The Ironman IFT 4000 Infrared Inversion Table combines the most innovative design features from the Gravity collection, with the proven health benefits of Infrared Heat Therapy.
But how does it actually work, and what upgrades can you expect over the earlier IFT 1000 model?
In this review we’ll be answering these questions by making important comparisons between this table and others from Ironman and Teeter Hang Ups, to help you decide on the best option for your own home gym.
We’ll also be taking a look at the design and safety features, assembly process, warranty coverage, and overall opinion coming from customer reviews on ecommerce stores such as Amazon.
Design and safety features
As with the later models in Ironman’s Gravity collection, the IFT 4000 provides you with three different starting positions, each offering a greater or lesser degree of inversion.
This is ideal for anyone that’s new to inversion therapy, as well as for households where more than one person might want to use the table in future.
For anyone that’s more familiar with this type of therapy, the adjustable boom can still rotate around the full 180 degrees of inversion, with handles built into the base allowing for stretching of your back muscles.
These handles are something we first saw in our review of the Gravity 3000, but for were dropped for some reason in the later 4000 model.
The back support also has a wide range of height settings to choose from, which is useful when you consider how important it is to get your weight distribution right. You should be able to reach a point where bringing your hands slowly above your head begins to rotate the table.
In terms of the actual frame design, this is constructed using tubular steel, which has then been treated with a scratch-resistant powder-coated finish for increased durability.
One final important feature we wanted to mention is another of the upgrades over the earlier 1000 model. That is the patented quick release ratchet gear system, which is safe and easy to reach for anyone that wants to keep back bending to a minimum.
This is essentially a longer handle that extends up from the ankle holders in place of the small spring loaded mechanism that was attached to the IFT 1000.
Unfortunately there’s no locking mechanism like the iControl 400 or Teeter Hang Ups EP 560, making it impossible to perform any real ab workout when inverted.
As with any piece of cardio equipment it’s important to make sure there are features in place to keep you safe during your workout.
Treadmills have safety keys that will stop the belt if you move too far from the console, whereas the IFT 4000 has full length foam covered handles to always be within easy reach.
The rubber non-skid floor stabilizers have also been upgraded since the IFT 1000, with a wider diameter at the front and increased contact at the back for improved stability.
If this will be your first inversion therapy session, a safety strap joining the back support to the front U-frame can be used to control the maximum inversion angle until you get used to the motion.
Ironman IFT 4000 – Features Summary
- Inversion therapy table with advanced FIR heat technology
- Ultra-thin carbon fiber heating elements in backrest help soothe muscles
- Reduces back pain and fatigue while increasing blood circulation
- Inverts to 180 degrees
- 3 starting positions
- Supports 350 pounds
- Extra-long safety handles
- Mesh pocket for remote control
Comfort and cushioning
One of the biggest differences between the IFT 1000 and IFT 4000 inversion tables is the design of the back support.
Not only does the 4000 offer a much larger supportive area for your neck and back, but the foam padding is also twice as thick as the 1000, with 2.5 inches compared to just 1 inch.
Although this isn’t memory foam like with the Gravity 4000 model, the extra cushioning makes your inversion sessions much more comfortable. The fabric used to cover the foam padding is also breathable to allow greater circulation of heat along the length of your back.
To reduce the pressure placed on your ankles at steeper inversion angles, the IFT 4000 features the same ergonomically molded and cushioned ankle holders as you’ll find on all Ironman tables.
The full length safety handles have been coated to provide a more comfortable surface to grip when returning yourself to an upright position.
Comparison: Ironman IFT 1000 vs. IFT 4000
|Model||Ironman IFT 1000||Ironman IFT 4000|
|Foam Thickness||1 inch||2.5 inches|
|Maximum IR Temperature||140 degrees Fahrenheit||140 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Height Range||4'9" to 6'6"||4'9" to 6'6"|
|Weight Capacity||300 lbs||350 lbs|
|Warranty||1 year frame, 90 days parts||1 year frame, 90 days parts|
|Product Weight||50 lbs||75 lbs|
Benefits of Infrared Therapy
The inversion table contributes to your body’s overall health by optimizing lumbar traction, thereby relieving pressure on your vertebrae discs and ligaments, while the FIR heat technology soothes muscles and helps to relax your entire body.
The different degrees of inversion that you move through while on the table have been known to increase blood circulation and relieve conditions commonly associated with back pain, such as herniated discs, bulging discs, fibromyalgia, and pinched sciatic nerves.
But at the same time we should point out that inversion therapy may not be for everyone. Although it’s often cited as an effective replacement for many types of surgery by people who experience good results, extended periods in the head-down position can still be risky for anyone with high blood pressure.
The greatest benefits are often seen when you combine inversion therapy with other methods as part of a wider treatment program for the issue causing you the back pain.
Setting the temperature
As with the earlier IFT 1000 model, the IFT 4000 has a maximum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This reading is fed back to the display screen from an ultra-thin Fiber Glass Infrared heater mat inside the back support, and takes about 15-20 minutes to warm up.
Before you secure your feet with the ankle holders, it’s useful to program a target temperature via the main controller panel, so that you know what you’re going to be starting with.
This LED controller panel also lets you choose between Centigrade and Fahrenheit as a unit of measurement, and set a target duration for your inversion therapy session.
Once this is all set, any changes you want to make during your session can be made using the remote control, including adjustments to the duration and current temperature.
For convenience, Ironman have also fitted their IFT 4000 with a side pocket for storing the remote control when not in use.
YouTube video of the Ironman IFT 4000
Ease of assembly and storage options
After reviewing each of the inversion tables available from Ironman, we have to say that the assembly instructions for the IFT 4000 are probably the clearest.
Not only do you have the step-by-step written explanations, but you also have exploded drawings of how each part fits together, along with a breakdown of the parts and tools required for each step.
The process itself is almost identical to assembling one of the models from their Gravity collection, but with a few extra steps to follow for connecting up the controller panel.
The power cord you need to route from the mains power to the controller isn’t encased in any sort of protective toughened plastic, but there is a velcro strap to hold it out of the way while inverting.
Fortunately the instructions are quite explicit about how you need to route the power cord, adding actual photographs of the cord in place to highlight the right and wrong way to do it.
Because of this the estimated assembly time is slightly longer than the Gravity models, at 60-75 minutes.
When you’re buying a new inversion table, two features that you’re probably going to be looking for are a strong frame and stable base design.
Unfortunately this comes at a price, as the width of the U-Frames and their distance apart often results in a footprint that’s larger than most upright exercise bikes.
So can you fold the IFT 4000 flat for easy storage?
Although you have the added benefit of Infrared Heat Therapy, the basic frame design is still very similar to the tables in the Ironman Gravity collection.
This means that it’s possible to lay sections of the IFT 4000 flat with a small amount of disassembly, but it’s probably something you’re not going to want to do multiple times each day.
That’s because you would need to detach the safety strap, then remove the bed frame completely by lifting the pivot arms clear of the arm slots at the top of the rear U-frame. Bearing in mind the total product weight is 75 lbs, the bed frame is going to be a large proportion of that.
So if you want to avoid any heavy lifting and time consuming assembly before every session, we would recommend allocating a permanent space to your inversion therapy.
If this isn’t an option, storing the Teeter Hang Ups inversion tables tend to require much less effort, and have a similar reputation to Ironman for developing high quality inversion equipment. Models like the EP 560 allow you to simply pull the U-frames together and leave the table freestanding without the need to take anything apart.
- One of the most affordable options for anyone looking for a higher weight capacity
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Quick release ratchet system limits the amount of stress placed on your back when releasing your ankles
- Heat is evenly distributed across your entire back instead of one small area
- Infrared heat helps with back problems such as bulging discs, arthritis, and fibromyalgia
- Well packaged
- Safety strap can be used to limit the inversion range to something you’re comfortable with
- High level of build quality creates a strong and stable frame
- Feeling the benefits from just a few minutes each day means you can use the table as part of a wider healthy back/decompression regimen
- There isn’t an option to lock the table at an inversion angle in the same way you can with Teeter Hang Ups models
- Adjustments to the maximum inversion table have to be made before you start your session if you plan on using the nylon safety strap
- No scale to identify the inversion angle to expect from the length of the safety strap
- Difficult to lay the table flat, and it’s not free standing when folded
- Some customers reported discomfort with the ankle holders, but this was often relieved by simply wearing thicker socks
- Having the LED display on the underside of the back support and no feedback on the remote makes it difficult to see how quickly the heat is adjusting to your changes
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 1 year
- Parts: 90 days