Muscle Memory?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Muscle Memory?
9
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 1:52pm
Do you think that when you do something as a child and stop for a long time, your body is still used to the activity? I have two friends who never work out and they say they're in bad shape. One ran in high school, the other grew up skiing. The person who ran in hs can go out and run, I'd guess easily outrun me, but gets tired doing other activities. The other friend is an amazing skier. We went for a day and she can do run after run w/out stopping all day. Neither of them transfer that to other cardio activities. Does muscle memory last that long?





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 2:47pm
Wow, that's really interesting! Maybe doing those activities for so long just made it come more naturally even after all that time, kind of like a "no-brainer". I know that I tend to go a lot longer at an exercise when I'm not thinking about it as much.

Elaine

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 2:52pm
i wouldn't know - i don't have any muscle memory because i never did anything physical as a kid! i've never heard of anyone like that but it makes sense.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 3:02pm
Muscle memory lasts a lifetime. Cardio fitness does not, nor does muscular strength.

I believe the phrase "I'm out of shape" is a relative thing. One person's "out of shape" is another person's in great shape.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 3:09pm
but with the muscle memory of skiing or running, the person can do those activities much more effortlessly and efficiently than a beginning runner or skiier - which compensates for the fact that the ex-skiier or runner isn't in as good shape as the beginner.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 3:12pm
I completely agree. The muscle memory makes it more effortless mentally and physically to do the task. thus - muscle memory is why people who want to really pursue a particular sport or dedication for a lifetime don't "go out there and flail around".

It's important to learn to run so that the body learns positive muscle memory and limits your injuries. To cycle properly so that you make progress and not just "spin your wheels". To paddle correctly so that you don't flail around on the water - rather than make speed thru the water.

It's when you have great muscle memory in slow and fast twitch capacities that your cardio and endurance capacities determine how good, fast, enduring you are.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 6:07pm
Yes, but in the case of these two people, they don't work out at all and haven't in years. So, while they are in better shape than some people, they're not for being able to do what they can do in their respective sport. I think it's like jen said that if it's second nature, it takes less effort. For example, a person who is in great shape and has been in a wheelchair learning to walk will get tired much more quickly than someone who is very out of shape but has been walking his whole life. I also see people skating who are at ease on the ice and get great speed, despite being obese, because they skated as children.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:39am
Adding a variable for discussion. For the record, I know people like this Jean. My father is a prime example, actually. He eats like crap, never exercises and has darn near smoked himself into the grave, but put a pair of skis on him and it is balletic. Bloody annoying too, for me, since I have NO coordination whatsoever. His runs were like silk, flawless. He couldn't do anything else though.

Now, my opinion is that it may be less muscle memory and more comfort/lack of stress. You talk about the skating. For me, putting on ice skates is dangerous work. It becomes fight or flight territory. So my body's reaction to that stress makes me less efficient mechanically. Yet you put me in water and I can swim for hours without fail, because of my comfort. It isn't because I'm a trained swimmer or because my muscles remember how to swim, it is because I don't have the fight/flight mechanism engaged. That mechanism will make any one of us, including the very in shape, not as efficient as we could be in a new situation. And lacking that, doing something we feel "SAFE" doing, we can go forever. Tell you what. Erin is a trained runner, a professional. I would hazard that she could run a 5K without breaking a sweat. Ask her to run that same 5K with an ax weilding maniac pacing her and she won't be as efficient as she would without him. Stress/fear will mess up your performance, being able to perform without it will heighten your abilities.

Just my take. That said, I'm sure that muscle memory plays a part, I just don't think it is the only variable here, nor do I think that comfort/safety is the only other one, I would guess there are many.

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:48am
That makes sense, esp w/ sports like skiing, skating, swimming where comfort plays a big part. When you mentioned swimming, I thought, that's another one where people who don't work out way outswim me. I'm very comfortable in the water but I am a bad swimmer. Water polo players blow me away! I'm like jen where I didn't excel in a sport when I was young so I don't have that natural tendencies, whether it's muscle memory, comfort, or whatever else it is.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cl_jeanwl
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 9:52am
i think that's true in sports that are potentially dangerous or in which a certain comfort level is required like skiing, swimming, ice skating, etc. also a lot of sports like skiing or skating are easier when you don't think too much about them and don't need to. but i think with something like running the opposite is probably true. i think i'd run a lot better with an axe wielding maniac chasing me. i think that's more muscle memory than comfort level. even with skiing, jean is comfortable skiing, but still her friend was better. i think muscle memory definitely plays a big part in that.