Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Why do people grunt with effort? © Getty Images

Why do people grunt with effort?

Asked by: Angus Thorp, Staffordshire

When you exert yourself, it helps to stiffen your torso to provide a rigid anchor point for the muscles of your arms and legs. This works best if you hold your breath and tense your abdominal muscles, compressing the air in your lungs.


As you ease off and breathe out again, the air is forced out of your throat, still partially clamped shut, and this creates the grunting sound. A 2014 study found that grunting gives tennis players stronger serves.

Read more:



luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


Sponsored content