Inversion tables have become popular among people with back problems who want to find a supplement (or replacement) for their chiropractor. Inversion tables are also popular with athletes or anyone else who works out because of the deep stretching and alignment that they can offer after a workout. But wouldn’t it be great if you could use your inversion table during your workout? That way you’d be sure to have perfect alignment, and you could stretch and tone at the same time.
The Ironman ATIS series does exactly that. All inversion tables use gravity to invert – just lift your hands, and you tip backwards. Many tables use tethers to keep you from rotating more than a certain degree, and then you simply lower your arms to come back up. What’s special about the Ironman ATIS tables is that you can actually lock your inversion into place – no going back farther, no coming up. With your table locked, you’re free to do additional stretches and exercises without tipping forward because of your changing center of gravity. It adds a whole other dimension to inversions.
There are three tables in this series, and I took a look at the entry-level table, the Ironman ATIS 1000 AB Training System Inversion Therapy Table. It’s a great table for new inverters or for people who want to increase the intensity of their ab workouts while maintaining proper alignment and disengaging their back muscles.
What makes this table special?
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an inversion table, but there are a few that set this one apart from the crowd.
- For one, it’s an incline bench as well as an inversion table.
- Two, the frame has been made extra sturdy to support movement while inclined.
- Three, it has an ankle lock system unique among inversion tables that is a great alternative for people who have been unable to invert on other tables due to ankle pain.
- And finally, it includes a number of small details that were well-designed to make inversion easier and more convenient.
- It’s more than an inversion table…
It’s an abdominal exercise machine too. The simple truth is that ab exercises can be more or less efficient depending on the angle of incline. For the average exerciser, doing ab work done properly on a horizontal plane is sufficient. However, for the more advanced exerciser, or the person with specific needs, inclined ab work is much more effective at isolating the abs without using other muscles to compensate.
This table is perfect for inclined ab work. With its SmartGear locking system, this table can be locked at 10 different angles so you’re free to move your arms and upper body without tilting the table. You don’t have to learn any new exercises; just do your entire stationary-leg ab routine on an incline for a whole new level of workout.
If you feel like you’re not quite ready for inclined ab work, lock in your ankles and try some exercises on the horizontal. Firm, straight legs will prevent you from using your hip flexors, which provides a degree of isolation that you just can’t get on the floor.
Supportive frame for any body
The Ironman ATIS 1000 is in the mid-range for capacity in the Ironman line. It has an extra-wide frame, which is wider than Ironman’s standard frame and provides more stability during exercises. It’s labeled for use up to 325 pounds, large enough for almost everyone, and like all the Ironman inversion tables, it’ll accommodate exercisers up to 6’ 6” tall. It’s also the lightest table in the ATIS series and the only one that can be folded up for storage.
A lot of inversion tables have rubber corners on their frames, but this table has actual rubber feet for better stability on slightly uneven surfaces and less slipping and sliding during movement. The foam-padded safety handles are easy to reach from any angle, and when you’re in a 90-degree inversion, reach up to grab the foam-padded bar and pull for added stretch without tension around your core. A memory-foam pillow keeps your neck in alignment, even with intense stretching.
Advanced ankle support
Since your ankles support an increasingly larger portion of your weight the farther you invert, ankle support is key. The Ironman ATIS 1000 has ergonomically designed ankle cuffs that don’t clinch all the way around the ankle or squeeze the upper foot. The inner and outer ankle bones are left free, so there’s no pinching around that sensitive area. Also, people with terrible foot problems (like me) can’t stand that much pressure on the top of the foot.
This is a really great design because inverting is useless if you’re tensing your body from ankle discomfort the whole time. In addition, the ATIS 1000 is the only table with this scale locking system. If you’ve had problems with the ankle locks other tables, and you think that you can’t do inversions because of that, give this table a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
All the extra stuff
It’s the little things that can make or break any fitness equipment, but the designers at Ironman have done a good job here thinking about everything you need. The safety handles are extra long, so you can reach them from any angle, just in case you find yourself in a bind. The pillow is in the right place, the stretching bar adds another dimension to your inversion, and there’s even a container for your phone, the remote, whatever you need to have right at your fingertips. They really thought of everything here.
Users of the Ironman ATIS 1000 have overwhelmingly positive things to say. It has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and other retailer websites. Here are some common praises and complaints:
What we liked
What we didn’t like