Emer Inversion Table - Deluxe Model in the Sub $100 Range
4.4 Reviewed by Dave Carry
Do you suffer from chronic back and/or neck pain? If you do, you've probably heard of and tried almost every remedy out there. Everybody seems to have their own “pet” miracle cure. The only problem is that none of the cures actually solve the problem, at least not in the long term. Drugs help, but they only mask the pain. They don't do anything to actually get rid of it, and worse, as your body becomes accustomed to the drug, it becomes less effective over time. Chiropractors are good and relatively effective, but those weekly visits get expensive fast, made worse by the fact that insurance won't cover such visits in most cases. If you're looking for a permanent, cost effective solution to help ease your chronic back and neck pain, you should give the Emer Deluxe inversion table a serious look!
The power of Chinese manufacturing is amazing. They can dramatically reduce the price, while simultaneously preserving decent standards of quality. The whole Emer Deluxe series of inversion tables often hits a price point of below $100, which is a real bargain in my opinion. Certainly, the saying that “you get what you pay for” applies here. You have to accept a few drawbacks if you buy an inversion table like the Emer Deluxe INVR-08B, but this table still gets the job done, which is all that matters at the end of the day.
There's no need to be skeptical about the sturdiness of this table. In fact, it's a very sturdy machine once set up for the inversion. The A-frame is built of tubular steel that is just painted, so don't be surprised if it picks up a few scratches after a few uses, or if you have to tear it down and reassemble it later for some reason., The A-frame opening is secured with foldable brackets which provide great stability for the backrest sitting atop it. The whole weight of the table and the user transfers through four stabilizers made of tough plastic that would provide better stability if they had been fitted in corners of the frame. I'm not saying that this table isn't stable, but as the inversion table's stability is defined by its base-to-height ratio, it is definitely better to have the biggest possible base area by having stabilizers in the frame's corners, period!
Can Inverted Exercises Be Performed?
You may find the backrest a bit too narrow so there will be no room to rest your arms on, but it shouldn't be a big problem as you'd rather want to raise your arms above your head and get the most out of your stretching, rather than relaxing with arms at your side. The backrest is foam padded, but in my opinion the padding should have been at least an inch thicker for greater comfort. This is not strictly necessary of course, as this feature matters increasingly less the steeper the incline of your inversion until you reach the full upside down position wherethe table has the ability to lock out and you won't be touching the backrest at all as you hang supported by your ankles only. To recover from the lockout while in full inversion, you may use the long rubber padded side handrails. Thanks to the shape of these rails, they'll be within easy reach at every shape of y our inversion, allowing you to control it's pace, or stop it at any time. The drawback of such shaped, long bars is that they add considerably to the overall bulk and awkward shape of the folded unit.
The Emer Deluxe INVR-08B inversion table is fitted with a flat lumbar pillow that is simply too soft and flat for most users. Because of the construction of the ankle restraints, it is very likely that you will find yourself sliding toward the “head end” of the table by a few inches, so it might be quite difficult to find the “right” position of the lumbar pillow (the position where the pillow matches the lumbar arch of your spine). You can always remove it if it gets in the way, as it is attached by nothing more than a Velcro strap.
Does It Hold Ankles Comfortably?
The comfort of the ankle holders is the main concern of all customers. Unfortunately, the solution provided by the Emer Deluxe INVR-08B doesn't provide much in the way of comfort for every user at every angle and during any sort of activity.
The ankle locking system here consists of a non-adjustable foot rest, rear cup holders, front foam rollers and smart spring loading mechanism with a long leaver.
Actually, the footrest can be adjusted to some degree: An inch backward or forward. The most important aspect of an adjustable footrest would be adjusting the distance between the top of your feet and the front foam rollers. Changing the position of the footrest forward or back doesn't help anything. That's why I called it “non-adjustable.” As you won't be able to decrease the distance between your instep and the front rollers, you will be sliding down and probably your head will fall off the top of the backrest if you're really tall and have thin ankles. Not a big issue, but certainly some discomfort there. The back heel holder cups are padded with a rather tough rubber, but they will hold your legs securely in place, eliminating any side movements.
Front foam rollers can be tightened snugly above your ankles thanks to the ratchet locking system. These foam rollers will do their job in short, and not too steep inversions, however, if you want to go for a full inversion and perform some inverted exercises, you would do well to consider using some towels for added cushioning, though this will vary from individual to individual.
For all the reasons mentioned above, I'd recommend that you don't use this table without some socks and shoes on!
To lock your ankles in, or release them out, you will operate the long lever with the spring loaded pin on the top. This innovative design may overcome all the design flaws and limitations in the unit.
Is It Adjustable?
Since the Emer inversion table, Deluxe version is capable of locking out in full inversion, it will actually be an attractive table for multiple family members to use, but because of this fact, multiple, periodic adjustments to the table's settings will be needed. Depending on the construction particulars of your table, adjustability might be easy and take just moments, or it may take some time and be quite challenging. There are times when you may wish you had an extra pair of hands! Whether the table will gently react to your body's weight distribution or become aggressive and easily lock when upside down for inverted exercises depends entirely on the pivot settings. The Emer INVR-08B inversion table has three holes on each side that translates to three distinct settings positions. To change those settings, the backrest has to be taken off of the stand at each adjustment. There's simply no way around this unless all users agree to the same settings.
The balance of the inversion table is the next setting that has to be identified on a “per user” basis. This can be done by finding a proper setting on the height adjusting boom. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean matching one's height on the scale only. Our body weight distribution is different for people of the same height, and thus, the center of gravity of each individual might be placed a few inches higher or lower. To make sure the height is properly adjusted, you need to run a little test. Lying on the backrest with secured ankles and crossed arms, you should get lifted just a few inches if the settings are correct. Move the height adjusting shaft a few inches in or out for readjustment if you don't get lifted at all, or if the table keeps rotating. As the proper settings may vary up to three inches each way, you may end up with your head sticking off the backrest if you are at, or near the maximum height limit of 6'6”.
The last adjustment that has to be done each time for every user is the preferable incline angle. There's a tether strap hooked to the crossbar of the A-frame and the back of the backrest that goes taut every time you achieve the preset desired angle. Given that more than one person will be using the inversion table, the length of the tether strap will need to be readjusted, which might be a little bit challenging as there are no color markings on the strap for easier resetting. This adjustment can be skipped, provided that all users wish to invert fully – in that case, the strap needs to be unhooked from the backrest completely.
How Hard Is It to Assemble?
Okay, so now for the bad news. The assembly of the entire line of Emer inversion table has the potential to turn into a nightmare. The tools that you will find in the box could be made better. They tend to fit poorly and are prone to slipping. The manufacturer tried to combine all sorts of wrenches with a tiny screwdriver, and what you wind up with is a tool that will be murder on your hands and may cut you. If you eventually manage to assemble the table with the tools provided, it's likely that you'll throw them away immediately after without a single regret!
The unit comes partially assembled, but the instruction sheet shows every single part, bolt, nut, screw and washer as though this were not the case. It shouldn't be a problem if you're a bit technical, or have any engineering experience, but I can easily imagine that the instruction drawings are bewildering for many users.
Despite the above issues, I think it is possible to put the table together in under an hour unless you find yourself in the position of having to head to your local hardware store to get some missing nuts or washers, and unfortunately, this happens from time to time.
Is it Easy to Fold?
As with all other types of inversion tables, storage for this unit is a pain. The A-frame is easy to fold together once you release the bracket, but the unit is still bulky. It won't be able to stand on its own, so you'll need to prop it up against the wall or closet. The long, big side handles that are so helpful to control or get back from inversion are sticking out of the folded table. Also, the ankle restraints will stick out the other side, so if you are thinking of sliding it under your bed, you will need at least 20” of clearance. Luckily, it's not the heaviest of machines, but still, be prepared to drag or lift the 50lb contraption.
If you're very limited in your storage space, it's possible to dismantle the table by taking its backrest and height adjusting shaft apart. The process might be somewhat time consuming, but the tradeoff is a considerably smaller device, broken into parts you can store pretty much anywhere.
What Are the Emer Deluxe Inversion Table Dimensions?
The Emer inversion table comes in a flat box measuring 5.5” by 30.5” by 51.5,” wrapped with plastic straps. All parts inside the box are pretty well secured with a crumbly Styrofoam. Once set up, it will be 55” high, 27” wide, and 48” long. It weighs nearly 50lbs. According to the table manufacturer, the Emer inversion table can support weights of up to 300lbs, and users no taller than 6'6”, and no shorter than 4'1". The table is covered by a 1 year warranty.
I think the big advantage of this inversion table is the long lever of the ankle locking system. That feature is truly excellent and will allow locking the front heel holders without having to bend forward.
The long side handles will be a huge help in controlling the pace of your inversion.