Grunting ‘serves’ a purpose in tennis

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Other athletes grunt, too, and physiologists say there's good reason for that

(WYTV) – Many tennis players grunt when they hit the ball during matches.

Sports writers point to Monica Seles and Jimmy Connors as those professionals who really started the grunt in the women’s and men’s games.

Maria Sharapova is especially loud, as high as 109 decibels, which is close to being as loud as a chainsaw.

Listen to martial arts fighters — they grunt, too. Same with boxers. Why?

Because grunting can help your play.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha took ten of the best tennis players in America — five men and five women — to play the game. The researchers divided them into two groups — one was told to grunt and the other was told not to.

They all played for 20 minutes. The grunters’ shots flew 4% faster.

Exercise physiologists point out that we use our breath in strength and conditioning. Take a breath in, it stabilizes your spine and helps you generate that little bit of extra force as you hit the ball.

Grunting and exhaling can sharpen your focus. A sharp grunt can also distract your opponent, who is listening to the smack of the ball to help tell where and how far it’s going.

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