On Locking Your Knees & other Muscles
The following is great information I researched on the web. I wanted to add that, locking any of your muscles is not good for you. When at Attention, you should never “pull your shoulders back” as that creates stress in the body. The position of Attention should be a relatively relaxed position- not as relaxed as sitting on the couch at home, but there shouldn’t be any unnecessary stress on the muscles in the body.
1. By hyper extending your legs and locking your knees you can over stretch the ligaments, putting excessive stress and pressure on the surface of the knee, and also making your quadriceps weaken – that big group of four muscles on the top of your thighs, including the extensor muscle that attaches to your knees. If you stand in that locked position for long periods of time it can tear or strain your ligaments and help to break down your cartilage, especially the meniscus that helps protect and move the knee. It can actually promote arthritis in the patella (the knee cap), or the knee joint.
2. Locking your knees can create too much pressure on your shins, inflaming them and causing painful shin splints. It can also extremely stress your heels, which take the weight of much of your body. Your center of gravity creates many pounds of pressure on your feet, causing your heels to support far too much mass; this can result in constant heel pain. Fitness and Wellness News points out this will also alter your overall stance and your gait, or the way you walk.
3. Locking your knees can impede the flow of blood to your brain. Soldiers sometimes pass out after standing for a long period of time. Many experience fainting after remaining with their knees locked during inspections and standing at attention; they’ll fall down face first without even knowing what hit them. And carpenter Gary Hermann tells of how he was turning a piece of wood on a lathe, standing rigidly with his knees locked. Suddenly he felt faint and had to quit and lay down for a few minutes, allowing the blood to return to his brain. It’s also not uncommon for singers in a chorus to sometimes pass out cold.
4. Many doctors suspect that locking the knees increases pressure on the vascular system throughout the legs, causing varicose and spider veins. Vascular specialists will be the first to suggest not standing with your knees locked to avoid this unsightly problem, which is more prevalent in women. It can also be caused by obesity, heredity, birth control medications, and hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy and the onset of puberty. But the correlation is extremely strong between varicose veins and people who stand a lot, including factory workers, teachers, hair stylists, nurses, and those in the trades like carpentry.