I am stunned. Eleven years after a stroke my muscle memory still works. I have been doing abdominal exercises to prevent back spasms. But I still arched my back by leaning against the kitchen counter to maintain my balance while reaching. To stop this bad habit I had to used a memory aid. 1st I leaned my sound hand on a piece of Dycem. Then I put my hemiplegic hand on the counter for support. This creates a space between my stomach and the sink. After lots of repetition I stand up straight without having to think about it.
Athletes call the ability to execute a practiced movement muscle memory. But muscles do not remember - the brain remembers. A part of the brain called the cerebellum stores motor memories so it can automatically tell muscles what to do. Relearning movement is mentally exhausting because stroke survivors have to tell their body to do EVERY LITTLE movement.
Moving without thinking about it is a blessing.