I’ve long been sold on the benefits of getting inverted, especially for people who lift heavy stuff. It is said to decompress the spine, counteracting the relentless foreshortening of gravity but also leads to heart rate reductions and stress relief.
While I am totally up for the concept of bodily inversion, I’m a little bit lost as how to go about it.
The traditional, zero cost method to inversion is the bog standard handstand or headstand. The latter being a move that I would dearly love to be able to do, but unfortunately I do not have the strength, balance or bravery required to get my 240 lb frame into that position.
Another method is by use of an inversion table. I reckon I’d be able to do this but inversion tables are big and ugly, like a glorified ironing board and where the heck am I going to keep one?
The extremely brave or foolhardy, use gravity boots. Not a chance in hell that you would get me in these. I would need to be winched into place and winched back out again. This is the reserve of particularly evil torture chambers and will never be seen in my garden gym.
Now I have tried a yoga sling for inversion and providing you have somewhere sturdy to suspend it, like a massive power rack in your garden, I think they are a pretty good option. I couldn’t really get the hang of it though.
This clip shows my first attempt with the yoga sling. Turns out I’m wrapping my legs the wrong way so I’m lucky I didn’t tip myself out onto the concrete floor. Trying the wrap in the opposite direction didn’t get me any closer to a full inversion. I suspect my bum is too hefty and I’m sitting too far into the sling. Anyway, it feels nice but it’s not stretching out my vertebrae.
So finally I get to the crux of my latest experiment in health and Fitness, I’m going to be spending 30 days with the FeetUp trainer and maybe even longer if I’m successful.
The FeetUp trainer has been relentlessly marketed to me since my first inversion attempts appeared on instagram. I’ve been resisting (weakly) but now I think the time is right to give it a go and see if a large and unwieldy woman can get anywhere approximating an inversion by using the commode-like frame to support the movement.
The FeetUp trainer is a bit ugly and a bit bulky but has a good finish and maybe I can hide it in my shirt cupboard when not in use to avoid critical comments from the family.
My plan is to use the FeetUp trainer daily for about 5 minutes at a go until I can actually get myself upside down. Then I would like to try and build the time spent decompressing. The recommendation is up to 30 mins spent upside down but if I can manage 10 I think I could treat this experiment as a major success.
Here’s the daily-ish log for my 30 days with a FeetUp trainer.