Are you wondering why your low back hurts after pull ups? Are you trying to target your lats, but you feel it everywhere else? Do you want to do pull ups for reps, but they're just too challenging for you?
Supplementing pull ups with a resistance band is one the easiest and smartest things you can do to protect your low back, and overall improve the performance of your pull ups.
Using a resistance band offers multiple benefits...
- Offloads some of your body weight
- Allows the lower body to help stabilize the pelvis and spine
- Puts the spine in a better position
Watch me do pull ups with and without the bands to get a better appreciation for this. In the first clip, it is easy for me to hangout in lumbar extension and anterior tilt. What a lot of people do not consider is what bending the knees may do to low back position. IF your rectus femoris muscle (one of your hip flexors) is tight/stiff, this can pull your pelvis into more of an anterior tilt. With the lats and likely paraspinals activating during pull ups, this can add a compressive force to the facet joints in the lumbar spine, which may be the cause for your pain or soreness.
Standing in a more neutral spine position supplementing a resistance band is a better option than kneeling on the assisted pull up machine! You can appreciate this in the last clip, I'm keeping my glutes tight to help stabilize my spine in a more neutral position. Also now that the demand is lower, I can really crank out pull ups for reps to build my endurance.