Atrophy, Isolation and the identification of Batman’s super power

Atrophy is ‘the gradual decline in effectiveness or vigour due to decrease or neglect.’  It is the ‘use or lose it’ component to fitness.

It is why you should take the stairs rather than the lift and why you shouldn’t use the arms on the arm chair to get up.

Your body is clever.  It is not going to put effort into maintaining something that isn’t being used.

In this time of isolation and staying at home it is important for your body (and mind) that you continue to do something with your body otherwise you will lose the ability to do it.

I don’t think this is too much of an issue as so many fitness people are offering on line options and I see so many people out walking around the park (keeping the appropriate distance) that I am sure the message seems to be getting through.


people are also watching more films.

I am a Batman person – particularly the Dark Knight trilogy.  (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen it.  And also Why Not?)

In it Batman is beaten up and thrown into a prison.  There he lies on a bed for what we can assume is days and weeks rather than hours.  He is then diagnosed with a broken back.  They fix this by punching the vertebrae back into line – Not the recommended medical procedure – and then they suspend him from a rope until he can walk.

I get a bit confused by the time line in this film but according to the internet (that most reliable source of information) this is for 80 days.

I had a friend who was recently stuck in bed for 6 weeks – that is 42 days.  When she got out of bed she had problems putting one foot in front of the other; her legs were so weak.

After 80 days they cut him down and he still looks as buff as ever.

Is this the back of someone who has suffered atrophy?  Could he ever have  climbed out of a pit in a death defying escape and saved the world if he had suffered atrophy?  No.  Batman’s super power is that his muscles do not atrophy!


We do not have Batman’s super powers so do something to keep your body active during this time of restricted movements.  Dance like no one is watching.

Stay Safe

(Ironically the actor’s previous film showed extreme atrophy and they could have filmed out of sequence and it been a bit more realistic – but hey, Its Batman.  Who want’s realistic?)

Author: Anatomy Fundamentals

Janet Philp has spent a lifetime exploring fitness and wellbeing. Starting in group exercise, travelling through rugby to representing the UK at martial arts before including Yoga, meditation, Budokon and personal instruction. Her passion is anatomical function and educating people to use their bodies to their full potential.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: