What Is Muscle Memory?

Have you ever wondered what muscle memory is? Muscle memory is the ability of our mind to capture a particular activity or movement. For instance, once you learn cycling during your childhood days, you don’t have to learn it again. Even if you didn’t ride a bicycle for a decade or so, you will still be able to ride it smoothly without having to go through the learning curve again. This is because of our muscle memory. Our muscle memory registers certain muscle movements, and these movements can be performed flawlessly even after a decade long break. Walking, driving, swimming etc are few other common examples of muscle memory.

As such, the exact functioning of muscle memory is yet a mystery in the eyes of medical science, however there are many theories that you will commonly encounter regarding this subject. Most theories reckon that our muscles get accustomed to a particular process, when the activity is performed time and again because of the neural pathway that develops due to repetition. The neural pathway helps us store certain muscle movements within the memory. As such, muscle memory is an unconscious process over here because of the ability of our muscles to get accustomed to certain body movements. For instance, if you have been bedridden for several years, you will still know how to walk, the first you start walking after getting rid of the bedridden situation.

Muscle memory is vital in all kinds of sports that exist out there. Most athletes believe that muscle memory is best developed by practicing the same activity time and again. Whether you are a wrestler or a soccer player, you tend to develop muscle memory by regular training. Only then you are able to advance towards the field to display your skills to the crowd who have gathered to witness you play. To give you another example over here, a wrestler will make his move within a fraction of seconds with ultimate perfection, when he sees his opponent charging towards him. If you wondered how this precision was attained in a jiffy, then you should know that the underlying factor is muscle memory. The body learns to react automatically to a particular situation without the need of being coached time and again. Let’s take another example over here. If you love playing musical instruments, you should already be aware of the fact that once you learn the appropriate technique to play a particular tool, you will be able to play it time and again without further practice.

That being said, there are several factors that can interfere with your muscle memory. Let’s take the earlier example of the wrestler who was able to take down his opponent within a blink of an eye. What if the wrestler was subconsciously absorbed with some other thoughts while fighting his opponent? Nine out of ten times his opponent would have ended up having an upper hand because the muscle power would have failed to react in a timely fashion, despite having spent countless hours practicing the same moves. Like anything else in life, focus is the key when it comes to reaping the benefits associated with muscle memory.

1 comment

  1. Paulette West Reply
    September 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

    It would be nice to know how many times someone has to do something correctly for muscle memory to actually take place.

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