Do you ever hear people grunting at the gym as they’re getting in all their weight-lifting reps or trying to sprint out their last minute on the treadmill? Well, Kate Hudson is one of those folks—and the audible tactic really works for her.
In a recent Instagram video, Hudson showed off an especially trying Pilates session—one in which she definitely wasn’t afraid to moan and groan to propel herself through the intense exercises: “Sometimes you just gotta make a lot of noise to get there!” she wrote. While the sounds may land you some side-eye from fellow gym-goers, science says those vocalizations really do help.
Researchers in past studies looked at the effects of making noise during workouts, with two of the most notable cases being a 2014 study examining tennis players and a 2015 study dealing with jumping distances. In both cases, results showed that grunts and groans boosted athletes’ physical performance.
“Most investigators believe that the deep breath with the momentary breath hold actually helps to stabilize the spine during heavy efforts,” Dennis G. O’Connell, PhD, lead researcher of the tennis study, told Self. He added that the sound-emitting portion of the breath cycle comes from exhaling, and the whole process contributes to a controlled breathing pattern. “This serves to protect the athlete from injury, and subsequently provides a stable base of support for a powerful effort.”
Because making noises can be so beneficial, some trainers encourage it during their sessions with clients.
“I find that making noise offers the same motivation as visualizing or chanting a mantra. Making noise helps students channel their frustration or pain in a helpful way and remain focused.” —trainer Nadia Murdock
“I find that making noise offers the same motivation as visualizing or chanting a mantra,” said trainer Nadia Murdock. “Making noise helps students channel their frustration or pain in a helpful way and remain focused. [They yell] when it gets tough but they don’t want to give up.”
So the next time you’re in a tough workout and need an extra push to finish, don’t be afraid to pull a Hudson and grunt it out.