Q&A with Roger Teeter: How Do You Invert?
Recently we asked Teeter Hang Ups founder, Roger Teeter (age 73), what his personal inversion routine looks like. He gave us a peek into how he likes to invert and how it helps:
Roger Teeter walks with his grandson along the beach
I invert first on the table, usually going immediately to full inversion for 2 to 3 minutes. I also use the traction handles to add to the traction. Once I feel fully decompressed (which takes no more than a minute), I do a set of inverted squats to get some extra fluid into my knee joints to help them recover from running or water skiing – whatever the day’s activities have been.
I then switch to the DEX for about 6 to 8 minutes again – going to full inversion. Since the seated position of the DEX flattens the lumbar curve, the stretch for the lower back is notably different. I again use the traction handles to maximize decompression by pushing straight down and also rotating my torso side-to-side. I prefer the DEX for side-to-side rotation as it puts no loads on the knees.
I do a number of stretches including pulling my torso forward by gripping the cross bar that joins the front legs while relaxing my back. I also use both the front and rear legs, first on one side and then the other, to give a strong rotation to each side. Stretches also focus on my neck – pulling the head to each side using one hand and then the other.
I go through these different stretches, about 30 seconds each, for two different sets which fill up the 6 to 8 minutes. At the end of inversion, I finish with back extensions over an exercise ball for about 90 seconds.
If I am at home, I virtually never miss this decompression workout by doing it immediately before bed. I also invert immediately before running (I never run on a hard surface anymore – only dirt or sand). Before running, I do two sets of 30 inverted squats on the inversion table to pump up the knees. I’m not sure if the knees are really pumped up or the main benefit is the warm up, but in any case this practice makes the first 1/2 mile much easier than if I did nothing.
I know that inversion has greatly improved my flexibility and sense of well-being, proven on several occasions when I’ve been at sea on a cruise ship. When I cannot invert, I always feel ten years older by the end of the trip. The good news is that I’m able to reverse this feeling after only a couple of days of inversion back home.