The Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 Limited (where EP stands for Exceptional Performance) inversion table is probably the most advertised table in the world. The whole campaign and marketing is top-notch as is the table itself. You cannot rely solely on the information given in these ads when making a decision. If you have fallen under the spell of it you may wonder if there is any fly in the ointment. I have studied every aspect of the this particular Teeter back stretcher thoroughly so it has no secrets for me now.
Some people tend to diminish the value of products made in China expecting poor and flimsy quality. I can assure you that this is not the case here. This inversion table is the top-end device.It has a high-quality build and a good few great solutions that can rarely be found in other inversion tables. To sum up I could only find a few weak points. Let me show you what I have found.
Teeter's inversion tables are the only ones covered by UL 1647 standard (Motor-Operated Massage And Exercise Machines) – and the Teeter Company is the only inversion tables provider that has applied for it, as far as I know. The Underwriters Laboratories is one of several certification companies approved by the US federal agency Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) so it is certainly good to be able to boast about this test but on the other hand Teeter inversion tables must be good enough to pass them. As you will see below in my review there is no surprise that they did.
The stability of the inversion table is an obvious concern that many users might have. The table's robust frame weighs 67lbs and is made of tubular heat-treated carbon steel. This is pretty heavy but thanks to this feature it will give you a great feeling of confidence during your inversion. It can easily accommodate the 300lbs weight capacity.The frame is powder coated for extended durability, abrasive resiliency and a better look.
The non-skid thick stabilizers are fitted to the frame corners for maximum stabilization. It is pretty common practice in some inversion tables to place stabilizing feet around 2 inches away from the corners – when comparing this to the reviewed inversion table the base to height stability ratio is increased by 20% as mentioned in some descriptions and ads.
The Teeter EP-560 Limited inversion table comes with a tether strap to easily pre-set the inversion angle up to 60 degrees. This is usually called the safety strap in other inversion tables as it is supposed to stop the rotation in case you lose control which can be caused by pivots which have been set up to be too aggressive. Unfortunately the length of the tether strap in the inversion device doesn't allow the user to pre-set to full inversion as it is too short and therefore can't be used for safety reasons at th angle of 90 degrees.
Does the Table Come with Accessories?
<When it comes to the comfort of this table, its bed has to be discussed first. The ComforTrak Bed has a pretty complex and intricate shape and is made of injection-molded plastic. The backrest has three built-in handles around the head area. The upper part of the ComforTrak bed has side handles which allows for additional body motion range.
The bed has no padding so don't expect any spectacular comfort when lying down, luckily there is a little soft foam pillow attached with a Velcro strap for some head support. This feature offers a few advantages:
the bed is much lighter than any other steel-frame vinyl-covered or padded backrest,
it is certainly more durable than any nylon or vinyl covered backrest as there is simply nothing to wear or tear here,
as it is made of plastic it has a very smooth surface that allows you to slide down when inverted for additional stretching. This is not really useful with the Lumber Bridge or Acupressure Nodes on though.
The ComforTrak Bed has a lot of slots to adjust the arch of the Lumber Bridge and customized Acupressure Nodes layout. The table comes with a set of 8 nodes that just snap in the slots so they can be easily removed, which is great as not everyone likes them. These nodes are intended for muscle stimulation only so avoid placing them where they will press on the bones.This model has special roller bearings fitted that allow for a very smooth and easy rotation initiated by your arm movements only once properly set up and balanced (please skip to the 'Adjustability' section of this review for a detailed balancing description). You actually don't need to use the short side handles at all unless to assist with your stretching.
There is a bit of confusion among users about the locking in full inverted position. To make it clear there is no such device in this teeter inversion table where you can lock the bed at a given partial inversion or at full inversion. Instead the table has the ability to lock in a fully inverted position so you could easily do some advanced exercises.
What is So Special About the Ankle Locking System?
The goal of the Ergo-Embrace ankle locking system is to give you maximum confidence and peace of mind when inverted and also to reduce any pain by distributing your body weight around your ankles. It can be achieved by coordination of the back heel holders, the adjusting front ankle holders and adjustable footrest so they lock nicely and securely around your foot and ankle. The interesting thing here is that the ankle bar is spring-loaded so to adjust it you will need to pull the T-Pin and the ankle cups will just snap around your ankles. The only drawback here is the T-pin placement down between your legs so you will need to bend over to reach it.
The table comes with a colored, laminated owner's manual with clear instructions regarding balancing, height and ankle adjusting as well as a quick introduction to the inversion process. The assembly is described in detail with easy to follow steps in the attached instructional DVD.
Out of the box this Teeter inversion table is partially assembled like the stand frame or the bed frame. However there are still many parts that need assembling and I don't think you would complete it within 20 minutes as stated in the ads or the owner's manual unless you are Roger Teeter himself. As this is very likely to be your first inversion table you will certainly need to watch the video and study the instructions first. Also when considering the prospect of hanging upside down you will need to pay special attention to every step of putting all the parts together. You should be prepared to spend anything from 1 hour to 2 hours on assembly. Tools like allen wrench and a screwdriver are included but you will be much better off using your own tools.
There are a few solutions here that make assembly and adjusting much easier and safer like Self-Locking Hooks and Cam Locks securing pivot arms. I will describe it a little bit more in the next section of this Teeter Hang Up review.
Can the Table Lock in Full Inversion?
All adjusting can be completed during assembly and there is no need to change anything later except the tether length as you progress with your inclination. Things become a bit more complicated if there is more than one person using described Teeter back stretcher .
First you will need to find your balance point. This will depend on your height, your weight and your bodybuilding so you will need to pay attention to make sure it is done the right way.
Bringing your body's center of gravity further from or closer to the axis of rotation results in less or more responsiveness to your arms movements. In other words the inversion table might become less or more aggressive. You can do this by using one of the three holes A, B or C of Roller Hinges (pivot arms) on each side of the backrest. For beginners it is recommended to use the bottom hole marked as C in the assembly instructions. This will limit your inversion angle and you won't be able to lock in full inversion. To adjust that feature you will need to remove the table from the stand which is a bit annoying but you won't need to do that very often luckily.
There are special Cam Locks for each Roller Hinge that you can open and slide in or out of the pivot arm. Once you have picked the desired position you just push on the Cam Lock to secure the arm and it's ready.
Height adjusting is as easy as in any other table. To slide the chrome shaft you will need to pull a spring-loaded pin first and match your height with the scale engraved on the shaft. As the body weight distribution of people of your height may vary you will need to run a little test to find out if your adjusting is correct: you should barely lift when lying with your arms crossed on your chest. If you keep rotating or don't rotate at all you will need to readjust your height an inch or two.
The ankle locking system seems well thought through. The footrest can rotate to adjust up and down for different foot types. The spring loaded front ankle cups will easily adjust to your ankle size by pulling on the T-pin. Once it snugly holds your ankles you can release the T-Pin to secure the position of the front ankle cups.
You can adjust the maximum desired inversion angle up to 60 degrees using the tether strap connecting the backrest with the crossbar of the U-frame. Use the strap buckle to make it shorter or longer: the shorter the tether, the less the inversion angle. Unfortunately there are no marks on the tether to quickly readjust its length.
The arch of the Lumbar Bridge can be adjusted as well. There are parallel slots in the table bed to be used to get the bridge more or less convexly curved. The bridge might not be comfortable for all exercises and will unhook when twisting on inversion.
How Flat Does It Fold?
The table is very easy to store. First you'll need to pull the spring loaded pin and slide the height adjusting shaft nearly all the way into the backrest frame housing. There is one additional hole on the shaft for storage only where you can release the pin to secure it in. Next you should rotate the bed until it meets the crossbar of the stand. This way you will get bulky dimensions of 20" x 29" x 66" which are pretty awkward to drag to your storage space.
With these dimensions the table won't fit under an average size bed. If you are very limited with storage space you can take the backrest off the stand. You will need to release the self-locking hooks on both sides of the bed to lift it off. As your bed will have two sticking out pivot arms that could be bent unintentionally you would be better to release them from the cam locks and store separately. It is not as quick and easy as the first option but you will have two handy parts to store.
What are the Shipping Dimensions?
The device is shipped in a flat (6.5") brown cardboard box of 47.5" by 30" that weighs 68.1lbs. Once assembled it weighs 65lbs and is 59" high and 29" wide. Its horizontal length from the foot platform to the headrest is 60". The height and length of the table will change depending on the settings of the height adjusting shaft. If it is set at max height the table will be 87" high when fully inverted – this should be remembered if you are using the table in a room with a low ceiling or a basement.
The sturdy construction of the table can accommodate users up to 300lbs. There is no minimal weight limit but you will need to be at least 4'8" and not more than 6'6" to safely use it.
The ankle locking system is really comfortable.
The Ankle Comfort Dial is a good solution that allows the footrest to be adjusted to different types of foot.
In my opinion the self-locking hooks, cam locks and roller bearings (crucial parts of every inversion table) are of excellent quality here. No doubts.
The instructional DVD is a great help in assembling the table. Be sure to watch the whole of the content as some Healthy Back exercise and stretching classes are included as well.
The sturdy construction is pretty heavy but I wouldn't exchange it for a lighter construction that is easier to maneuver and store.
5 years warranty! This reflects Teeter's great confidence of its product.
The T-pin to adjust and release the front ankle cups is located very low which is not really comfortable for someone suffering from back pain.
The tether strap can be adjusted to 60 degrees only but many users would feel safer having the tether on even in full inversion. On top of that there are no marks for easily readjusting the length of the tether.
The big drawback of all inversion tables is their storage size. Unfortunately this applies to the Teeter inversion tables as well.
What Do Other Customers Say?
Only 6% of Amazon customers rated the table in their reviews with 1 or 2 stars. Among these only 2 people referred to the table itself pointing out the uncomfortable backrest and being unable to run inverted exercises. The vast majority (over 90%) of users were happy enough to rate the table with 4 and 5 stars. It looks like there has been a problem with the bonus accessories recently. Some users were really disappointed to find missing Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge.