You may have heard about muscle memory. But what is muscle memory, how can it work to your advantage and do you have to do anything special to make use of it?
Muscle Memory Explained
On the internet, you find various explanations on “muscle memory”, some going as far out as saying that muscles have a brain. Which made me wonder if muscles are conscious and if I should actually try to communicate with those fellas.
But, in all seriousness, it actually is quite simple. Muscle memory is nothing but the motor skills you learn when you repeatedly do a task:
Special Training Programs
As said in the video, activating your muscle memory doesn’t really require you to do anything special. After about three months of practice with the same exercises, the brain will have laid a solid foundation for the required motor skills, which are continuously reinforced the longer you keep working out.
When you then switch to new exercises, there may be an accommodation phase (which we actually strive for), but as the human body has only that many muscles, some of them will have been involved in the exercises you did before. Therefore at least some of the learned skills are carried over.
The only thing that potentially can help things along a bit, is some practice with Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Picture courtesy of Christian Haugen.