Sule’s Fitness Move of the Month: Get Inverted!
If you suffer from back or neck pain, inversion therapy can be wonderful, easy, and fun relief!
Although not ‘medically approved,’ those I’ve worked with who perform inversion exercises regularly (3-5 times per week) report tremendous relief! Even if you are not in pain, inversion exercises offer many benefits.
Basically, inversion workouts are exercises that involve hanging upside down, working against gravity and your body weight to build strength and reduce the pressure on our spine we all experience from walking upright daily.
An inversion table is a unique piece of equipment that allows you to strap your ankles in the bottom, lie back on a board while it pivots backward and takes your feet into the air with your head facing the ground. There are several different table exercises and stretches you can do safely with this equipment. However, if you do not have access to a table, resources to purchase one or space to set it up you may still do and benefit from the inversion exercises listed in this monthly move!
There are many specific benefits from inversion exercises. The most common ones are done by people to help relieve back and neck pain. Inverting as little as 25 degrees for few minutes relaxes tense muscles and speeds the flow of lymphatic fluids which flush out toxins from the body. Inversion exercises stimulate circulation, build strength, and help maintain joint flexibility. And these exercises also allow a person to train the core without hurting the spine. Often many common exercises put pressure on the spine where inversion exercises alleviate that persistent pressure.
Downward Dog – common yoga pose with hands and feet simultaneously on ground, folding from the hips and hands far enough away from your feet (based on flexibility) to keep palms flat.
Wall Hand Stand – a safe way to improve circulation with assisted balance from the wall while strengthening your shoulders, abdominals, and wrists…also does wonders for your complexion!
Supine Bridge – safe way to elevate and stretch your hips, activate your gluteal muscles and stimulate your thyroid gland while relieving pressure on your lower back.
Full Supine Bridge – an advanced way to increase the intensity of the basic supine bridge requiring stronger wrists, shoulders and a more flexible lower back and hip flexors.
Holding any of these postures for as little as 5 seconds (for 5-10 repetitions) or as long as 60 seconds (for 2-5 repetitions) will provide tremendous healthy benefits for the advanced or novice exerciser!
Abstain from inversion workouts if you suffer from particular health conditions including history of congestive heart failure, history of space-occupying brain lesions, severe vascular disease, arterial hypertension, detached retina, glaucoma, hiatal hernia, ventral hernia, extreme obesity, pregnancy or vulnerable areas stress from a recent surgery. If you have questions about the safety of inversion workouts paired with another specific condition, always consult your doctor. For your own safety, make sure you have someone to spot you when doing inversion exercises.
Contributed by: Sule Welch, GMM Business Development Associate
Our resident fitness expert, Sule founded The Welch Martial Art Experience several years ago, combining his competitive athletic background, 25+ years of martial art training experience, a Masters Degree in Business, and 12+ years of Executive Level work experience to develop both specific and comprehensive training methods and to create and continuously expand his Martial Fitness™ training concept.