Yelling While Working Out Can Actually Improve Your Performance & Here’s How
There is something about grunting or moaning while exercising that brings to mind the cliché of a cocky weightlifter, or maybe even that person who seems to be having multiple, heavy-breathing orgasms in your yoga class. But the truth of the matter is, yelling while working out can feel really cathartic and energizing. Not to mention, it might just be really good for your body.
Some exercise psychologists, in fact, believe a good yell or groan is a practice in mentally preparing for a moment of forced exertion or physical release. As sports psychologist Charlie Brown told the Los Angeles Times, grunting while exercising can allow you to be more mentally present overall in your workout. "It is part of total concentration," he said, referring to “grunting” in particular. "It really is a matter of giving oneself over to the process."
Vanessa Dunleavy, a buti and vinyasa yoga teacher, says she considers it a way to remove static energy from the body, relieve stress, and help people be more present during an exercise practice, which she reiterates should be a judgment-free zone, both of yourself and of others.
She tells Elite Daily,
I encourage my students to make sounds. Make the weird noise! It makes you feel good, it allows others people to release and do the same.
While there's some debate as to whether or not yelling during a workout really impacts performance, some evidence suggests it may affect your strength.
A 2009 study from Iowa State University involving martial artists measured their handgrip strength on a dynamometer, a device used to measure force. They first gripped without noise, then tried again while performing a breath/sound technique used in martial arts called a “kiap,” which is basically a quick and loud yell. When they made the noise, their strength increase by about seven percent.
Even if you're not looking to increase strength in your workouts, the power of yelling and sound is actually considered by some to be primally healing, and there's a whole psychology and mode of therapy behind using such sounds as a means of releasing trauma.
While having a few good yells or moans while you exercise might not necessarily solve neurosis, it can, at least, help relieve a little bottled-up stress, which I think everyone can benefit from, amirite?
So, even if it seems a little weird, give it a try. You might just be surprised by how good it makes you feel.