Maybe it’s just me, but there’s nothing worse than waking up and feeling tense the moment I wake up.
Between juggling work obligations, time spent with my loved ones, and being consistent with going to the gym at least 4 times a week, sometimes it seems like I’m doing everything right and still feeling worn out and tight all over my body.
So much so, that time and again I take on fitness challenges that pop up on the internet, recently I did the 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups and 100 squats challenge. Then I took on the one punch man workout challenge to loosen up my muscles in the morning.
All of this effort to lead a healthy lifestyle with balance, and how do I get repaid for it? Irritating tightness in my back that makes it easier to fall face-first back into my pillow rather than go about my day.
For a long time, I just thought it was part of the aging process. And even though it was starting much sooner than I would have hoped, I accepted it as part of life and did my best to work around it.
Then one day, while talking about our gym routines, a friend asked me, “Have you ever tried gravity boots?”
At first, I thought she must be talking about some new fashion trend – maybe someone had figured out how to put the comfort that astronauts feel on the moon into designer shoes.
When I told her this, she laughed, and started going on about this new product she had tried. She couldn’t stop raving about it, and telling me about how hanging upside down “like a bat” was making her feel better than she had in years.
Okay, I’m probably sounding pretty silly right now, and when I heard about this, I thought that my friend did, too. Once I actually tried them, though, it completely changed my perspective about what I could really expect for my physical well-being.
So let me tell you about gravity boots, how they work, and why people seem to be raving about them more and more every day.
What the Heck Are Gravity Boots?
Unlike what first popped into my head when my friend mentioned them to me, gravity boots are NOT what the astronauts wear when landing on the moon.
They’re a special fitness product designed to relieve pain and muscle tension in your back.
They’re essentially highly durable sleeves lined with comfortable padding to be worn on your shins near your ankles, with metal hooks that can be attached to a pull-up bar or inversion table so you can hang upside down!
From that position, you can either relax and let your body straighten out to naturally stretch out your back, or you can focus on your core and get a killer ab (to ramp up those 10 pack abs) workout in while you’re just “hanging around”.
And unlike a lot of other innovations on the market, there’s no labor-intensive or overly complicated assembly required – all you have to do is slide on the boots, attach the hooks to whatever you want to hang from, and let gravity do its job!
Sounds easy enough, right? But what’s actually happening while you’re upside down and literally hanging from your boots?
How Do Gravity Boots Work?
As unique and out of the ordinary as this idea might seem, it’s actually entirely based on scientific thinking.
When you’re hanging upside down in gravity boots, you’re engaging in a process known as “inversion therapy”. Many people swear by it and are claiming that it’s turning the fitness and recovery world (bad pun in 3, 2, 1) on its head.
The logic behind comes from the idea that gravity is constantly acting on our muscles, joints, and even our spines, which can cause strain and compression. Inversion therapy aims to counter that by changing the body’s orientation and allowing gravity to counteract the effects that it normally has on us. (1)
The theory behind inversion therapy suggests that this can even go as far as taking pressure off of your spinal disks and nerves, which is where much of the relief occurs for those who swear by it. (2)
One of the added benefits that many people swear by is that, unlike massage therapy or appointments with a chiropractor, inversion therapy can be carried out independently and based entirely on your schedule or physical needs. However, experts still recommend consulting with a doctor before proceeding. (1)
Gravity boots are just one of several ways to try out this health and fitness tool. Inversion tables and inversion chairs are also available if you find this gravity-based method pulling you in (pun intended).
So what is it that leads some people to opt for gravity boots as opposed to these other choices?
What Sets Gravity Boots Apart From The Competition
One of the first differences I noticed when I started comparing gravity boots with other options for inversion therapy is the price, and the gap is pretty huge.
An inversion table is often priced around $150, while you can usually find gravity boots for $80 or even less. That’s nearly half of the price saved right from the start! (3)
And on top of the money saved on gravity boots compared to other options, they also come with an added flexibility – not only with how you store them, but also how you use them!
For example, inversion chairs or inversion tables not only require assembly, but they also take up space when they’re set up or stored. This makes them a not-so-practical option for users with a small backyard gym set-up, not to talk of traveling with them or using them away from home.
By comparison, gravity boots need the same amount of room as a pair of shoes, and they can go with a person wherever they might travel. So, just like I fancy carrying my low top boxing shoes around, gravity boots can come with me when I’m on the go!
On top of that, gravity boots can be attached to whatever sturdy material is available to you in your location. Pull-up bars are the most preferred fixture to hook them on to, but you could also use them on different types of squat racks with a crossbar up top. Besides, their design allows you room to improvise if you’re away from home.
And not only do they function as a tool for inversion therapy – they can also be used to supplement your core workouts! If you have been unable to drill down on the next calisthenics or weight workout to add to your workout regimen, this is one of the most effective body weight workouts for you.
Many owners swear by their ability to change up their workout programs and give it a fresh take. With options like inverted sit-ups and curl-ups, some people have added brand new elements to their fitness routines thanks to their gravity boots. (4)
It’s safe to say that gravity boots give their owners plenty of options for how, where, and when they’re used, but staying injury-free is always a must for anyone concerned about their health and wellness. So let’s get into the nitty gritty issue: safety.
Are Gravity Boots Safe to Use?
Anyone who plans on spending a good amount of time upside down owes it to themselves to make sure that they’re doing it in the most secure and danger-free way possible.
Apart from the need to always be safe getting up and down from a hanging position with the boots on (it’s recommended to do this one leg at a time), it’s important to be aware of any pre-existing health conditions before using them and for you to measure your fitness level to see if you are able to use gravity boots.
Because the inversion process slows down the heart rate and increases blood pressure, people with high blood pressure, glaucoma (or other eye-related illnesses), heart disease, or those who are pregnant are at risk when using gravity boots and are discouraged from this type of therapy. (1)
Additionally, experts tend to agree that the phrase “too much of a good thing is still bad” applies to inversion therapy, just the same way pushing the limit with other bodyweight exercises like doing 1000 squats a day, 1000 crunches a day or 1000 jumping jacks a day can be an overkill if not risky.
So it’s recommended that engaging your spine this way be limited to a maximum of two daily sessions of five minutes. (2)
With these exceptions considered, gravity boots are widely thought to be generally safe for regular usage. But what evidence are we seeing about their benefits?
Do Gravity Boots Really Work?
I know that before I go dangling myself upside down as if I’m in the Batcave, I want to be sure that what I’m doing is really good for my body. So what kind of results are people getting from using gravity boots? Can stretching my body make me taller? sadly, gravity boots won’t make you taller but they have other great benefits.
While there isn’t yet a conclusive yes-or-no answer on the effectiveness of inversion therapy, evidence has shown it to have shown that it provides short-term relief for back pain and muscle tension. (2)
Additionally, when combined with traditional physical therapy, the method has been proven effective at reducing pain related to sciatica. (2) Some have even claimed that it’s helped them avoid surgery entirely! (1)
And on top of the results people have experienced with relieving back pain, many are thrilled at how gravity boots have helped them enhance their ab workouts (it might not be the magic bullet to getting abs in 2 weeks guys, but it still works) – they use it for pain relief and exercise all at once! (4)
And thankfully, there’s no shortage of brands to choose from! I’ve broken down a few of the most popular gravity boots on the market to help make the perfect fit easier to find.
The Best Gravity Boots Available in the Market
We gathered for you the best gravity boots you can find on the market
Tonyko Anti Gravity Inversion Boots
This well-fortified design is perfect if you have plans for regular inversion therapy or anti-gravity ab workouts. Here’s the breakdown:
- 1.25 inch padded lining for added comfort
- 150 kilogram weight limit
- contoured design for comfortable fit around the ankles
At just $41.99 and with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars based on global reviews, the Tonkyo Anti Gravity Inversion Boots have a reputation as a reliable choice for your inversion therapy and core workout needs.
Teeter EZ-Up Gravity Boots
This compact design prioritizes comfort and security so that your time spent upside down can be as safe and beneficial as possible. These boots include:
- plastic frame with foam lining for comfort
- adjustable straps to for flexible sizing needs
- lightweight DuPont Hytrel material (each boot weighs just 2 pounds)
- calf loops for added support when hanging
With a base price of $89.00, this model is slightly more expensive than the Tonyko Anti Gravity Inversion Boots. However, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars, it’s also rated slightly higher, and the streamlined design might be the perfect fit for you to get the most out of inversion therapy.
Body-Solid Tools Gravity Inversion Boots
For those who are looking for the selection with the most hands-on safety features, they’ve come to the right place. Apart from a slightly heavier frame than the Teeter EZ-Up Gravity Boots, this design sets itself apart from the rest with:
- single-action locking mechanism for maximum security during usage
- built-in safety lever for reinforcement during inversion therapy
- extra pads to allow for the most comfort and to accommodate different size needs
Priced at $77.99, this model falls near the average cost for gravity boots, and an average global rating of 4 out of 5 stars shows just how much satisfaction it’s already provided worldwide.
Are Gravity Boots Pulling You In?
Gravity boots have saved me from a trip to physical therapy more than once, and lately, my back feels better than it has in years (you’re only as old as you feel, I swear).
So take your time, think about the details, consult with your doctor, and who knows? Maybe we’ll see each other “hanging around” some time in the future!
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