Behind the name Innova Elite Fitness inversion table, there are two different versions of the device with the more technical designation ITX9250 and ITX9300. The only difference between these two is their backrest, but it is an important difference indeed. They are both very simple inversion tables, which translates into a great price of around $100. Despite their simplicity, the Innova Elite Fitness table meets the expectations of many happy users who are ready to accept the tables' few flaws and limitations.
The frame of the stand is made of durable tubular steel and comes in a few pieces that need to be put together. Every joint of the stand is secured with at least two M8 screws, giving a great feeling of sturdiness, even for people who weigh in excess of 250lbs. Unfortunately, the frame is just painted, and thus prone to scratches during usage, folding, or moving for storage. Four legs are cut at an angle to secure the stand while open, but at the same time, this prevents it from being able to stand on its own when folded for storage. The base is fitted with plastic stabilizers for greater stability. When talking about the plastic stabilizers, it's worth mentioning that these are just pushed onto the leg ends and may not stay on, so take special care when folding the table if you don't want to risk losing them.
Is The Breathatble Mesh Comfortable?
The backrest frame of the Innova ITX9250 is covered with a fabric called a “Breathable Mesh,” which is almost certain to cause a bit of discomfort to its users. You can tighten up the tension of that mesh using straps on the far side of the backrest in an attempt to keep your back away from the metal bars. Admittedly, the backrest frame bars are covered with cushioning, but it is definitely insufficient, and use for any significant period will cause some pain in the hips and shoulders. The top of the backrest is fitted with a small removable pillow, however, it might force your head into an unnatural position as the pillow placement is not adjustable, i.e., it can't be moved up or down. Of course, you can always get rid of that pillow, but you need to remember that if you do, your head will be resting on the frame covered with nothing more than a “breathable mesh,” which probably won't be comfortable at all.
Not Designed for Inverted Exercises
The easiest fix to the backrest issue is to add your own additional cushioning in the form of a thick towel or something. Alternatively, you could always go for the Innova ITX9300. Its backrest is foam padded and vinyl covered. Going for the latter solution, you might miss the breathable fabric, but to be honest, I can't figure out why you'd need it. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would need breathable fabric in this sort of inversion table. The inversion therapy lasts no longer than ten minutes per session and is not rigorous enough to cause you to break a sweat. You might think that feature could be useful when doing some inverted exercises like crunches, but the Innova Health and Fitness customer service representative clearly stated that the ITX9250 inversion table wasn't designed for any exercise, or even hanging completely upside down. Hence, the “breathable mesh” feature for additional comfort during inverted exercises wasn't the goal that the Chinese engineers had in mind. It simply couldn't have been.
The two Innova tables are fitted with long side foam padded handle bars that will always be within easy reach to assist you during your inversion therapy session. They are very helpful in controlling the pace of inversion or just to hold it. Also, they will come in handy if the inversion table locks out in full inversion – many users have mentioned serious difficulties in getting back to the upright position from full inversion (skip to the “Adjustability” section to find out more about that issue). The big and long handlebars definitely add to the bulk of the ITX9250, and make it cumbersome to move and store.
Are the Ankle Holders Comfortable?
You can't cut price to the bone without limiting quality or scaling back on some really useful features. As the ankle restraint is the most complex part of any inversion table, it's no surprise that when it comes to finding ways to cut costs, it is often at the expense of this system. This is the likely reason why you don't find a ratchet locking system on either the ITX9250 or the ITX9300. You also don't see front or rear cuffs padded with ergonomically molded foam padding and an adjustable footrest.
Instead, these inversion tables have four rollers of tough foam that you certainly would love to see much thicker. As they have a concave shape, they are only one inch thick in their middle where your leg pressure will be applied. You might find it a bit uncomfortable at first, however, there are some relatively simple fixes for this, wearing thick socks might work for some, while others might want to invest in applying additional cushioning to the device itself. The foam rollers are secured on bars with plastic plugs that are simply pushed into place.
The front rollers are adjustable and secured with a spring loaded pin that is a tad short, so you will be forced to bend down to pull on it whenever you need to lock or release your ankles. The system itself is also spring loaded, so it will adjust snugly around your legs instantly as you pull on the locking pin.
The footrest is not adjustable at all, which means that you won't be able to bring it closer or set it further from the front rollers, depending on the size of your instep. This means that many users will find themselves sliding head down as soon as the inversion starts.
The simplicity of this table manifests itself in the form of a relative lack of adjustability for responsiveness during inversion. In other words, the backrest cannot be brought closer to or further from the pivot to change the violation and aggressiveness of rotation. Usually, it's better to have the backrest further from the rotational axis for beginners or anyone over 200lbs. Otherwise, you might find the inversion not as smooth and gentle as you'd like it to be. It's not a big problem, as you could easily control your rotation with the power of your hands holding the handrails. Unfortunately you might not be able to bring yourself back to the starting position without assistance if you lock the table out in full inversion.
The pivot arms of the Innova inversion table have only one position for the backrest against the pivot – and it's a pretty aggressive setting – and balancing the unit might prove difficult, depending on your weight. You will balance the table properly if you find the point, but adjusting the height so that you will fit just a few inches up while lying back on the backrest with arms crossed.
What differentiates the Innova inversion tables from many others is the lack of a tether strap to adjust the maximum inversion angle. Instead, the Innova Health and Fitness engineers introduced a rear inversion safety bar as the only solution to control the angle of incline. The back legs of the stand are fitted with thin rubber padded slots in three positions to place the safety bar in.
For me, it's hard to say if the safety bar is a better solution over the tether strap. Using the bar to limit the inversion, you can recline to limited, preset angles, whereas you have much more freedom and versatility using the tether strap. On the other hand, it's harder to readjust the tether strap length to the desired angle after another user, unless you have made colored markings on the strap for each individual user, which is fairly uncommon.
I remember talking to a user of a really flimsy inversion table who mentioned about the steel carabiner of the tether strap. In his case, it broke during an unintentionally violent inversion. Judging by the solid bar and slots, it's hard to imagine any of them breaking or causing an unpleasant situation like that. I'm pretty sure that many users will find either solution to be just about perfect for their needs.
Assembling the Table
The Innova Health and Fitness quality control department obviously isn't the best in the world, judging by the consumer complaints scattered across the web. You might have some difficulties assembling the unit you get because sometimes the holes in the various segments of the frame won't line up. All that to say that you may need a drill to drill some new holes, and a few wrenches from your own toolbox wouldn't hurt either, as the tools sent with the table are cheaply made and difficult to use. The vast majority of people who use these tables are happy customers, and the only real consistent complaint is with their quality control.
As with many other inversion tables, the assembly instructions of the Innova ITX9250 are completely bewildering to many. All bolts and pins are in a blister pack and are separated and sorted into groups corresponding with the sections in the instructions that they need to be used in. However, the instructions themselves seem to be written in such a way that just leaves people scratching their heads. In any case, you should complete the assembly in about two hours.
Folding the Table
The best way to store every inversion table would surely be to just leave it sitting where you set it up as they are always bulking and awkward to move around. For those who are forced to put the inversion table away after every use, the engineers created a solution. The table can be folded easily by pushing their leg frames together after removing a locking pin.
As the table is relatively light, it can be moved to a closet or be propped against a wall. Providing that you've got a bed with 20” clearance beneath it, you might even be able to store it under your bed. Such a big bed clearance isn't that common these days, so you may want to make the Innova table even flatter by removing the height adjusting shaft with is a really simple procedure. The table still won't be perfectly flat as the long side handles will be sticking out, but it should fit under any standard bed at that point. As the Innova Fitness table is only 27” wide, it can easily be moved to another room through any standard door.
Dimensions & Capacities
The Innova ITX9250 weights 47 pounds, whereas the Innova ITX9300 weights 51 pounds due to the more robust and heavier backrest, but both will accommodate users from 5'1” to 6'3” tall, and up to 250lbs. The standing height is 60” and their depth is 50”. That's all well and good, but it is more important to consider the space the inversion table will take when in use. At maximum settings, the depth will be 75” and the height about 80”
Both tables are relatively light when compared to other models, which is really handy when it comes to folding or maneuvering. Despite that, they seem to be very sturdy.
The adjustable front rollers are spring loaded, allowing the user to secure or release their legs using only one hand. It's a pity though, that the pull-pin lock is so short that you will need to bend down to reach it.
I'm not sure that limiting the inversion angle with a safety bar is any better than the tether strap used in many other tables, but it's no worse, either.
I have pointed out and described every flaw in my review, so below are the most important drawbacks in my opinion.
There's a good chance that your unit will have misaligned holes, which is really annoying and makes assembly harder than it needs to be.
Don't be misled by the term “Breathable Mesh fabric back pad.” It's light and handy, but you will almost assuredly want some additional padding for comfort.
The foam rollers may also need some additional cushioning, but this will vary from person to person.
The overall rating of both Innova tables is pretty poor as it's just barely over four stars out of five. It was spoiled by the opinion of numerous customers disappointed with misaligned or even missing holes which might turn assembly of the unit into a nightmare. However, when studying all ratings found across the web, I got the impression that once customers overcame the assembly, they seem pretty happy about their purchase. You definitely get what you pay for though. A more expensive table would not have had such a difficult assembly process!
Two Tables Price Comparison
It's great to have a choice! The Innova ITX9250 is light but it has a somewhat uncomfortable backrest. The Innova Elite Fitness ITX9300 inversion table is a bit heavier due to the presence of its foam padded backrest. The choice is easy as both inversion tables are sold at almost the same price most of the time. How do they stack up against other models? Well, only the Emer Deluxe inversion table is cheaper, falling under the $100 range. If you're want to know more about them, don't hesitate to scope out my personal reviews of them. They will certainly help you make up your mind.