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Shout It Out: Breathe Oomph Into Your Workout

I learned a valuable lesson the other day and I’d like to pass it along: Screaming/yelling in the comfort of your own home is 136% fantastic.

That’s right. I became one of “those guys”.

First, a disclaimer:  I’m not talking about “vocal-chord-destruction” level yelling at your kids, your roommate, your partner, the dog, cat or even the goldfish. I’m talking about enthusiastically cranking the internal volume up when you’re working out those last few push-ups or feeling the “I wanna quit” burn in the final seconds of your Switch Kicks.

Here’s how it started: After sweating through Level 4 drills in Insanity, my arms were toast and I was “finito”. As a joke to make Lady-Friend (Coach MC) laugh through her sets, I started yelling all kinds of gibberish and found I was able to push my way through another set.

Why?

Breathing is important. Rhythmically breathing with your workout and exhaling on the “exertion” portion of the move (the part that requires you to work) creates balance, power and makes harder exercises less so. Far too often when straining through a tough move, we make it even tougher by holding our breath. A quick solution? Grunt, yell, holler or scream. Shouting out not only relieves the tension of holding your breath, your shout forces you to exhale– something that’s hard to do when you’re red-faced, silent and focusing on those last few reps. It also takes your mind off the fact your muscles are ready for a fire extinguisher.

Sure, if someone was to walk in on you they might think you’re insane… but we’re doing these workouts in the comfort of our own home for a reason– so we can look silly without judgment, work out in our favorite flip-flops (something I wouldn’t recommend) or have the luxury of wearing nothing but our favorite underwear.

In the end, whether you shout inspiration, grunt gibberish, whisper cuss words or simply breathe with all the calm of a summer morning, the important thing is that you’re breathing–which not only makes your workout more effective but in some cases mentally easier.

Just don’t do it in public. 

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