NTS coaches have long known that one fundamental key is the alignment of bones – the bow forearm bones (radius and ulna) into the humerus with the hinge vertical for optimal stress resistance, in example.
And we’ve also been taught that locking the knees, placing the near-to-the-joint leg muscles under tension can actually decrease blood flow and possibly lead to instability and even fainting.
Extreme example of muscle-contraction caused fainting
After several years of observation, Coach Lee has concluded that the risk of archery-induced NTS-method fainting is zero. As he mentioned in a recent seminar, “never see any archer faint, and lots of archers lock their knees”. And he had a video that he showed without much comment – showing the knee joint and how when the joint is “locked”, the boney aspects interlock in a more favorable way. Mother nature designs, evolves, our body’s joints to serve well certain functions.
Now, archery is NOT one of them. But standing stock-still is – and if done with little or no cargo onboard to load up the body, the locking stance of the legs will provide an enhanced stability FOR SOME ATHLETES! Not necessarily for ALL, but it is both safe and appropriate to evaluate in your archer whether this will provide better performance.
The locking knee in diagram is similar to the video Coach Lee showed – that one is not available to me – but this displays the same slight rotational aspect as the knee “locks”.
In short, it’s OK if your archer likes to lock her knees to get a more stable shooting platform, provided it does not cause pain, and is not allowed to interfere with the rest of the posture requirements of the NTS, AND that it provides a verifiable advantage. (Straightened lower back, the arrow stays over the rear edge of the ball of the foot of the archer’s back foot, chest down, shoulders down, etc….)
So let your archer try to find a more sturdy leg platform, more comfortable, more natural, stance.