Is "Muscle Memory" real?

Jun 2014
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51,521
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Once your body “knows” an action so well, you don’t have to think about it. It just seems to be recalled without much effort. For example, I have done the dance “ Electric Slide “ countless times. I could just let my body remember the steps and be totally concentrating on something else. I don’t know if this is the same principle, but once I really “know” another word in a foreign language, I just think in that language with that word without having my mind translate it. A third example, holding and caring for an infant. It’s all in my memory.

Yeah. These learned responses take place subconsciously. Some athletes and musicians refer to "getting in the zone" when they are in a state of performing effortlessly, so far as consciously directing their actions.
 
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Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
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From Google

Is muscle memory real?
Yes and no. There is no literal memory in the muscles, but the thing people call “muscle memory” exists, though the name is a misnomer. A better name might be “subconscious memory,” as the information is stored in the brain, but is most readily accessible—or only accessible—by non-conscious means.
 
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Dec 2018
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Please don't Google it for now.
Let's see what members believe first.
Sort of. It isn’t muscle. It is the brain. You do something a bunch and your brain develops the connections for that skill. I don’t know EXACT science, but I’m guessing it is vaguely similar to memory recollection in that the more you access certain data, the faster you can recall it later.

I did martial arts. And there was always that expression(Bruce lee), “don’t fear the man who has done 10,000 kicks. But fear the man who has done 1 kick 10,000 times.” I can (could?) do a hip toss, reaping throws, trips, arm bars, chokes, and so on without thinking. I just felt it and it happened. And the more I did it? The easier it got.
 
Dec 2018
5,252
2,050
Florida
From Google

Is muscle memory real?
Yes and no. There is no literal memory in the muscles, but the thing people call “muscle memory” exists, though the name is a misnomer. A better name might be “subconscious memory,” as the information is stored in the brain, but is most readily accessible—or only accessible—by non-conscious means.
The muscles don’t think, but they do it get stronger and more capable. That’s it. That probably helps with conditioning. I wonder if the nerves gain any “strength” or anything from use?
 
Mar 2018
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Florida
Sort of. It isn’t muscle. It is the brain. You do something a bunch and your brain develops the connections for that skill. I don’t know EXACT science, but I’m guessing it is vaguely similar to memory recollection in that the more you access certain data, the faster you can recall it later.

I did martial arts. And there was always that expression(Bruce lee), “don’t fear the man who has done 10,000 kicks. But fear the man who has done 1 kick 10,000 times.” I can (could?) do a hip toss, reaping throws, trips, arm bars, chokes, and so on without thinking. I just felt it and it happened. And the more I did it? The easier it got.
I learned how to type. We were not allowed to look at the keys. When I had thoroughly learned the keys, by memorizing the touch with the correct finger position, I no longer had to think each key. I was able to type very quickly , over 100 words per minute.
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,631
30,620
Florida
I learned how to type. We were not allowed to look at the keys. When I had thoroughly learned the keys, by memorizing the touch with the correct finger position, I no longer had to think each key. I was able to type very quickly , over 100 words per minute.
Good example!
 
Sep 2014
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South FL
It isn’t muscle. It is the brain.
Its part muscle. For instance when you start lifting weights and stick with it, the strength gains are, initially, enormous and that is literally your muscle getting better at making that lift. And when you stop and then restart you can then get yourself back to capacity.
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,631
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Florida
Its part muscle. For instance when you start lifting weights and stick with it, the strength gains are, initially, enormous and that is literally your muscle getting better at making that lift. And when you stop and then restart you can then get yourself back to capacity.
What about the "Memory" part?
 
Sep 2014
5,086
1,598
South FL
What about the "Memory" part?
The brain is definitely part of it too. Basically the brain is saying, "Let's bench press" and the brain starts to learning how to bring that muscle into play. Meanwhile the muscle is changing structural in order to "bench press" and that's why the first time you lift you get DOMS and then that subsides and after a while you don't get it unless you really increase intensity or you drop off for a while.
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,631
30,620
Florida
The brain is definitely part of it too. Basically the brain is saying, "Let's bench press" and the brain starts to learning how to bring that muscle into play. Meanwhile the muscle is changing structural in order to "bench press" and that's why the first time you lift you get DOMS and then that subsides and after a while you don't get it unless you really increase intensity or you drop off for a while.
That's a stretch.
Obviously muscles change with use but they have no memory at all.
It's all the brain.