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Available in Ltd and Sport versions, the Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 Inversion Table features some clear improvements over the earlier EP-550 model.
In this review we’ll be taking a look at the design features that have made this Teeter Hang Ups’ most popular inversion therapy table, including the optional accessories and precision balanced rotation system.
We’ll also be comparing the EP-560 to other models in Teeter’s EP range, to help you determine which represents the best value for money.
Design and safety features
Before buying a new inversion table, two of the most important design features to consider are the ankle holders and back support.
The comfort of the ankle holders is something we’ll go into more detail about later in our review, but for now we’ll just say that the ergonomically moulded heel cups are a considerable improvement on the foam rollers built into the EP-550 model.
If you’ve already looked at some of the Ironman inversion tables, the handles may seem quite short for returning yourself to an upright position.
The shorter design tends to be a recurring theme among the Teeter inversion tables, with the only real exception being the top-of-the-line EP-960 Ltd.
Another difference between the EP-560 and other inversion tables is the lack of padding in the ComforTrak Bed. Rather than 2.5″ of ribbed cushioning (Ironman Gravity 4000), or memory foam (Innova ITX9700), you’re looking at a flexible toughened plastic that adjusts to suit your body shape.
This allows a greater flow of air around your back to keep you cool, as well as attachments to be used for more effective isolation of individual muscle groups.
At the base of the A-Frame you also have the built-in stretch assist grips, which is a feature unique to the EP-560 and EP-960 tables.
Control rotational responsiveness with Roller Hinges
If you’re new to inversion therapy, it can often be an intimidating prospect going straight to the full inversion angle without having a spotter available.
One of the ways Teeter have tried to combat this is with their adjustable safety strap, which we’ll talk about in more detail shortly.
With the strap being used to control the inversion angle, you also have the Roller Hinges, which can be used to determine the rate of rotation (how much effort it takes to reach your target inversion angle).
There are three settings to choose from, each affecting how close the ComforTrak Bed is to the pivot pin of the A-Frame. Set the Roller Hinge closer to the Pivot Point and you have a more responsive table, whereas moving it to the furthest setting will be better for partial inversions and beginners.
This furthest setting isn’t recommended for full inversion, regardless of your body weight. If you’re more experienced, using Roller Hinge with the middle or top settings allows you to go fully inverted with considerably less effort.
How easily you can rotate the table will also be dependent on the height setting you choose, which ranges from 4’8″ to 6’6″.
As we just mentioned, the main safety feature Teeter provide with the EP-560 is the safety strap, which can be used to restrict the inversion angle.
With a simple connection to the U-Bar under the Table Bed, anyone that’s new to inversion therapy can then make adjustments as they become more comfortable with the motion.
Protective non-slip safety feet have also been attached to create more friction against the ground, but with the added bonus of adding to the frame width, boosting stability.
Having the larger surface area in contact with the ground prevents the frame from sliding on hard floors, and is an improvement over models like the Body Champ IT8070.
As with other inversion tables in the Teeter Hang Ups collection, the EP-560 Ltd and EP-560 Sport are both UL Certified.
In 2011, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) revised their Standard for Safety for Massage and Exercise Machines, UL 1647. Part of the reason this standard was developed was to evaluate the function of inversion tables, testing them against real world use from an endurance and strength perspective.
In 2010, a report by Dynamark Engineering – specialists in mechanical analysis and forensic engineering product-testing – found that of the models they tested, only Teeter Hang Ups surpassed the minimum safety requirements.
Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 – Features Summary
- Exceptional value with bonus Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge accessories, plus a back pain relief stretch and exercise DVD
- Quality tested to UL safety standards positions Teeter among the best selling inversion products
- Enhanced decompression with Lumbar Bridge and ComforTrak Bed which flexes with user
- Stretch & Grip Handles
- Patented pressure-reducing ankle system for superior comfort while inverting
- Engineered precision balancing for controlled rotation and secure lock-out in full inversion; pre-set rotation angles
More features: Comparison with the Teeter EP-950
In many ways the EP-950 is the equivalent of the EP-550 inversion table, with the standard of ankle comfort being lower than the EP-560 Ltd or Sport can provide.
In addition to the extra cushioning around the ankles, both versions of the Teeter EP-560 feature a curve in the base bar that allows you to achieve a deeper stretch in your back and core muscles.
The ComforTrak Bed that comes fitted to the EP-560 is also fully compatible with accessories such as their Acupressure Nodes and Lumbar Bridge (included with the Ltd version but not the Sport).
While the EP-950 is still compatible with a number of accessories, none are included when you buy the table, resulting in an additional expense.
But as you might expect for the price difference, there are also a couple of areas where the EP-560 doesn’t match up to the EP-950.
For example, the extended handle ankle lock system – similar to the one that proved so popular on the Ironman Gravity 4000 – is missing from the EP-560, but available as standard on the EP-950 and EP-960.
This is a desirable feature to have if you want to limit the amount of stress you place on your lower back, as the handle reduces the distance you need to reach to lock and release your ankles.
However, there are also some similarities.
Both models fold for easy storage and offer a preset rotation control. You’re also going to see the same 4’8″ to 6’6″ supported height range and 300 lb capacity that’s available on all inversion tables in the Teeter EP collection.
Ease of assembly and storage options
If you’ve tried putting together a piece of fitness equipment before, you’ll appreciate how much easier it is when you have some well written, clearly labelled instructions to follow.
As soon as you unpack the box and start reading through the manual, it becomes clear that Teeter’s decades of experience in high quality product design carry over into the quality of their owner’s manual.
Although the majority of the assembly has already been done for you prior to being packaged, a full list of parts is included to make things easier if you need to order a replacement under the extensive warranty coverage.
The instructions themselves have been split into clear steps, with exploded drawings accompanying the text explanations.
There’s only one minor problem, in that the parts reference numbers are only written in the paragraphs of text, and not on the diagrams themselves. This makes it difficult for anyone who prefers working solely from the drawings.
The A-Frame arrives fully assembled, meaning you can create a stable base to build on quite quickly, and limiting the amount of heavy lifting required.
As with their earlier EP-550 model, Teeter also include an instructional DVD that walks you through each of the steps in the manual, as well as providing you with some stretching and muscle toning exercises created by Dr. Shawn.
All the tools you need are included, but even with the amount of pre-assembly that comes with the EP-560, it’s worth setting aside 45 to 60 minutes to get everything ready for your first inversion session.
While there isn’t anything particularly difficult involved, the assembly of the roller hinges, table bed, bed frame extension, and front ankle bar can be quite time consuming.
- Majority of the design arrives pre-assembled
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Folds away to a smaller footprint than Ironman designs
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- Tested against stringent safety standards
- Easy to clean be surface improves durability and reduces wear over time
- Lacking a similar system to Ironman’s patented ‘palm-activated’ ratchet locking system. This means more bending down is required to lock and release your ankles. This may be something you want to avoid if you have severe lower back pain.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- 5 years
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