How Oscillation Can Reduce Sore Muscles
While one of the beautiful things about inversion is the idea of allowing gravity to do the work of decompression for you, did you know that incorporating gentle movements into your inversion sessions can provide additional benefits?
For example, oscillation – the practice of gently rocking down and up can feel wonderful and make you feel great.
What Is Oscillation?
Oscillation is the simple act of creating a rhythmic motion up and down, rotating from approximately horizontal to 45-60 degrees and back. Because of the precision balancing that Teeter offers, you can do this with gentle arm motions, lifting them one at a time over your head and back down over your torso (view the video above). If you have EZ-Stretch Traction Handles, you can also pull and push on these to oscillate as well.
What Are the Benefits of Oscillation?
Gently rocking back and forth as you invert offers many potential benefits, including:
- Movement aids decompression: As you are gently moving back and forth, your muscles are flexing, and your body is relaxing. This movement combined with relaxation encourages minor misalignments in your spine to right themselves and creates a ‘pumping’ action in your spine to help with disc hydration and decompression.
- Say goodbye to sore muscles: As you oscillate, your muscles are flexing and unflexing – if you have lactic acid built up in your muscles this can help clear it out and reduce sore muscles after strength training.
- Increase relaxation: Oscillation is relaxing and can help lower your heart rate when you do it slowly. The gentle rocking motion is soothing and calming, especially after a hectic day.
- Invert longer: You may be able to extend the length of your inversion sessions when you oscillate since you can ease the pressure on your ankles and the pressure in your head, increasing your comfort level should you find you are only able to invert for a short time during static inversion.
How to Oscillate
As always, you want to make sure your Teeter is properly adjusted and balanced for your body type before you begin inverting. Only try oscillation after you feel fully comfortable with inversion and the operation of your inversion table – you should feel confident in your ability to use your arms to move you from upright to horizontal to the inverted position, and back. For the smoothest oscillation experience, remove your angle tether.
Slowly move your arms over your head (one at a time if you find that allows you more control) to begin rotation. As you reach 45-60 degrees, switch direction with your arms and slowly move them back up over your torso so that you rotate back to horizontal. Then switch direction again and repeat. As you do this a few times, you will develop a controlled rocking motion in and out of the inverted position. Make sure you move your arms deliberately so that your motions are smooth and the table rotation is not jerky – this should be a relaxing experience.
Find a rhythm that feels comfortable to you. Adjust the speed of your arms, timing of your motions, and angle of inversion depending on your preferences. The more you practice, the more you will be able to oscillate with very subtle movements (pros can do this even by simply shifting their body weight, bending your knees slightly and adjusting the length of their body). You may find it’s your new favorite way to invert!