Is muscle memory real?

If we start with a simpler answer for the title than we can state both “yes” and “no”. A lot is explained over time about what is muscle memory? Let’s discuss the term “muscle memory” in two different ways to understand that if, “Is muscle memory real”?

 Keeping memory in focus, muscle memory is not something stored into the muscle of a living organism, but it is the memory stored in one’s mind (subconscious mind). However, memories stored in your mind that are a lot like a store of every now and again instituted undertakings for your muscles.

Is muscle memory real?

Whereas, the other theory states that muscles have some kind of memory with regards to fitness & wellness and can get back into it after one has released self a little or on the off chance that they have lost their degree of wellness from a cutback because of damage.

How does muscle memory work?

When we try to connect the two above stated meanings of muscle memory, we, in short, can say muscle memory is the connection between brain and body. This connection is built over time with a process of rearranging and reorganizing our nerves to make the mind-body association quicker, stronger and increasingly precise.

Let’s now understand with an example of how does muscle memory training works. Imagine you are walking through an uneven rocky path over a mountain. While starting you may get imbalanced or you may even fall. This happens because all this functioning is new for your body which in result gets a little hard for your brain also. But once you walk the same path every day, your body and mind will get used to the path and every high and low will become obvious to you.

How does muscle memory work?

When your body practice some movement repeatedly your muscle memory saves it even if the movement is incorrect or unsafe for you. Muscle memory is a learned development whether the movement you are practicing is right or wrong. 

While you start learning a new body movement in the form of the gym, yoga, dance, martial arts, running or any other similar you may find it a little hard and uncomfortable at first. It happens because your mind is instructing your body to perform a movement it’s not familiar with.

Now as you keep practicing all those movements becomes easier and comfortable for you. This happens not only due to that we are picking up stamina and strength, yet in addition, since we are picking up body control & mindfulness, and neuromuscular effectiveness.

With letting our brain tell our body what and how to perform is just muscle memory gain. Muscle memory is a procedure of rearranging and revamping our nerves to make the mind/body association quicker, faster and progressively exact. This can also be called “neuroplasticity” – the capacity of our nervous system to reshape itself dependent on the requests we place on our mind and body.

Do muscle memory works on its own?


This is an important aspect to understand. Muscle memory does not work on its own. Muscle memory knows only what we have practiced over time. It can be wrong or right.

 Muscle memory saves everybody\’s movement we learn and perform without knowing that it is the correct way or not. A wrong body movement stored in muscle memory can also result in being harmful to us in many aspects. So, one must be very attentive and focused while learning and developing any physical movement in the correct way.

How long does muscle memory last?

Before talking about how long does muscle memory lasts, first, we should understand how long does it takes to develop muscle memory?

As we discussed above, muscle memory develops when you repeat a certain body movement or physical task. It might take a different time span depending upon every individual to develop muscle memory.

For some, it might take 5-6 days to learn a gym exercise or yoga posture whereas, for others, it might take 15 days to learn and involve in the same. It depends from individual to individual. Once your muscles get used to it will remain into your muscle memory.

How long does muscle memory last?

Now we have to find the answer to how long does muscle memory last?

Well according to studies muscle memory up to a minimum of 15 years or even lifetime. For example: Think of an individual who is learning martial arts has gotten control over every action and movement of the same. Now all sudden that individual meets an accident and is on bed rest for 6 months.

At this time period naturally, he won’t be able to perform martial arts at any chance. But once he fully recovered, he came back to his old martial arts routine. Within a short time span, he got all his control over every action and movement he learned before. This is the power of muscle memory.

Let’s take one more example, a man perform gym regularly with a perfectly balanced diet and routine. With this dedication, he has gained a perfect body and can perform every gym task incredibly perfect. He has gained all the good fats and fit in all aspects. Now once due to some reason he is not able to perform a gym or any other fitness exercise for 6 months. He started gaining back body fat and lost muscle mass.

With no fitness routine, he has lost the touch. But once he got back to the gym, it took him minimal time to get back into shape, gain muscle mass and to lose all the body fat he gained. Not only this but he also managed to get perfect strength, balance and flexibility in his body in an almost very little time span. What he experienced is the power of muscle memory.

How long does muscle memory last?

With the two above examples, it is clear that muscle memory lasts very long. In some cases, it lasts for 10, 15 or 20 years and in some, it lasts for a lifetime.

When you stop your running routine, doing gym exercise, cycling, performing yoga or doing martial arts your cell shrinks down to a smaller size but they don’t go away and are still present at their position. Once you resume back to your old routine the cell enlarges again.

If you have been away from your physical routine like (sports, boxing, cycling or any other related) for a longer time period, then it may take longer for you to retain back into your old self. Age and time play a very important role in this. The older you are the longer your body may take to get back into a routine.

Although muscle memory is always present there it takes comparatively more time if you are starting it after a long span. If you have left your routine for lesser time than it may take you less to get back into your physical routine.

 Declarative & episodic memory (Memories of facts and events of life)    Procedural memory (Memories of skills used for the movement of the body). It also includes muscle memory

Do muscles actually have memory?


Well No, muscles do not actually have the memory of their own. It’s your subconscious mind that stores memories for everybody\’s movement of ours. Once your body learns a new physical activity that needs practice it will remain stored into our subconscious mind forever. Even if you restart it after a long-time period your body muscles will never disagree on performing them.

However, while you practice a new physical movement your body may disagree and do not provide support at an instant. This happens because your body is not used to such functioning from before.

What happens when you do not use some muscles?

When you are constantly involved in some muscle movements, that process gets stored into the muscle memory. Now every next time you start that move your body and mind support it and knows how to function them. But once you stop using your muscle you lose them.

When you do not use a muscle or stop performing any muscle movement your muscle slowly retains that in its muscle memory. Your body stops supporting your muscles with energy and strength, which makes the cells shrink.


All in all, muscle memory is the motor skills performed by the body. When discussing it is being real, yes and no both can be said. Muscles have a memory of their own in relation to wellness and fitness and one can get back to his/her fitness routine after a long or short gap due to any uncertainties supports the answer “Yes” to the question is muscle memory real?

Whereas, the statement that supports the answer “No” muscle memory is not real is that muscle memory is none other than the connection between mind and body. The physical movement we follow in a routine gets stored into our subconscious mind as a memory.


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