The answer to this question varies among individuals. For beginners, it is advisable to start with a mild angle of around 20-30 degrees beyond the horizontal for the first few weeks until you get comfortable with the inversion table’s operation and can relax entirely while inverted.
At an angle of 20-30 degrees, mild stretching is experienced by your muscles and joints, resulting in stimulated circulation, better oxygen flow to the head, and the repositioning of internal organs.
At an angle of 60 degrees (parallel to the table’s rear legs), the average person experiences almost all the benefits of inversion. Your spine gets the traction it needs to entirely decompress when you are relaxed, and most individuals do not need to go beyond this angle.
Full inversion (90 degrees) allows your body to hang freely to perform inverted exercises and stretching. If you are not comfortable with it, you do not need to go to full inversion. However, top athletes are one group that may benefit from the additional traction provided by full inversion. Strong muscles and ligaments need higher loads to decompress.
When using the EZ-Up Inversion System (boots & rack), full inversion is the only option. You may need to alternate between inverting and resting with your hands on the foam grips until you become accustomed to the sensation of prolonged inversion. You might also want to hang for brief periods initially until you feel more comfortable.
Intermittent traction or oscillation (alternating 20-30 seconds of inversion with returning upright or rhythmic rocking back and forth) are the preferred methods of inversion recommended by many doctors for stimulating circulation and waste removal in and around injured discs.
Most of the discomfort that new invertees experience is caused by going too far too fast. While you are wonderfully designed to be upside down, you are probably unaccustomed to being inverted if you are like most people. Therefore, listen to your body and increase your inversion angle only as you feel comfortable.