Tag: knee caps

Don’t Lock Your Knees! Are You standing Correctly?

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Are you standing correctly with relaxed knees?

Most people carry tension in their muscles. When you’re constantly contracting your muscles you’re also reducing the blood flow throughout the area and compresses joints, the muscles cross. Compression of the joints can lead to decreased mobility, friction, misuse of the limb, and potentially arthritis. 

One should be able to stand without clenching butt cheeks together or gripping our front thigh quadriceps muscles.Your legs must be straight in order to manage the tension. Just because the leg is straight doesn’t mean it’s locked. Your leg is “locked” when the quad muscles are contracted.

There are people who are able to hyperextend their knees, it looks like this.

There are people who stand with constant knee flexion (bent knees). It looks like this.

If the quads are relaxed, you should be able to contract your quads (notice your knee cap lift up) and return to the relaxed state.  If you can’t tell if your knee caps are lifting, more than likely your quads are already in a contracted state (this means that your patella is compressed against your femur, creating decreased mobility and friction which can lead to arthritis).

It sounds pretty simple to just relax your kneecaps, but if quad tension has become an unconscious habit for you, or if you’ve been unknowingly using your quads to keep yourself from falling over when you stand, relaxing the knees won’t be as easy as it seems.

Your four quadriceps muscles are designed to activate equally and at the same time when you straighten your lower leg, but in our culture, we’ve acquired alignment faults that leave the femur bone internally rotated and our pelvis misaligned. This changes the ability of the quadriceps to activate properly.

When your pelvis is not aligned, it changes your uses of the appropriate muscles for walking and standing, so your quads pick up the slack.

The quadriceps can get so used to staying on and being recruited for extra work that it becomes difficult to figure out how to turn them off, even when your brain is asking them too! This is where people may get a lot of spasms.