversion table is the inversion chair.
As plainly stated in the name, the inversion chair includes a seat for users to easily get in and out, whereas the table is a long, flat product that only allows for lying down. Aside from that obvious difference, the chair offers some very specific and important benefits, when doing a side-by-side comparison with a table...
Inversion Table vs Inversion Chair: Which One is Better?
Honestly, both the inversion table and the seated inversion chair have their benefits and drawbacks. So it's not really a matter of which one is better, per se - it's more about which one is better for you.
By going over some of the specific benefits of inversion chairs, you can get an idea of whether this might be a better alternative for you over the traditional inversion table. Here goes!
- Pressure on ankles
The most discussed and immediate red flag for inversion tables is how the user is held in by the ankles being strapped to the table. This creates an anchor point at the ankles, which are small joints that are not meant to be used for stability in this way.
Table users often complain of foot, ankle, knee, and hip pain, due to the excess load put on the ankles. If your joints are already compromised from injury, it can be especially strenuous to use the ankle-strapping mechanism of the table.
Because you do not have to be fully anchored in to a chair, you get to avoid placing this stress on any of the joints in the lower body. It is especially interesting and important to consider is how the ankles, knees, and hips are all interdependent; each of these joints needs to be healthy and strong in order for the others to work properly.
So, if you are in rehabilitation for an injury or suffer from other joint issues, then a chair is definitely a better choice for you.
- Range of motion
Additionally, an inversion table requires full range of motion in the spine to be able to bend down and use the ankle straps on the table in the first place. This means if you have acute back pain or spine conditions that prevent full mobility, then you will be better suited to use an inversion chair.
It is also less difficult to move into the inverted position from the chair, as it’s a simple swinging motion that nearly anyone can perform - even those recovering from injuries.
- Allows torso more movement
An additional standout benefit of the inversion chair is how it allows the user to move the torso more easily. Because of this versatility, you can actually do small twists and stretches during your inversion therapy session that would not otherwise be available, due to the constricting position of completely vertical inversion (as on a table).
Some chairs also allow for abdominal workouts, so this may be an important feature for you to explore if that’s of interest to you. The bottom line is that if you’re looking to engage in additional back or core stretches, a chair is much better suited for you.
- Adjustable inversion levels
Finally, there is much to be said about being able to invert in adjustable intervals, instead of going completely upside down (feet over head) when you want to do inversion therapy. Many chairs are adjustable in their range of inversion, and they allow the user to go just to the point of their own comfort zone and work their way beyond that.
While this definitely provides physical benefits, it may also provide mental benefits as it can feel more relaxing to know that you are totally in control of your experience. When you feel more mentally relaxed, you avoid the detriment that stress causes to the body.
What is the Best Inversion Chair?
Because of the versatility in the construction of inversion chairs, certain chairs have more appealing options or benefits, depending on how an individual needs to use the chair.
To give you a better idea of the best inversion chair for you and your unique needs, we've put together reviews on the best ones on the market!
Best inversion chair for physical therapy and rehabilitation
This chair is definitely made for comfort, ease of use, and peace of mind. Getting on and off the chair is very simple, thanks to its cushioned upholstery and padded handlebars that make sitting and maneuvering yourself in the chair relaxing and easy; this alone makes it ideal for users with limited mobility.
It also is a very customizable option, as you can actually control the degree of your inversion by adjusting the nylon inversion-angle adjustment strap underneath the seat. This means that you never have to exceed your comfort zone and can choose the position that feels best for you, but it also means that you have a machine that will grow with you.
For example, if you start using inversion therapy because of severe back pain but find that it improves after several sessions, then you can begin going deeper in your inversions to continue challenging the body to its maximum potential.
The Stamina is also unique in that it provides several safety mechanisms to give users the ultimate mental comfort, as going upside down is very scary for many people.
After you sit down, your lower calf and ankle are secured by the push-button ratcheting leg lock system, that also has foam-padded supports for comfort. This is the locking mechanism that will hold your body weight, but the chair is further equipped with a lap belt to provide another degree of safety. It is constructed from heavy-duty steel, so this chair is definitely durable and sturdy.
The skid-resistant rubber floor protectors put the finishing touches on stability, as they are guaranteed to keep the chair safely glued to the floor. It is also easy to assemble upon delivery. Read all user reviews!
Best inversion chair for weak joints (and ab workouts)
The Health Mark Core Inversion Chair was specifically created for those who suffer from weak ankles, knees, and hips, as it is uniquely designed to allow for invert at an angle of up to 70 degrees in the ergonomically correct position (knees above the hip flexors), but there is an adjustability option for users to invert at various angles.
The manufacturers truly created this chair with in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of the human body, as each inversion angle available results in a position that provides maximally effective, gravity-assisted traction at the lower lumbar region, without the need to be totally upside down (as on a table).
Additionally, showcasing the comfort of this chair, it comes equipped with a padded chair that has an adjustable back rest, and padded rolled leg support that gives extra cushion to support the joints (especially the knees). Because of its design, this is one of the better chairs for those who want to perform ab workouts, as you can easily perform such exercises as inverted crunches, inverted oblique crunches, reverse v-ups, reverse oblique v-ups, and Russian twists.
The HealthMark chair is constructed from heavy gauge, tubular steel, and finished with durable powder coating, so it feels safe and secure for users. This chair is easy to assemble and folds for the most compact storage available.
It also has the option to stay in the chair position even when inverted, which makes it a great option for those who have severe pain, injuries, or limited range of motion. It also has a seat belt for added safety, and it can hold up to 300 pounds of user weight. Read all user reviews!
Most affordable inversion chair
Another highly versatile option, this BodyPower chair is customizable for degree of inversion as well as user height. It is aesthetically pleasing, with a sleek, modern design. The design also provides high amounts of comfort and security, as it is foam padded and includes both a safety bar and a lap belt.
The weight capacity is set at a comfortable 300 pounds, making it a great option for a wide variety of people. It is important to note that the chair “disappears” into a flat surface once inverted, so it may not be the best option for those who have limited mobility. This can be useful if you want to perform ab exercises, however.
One slight drawback is that this chair takes up a lot of space, but it does fold for easier storage. However, it is very heavy, so folding it can be difficult. It’s best suited for those who have plenty of space and don’t need to move it around once it is set up. Read all user reviews!
As with any other fitness equipment, you should begin using the inversion chair at a gradual pace. Especially for those who may suffer from back spasms, or those who have not inverted in several years, beginning with two minutes once a day is plenty of time to begin feeling a difference in your back.
Once that feels comfortable, then you can move up to five to ten minute time intervals. Eventually, you can certainly work your way up to 20 minute intervals of use as well as greater frequency, but be sure to monitor your body and how it reacts as you go.
Good luck, and enjoy the new perspective that the chair provides!