FAQ Friday: How can I make my ankles more comfortable when I invert?
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 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 can I make my ankles more comfortable when I invert?
While inverting can be one of the most relaxing things you do all day, some people do experience mild ankle discomfort when they are inverting. But don’t worry – there are several things you can do to improve ankle comfort so you can get the full enjoyment out of your inversion experience. First thing’s first: Make sure you are wearing socks and lace-up shoes. Yes, we know that sometimes lacing those puppies up can be a pain, but we recommend this from a safety perspective – and because the shoes and socks provide a good cushion to support your ankles as you invert. Okay, so now that you’ve got your sneakers on, we want you to check out how tight you are securing your ankles. While the fit should be snug enough so that you don’t feel like you are sliding around, you don’t need to secure your ankles absolutely as tight as you can. Clamping down your ankles too much can cut off circulation and trap your ankles in an uncomfortable position. Try setting your tether strap to a very mild degree of inversion and test your ankle lock setting to see if it is comfortable before you progress to a more advanced degree of inversion.
You can also adjust the foot platform setting to a lower or higher position to accommodate differences for larger and smaller feet. You want to be sure there’s not too much room between your ankles and the foam clamps. If you have an EP-Series table, Contour Series, or Fit Series inversion table, this feature is called the Ankle Comfort Dial, and it can be easily rotated up or down. Experiment with the setting to see which side is more comfortable for you. After you have adjusted the ankle clamps and the foot platform, take a look at the ankle cups where the backs of your ankles rest as you invert. Try angling them downward just slightly. As you invert, they will naturally rotate up and cup your ankles comfortably. This seems like a small adjustment, but can make a huge difference! Now that you’ve made all these adjustments, let’s talk about the way you are inverting. Are you inverting all the way to 90 degrees (full inversion)? If so, try easing off and inverting to only about 60 degrees or so, or even less. Being inverted takes training, just like any other fitness activity. Your body can quickly adapt to changes, but try increasing angles gradually over time – your ankles will thank you. Also think about changing your approach to inversion. Did you know there are a couple of different ways to invert? There is static inversion (just hanging there), intermittent (alternating inversion with resting at horizontal) and oscillating inversion (rhythmically moving up and down). If you are usually inverting statically, try using slow arm movements to experiment with intermittent or oscillating inversion.
As you move from horizontal to inverted, you give your ankles a break while still experiencing the benefits of inversion. Finally, if you are still having ankle problems while you invert and you’ve tried all of these suggestions, it may be time to think about upgrading your equipment. While most people find these tips can help reduce ankle pain, other people opt to purchase the Conversion Bar and use Gravity Boots with their inversion table. This is especially helpful if you enjoy full inversion for periods longer than five minutes. If you are currently shopping for an inversion table and are worried about your ankles, you should consider the EP-550 Sport, which comes with the Gravity Boots. You should also consider the DEX II, a great multifunctional exercise device provides many of the benefits that inversion tables do, but you invert supported by your waist, instead of from your ankles.