10 Tips to Stop Grunting Habit: Complete Guide

10 Tips to Stop Grunting Habit Complete Guide

Grunting is a common habit that many people have when exerting effort or straining during physical activities. It’s an involuntary noise that comes from tightening your diaphragm and forcing air out through your vocal cords.

While grunting can provide a boost during a tough workout, it can also be an embarrassing and disruptive habit. Loud grunting in public places like the gym or office can disturb others. And grunting too often may be a sign you need to lighten your exercise load.

Fortunately, breaking your grunting habit is possible with the right strategies. This article provides tips on how to stop grunting during workouts and daily activities.

Root Causes of Grunting

To curb grunting, it helps to understand why it happens in the first place. Here are some of the main causes:

Physical Exertion

Grunting naturally occurs when you apply intense muscular force and strain. Weight lifting, sprinting, or carrying heavy objects often elicits grunting.

Poor Breathing Habits

Holding your breath or taking shallow breaths reduces oxygen intake needed for exertion. This prompts tightening of the diaphragm and grunting.


As muscles tire during exercise, more effort is required to maintain intensity. This often translates into excessive grunting toward the end of a tough workout.

Lack of Focus

Zoning out or losing focus on breathing technique can lead to reverting to grunting during physical activities. Staying mentally engaged helps minimize it.

Stress Relief

Some people grunt as a way to release stress, anxiety, or frustration. It becomes an emotional release similar to sighing loudly.

Mimicking Others

Hearing other gym members or athletes grunt can lead you to mimic them. Group settings promote grunting over time.

Why You Should Stop Grunting

Before diving into how to stop grunting, it’s important to understand why this habit should be broken in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons to kick the grunting habit:

1. It’s Rude and Disruptive

Grunting, even mildly, can be perceived as rude and disruptive to those around you. It can be distracting in shared spaces like the gym, office, or public areas. Breaking the grunting habit shows consideration for others.

2. It Wastes Energy

Exerting effort into grunting takes energy away from the actual physical exertion. By eliminating grunting, you can channel all your energy and breath into the exercise or task at hand.

3. It Doesn’t Help Performance

Many people grunt thinking it will boost their performance. However, studies show grunting does not increase power or strength. Staying quiet and focused is actually more beneficial.

4. It Can Be Bad for Your Health

Holding your breath and straining to grunt can increase blood pressure. This strain can also lead to hernias or hemorrhoids over time. Proper breathing is healthier.

5. It Can Damage Vocal Cords

Repeated grunting and vocal strain can lead to vocal cord damage and voice disorders like hoarseness. Preventing grunting protects your vocal health.

Now that you know why it’s advantageous to stop grunting, let’s look at useful tips and strategies to break this habit for good.

10 Tips to Stop Grunting

1. Increase Awareness

The first step is increasing your own awareness of when and how often you grunt. Pay close attention during exercise or daily activities and make a mental note or keep a log of each time you catch yourself grunting. This awareness is key to changing the habit.

2. Practice Proper Breathing

Learning diaphragmatic breathing techniques helps optimize airflow and oxygen intake, which makes exertion easier without needing to grunt. Focus on taking full, deep belly breaths through your exercise.

3. Strengthen Your Core

A strong core supports exertion and minimizes strain that can lead to grunting. Do core-strengthening exercises like planks regularly. A solid core makes lifting and exercise easier.

4. Use Noise-canceling Headphones

Wearing headphones playing soothing music or white noise can help block out grunting sounds you may subconsciously mimic from others at the gym. Avoid mimicking by blocking those sounds.

5. Use a Grunt Jar

Place a jar in your workout area and add a quarter each time you catch yourself grunting. The cash motivation can help break the habit! Donate the money once the jar fills up.

6. Visualize Staying Quiet

Visualization is powerful. Picture yourself lifting or exerting force quietly, breathing steadily. Visualize this enough times and it can start to become reality.

7. Scale Back Weight/Intensity

If heavy lifting consistently causes grunting, try lowering the weight and focusing on proper form and breathing. Work back up to heavier weights slowly over time.

8. Explosive Exhales

Rather than grunting, practice forceful exhales to get tension out. Make a strong but quiet “hhhaaah” sound as you exhale during exertion.

9. Be Patient

Change takes time. Track your progress and don’t get discouraged. Stick with these tips and grunting less will become your new normal.

10. Practice Yoga/Meditation

Yoga and meditation strengthen core muscles while improving breathing and focus. Both can help minimize grunting during stressful or strenuous activities.

Grunting Alternatives

Rather than grunting, try implementing one of these alternatives:

  • Controlled exhales – Practice controlled, forceful exhaling without vocalizing as you exert energy.
  • Hissing – Making a “sss” sound while exhaling is less disruptive if you need to vocalize.
  • Humming – Humming a tune can prevent grunting.
  • Affirmations – Say empowering words like “you got this!” instead of grunting.
  • Silence – The most effective alternative is simply breathing quietly and saying nothing at all.

Practicing one of these alternatives repeatedly will help replace your grunting habit over time.

Additional Tips for Quitting the Grunting Habit

  • Hydrate well – Being well-hydrated makes exertion easier and grunting less likely.
  • Get plenty of sleep – Fatigue makes grunting habits worse. Prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Correct form – Using proper lifting form reduces strain and the urge to grunt. Ask a trainer to check your technique.
  • Lift weights gradually – Incrementally increase weight amounts to strengthen muscles without grunt-provoking strain.
  • Avoid breath holding – Holding breath leads to pressure and grunting. Remember to breathe consistently.
  • Strengthen your muscles – Well-conditioned muscles can handle exertion easier. Follow a strength-training program.
  • Use a tennis ball – Putting a tennis ball in your mouth forces you to breathe through your nose and reduces the urge to grunt.
  • Find accountability – Ask a partner to help remind you not to grunt during workouts or tasks. Accountability helps.

With consistency implementing these tips, you can successfully retrain your body’s reactions and eliminate your grunting habit for good.

Helpful Gear & Accessories

Certain gear and workout accessories can help reduce grunting:

  • Lifting Belt – Provides core stability and support during heavy lifts to reduce strain.
  • Ear Plugs – Block out the sound of other grunters which prevents mimicking.
  • Water Bottle – Ensure adequate hydration to prevent fatigue-related grunting.
  • Grip Trainers – Strengthen grip and reduce hand strain that prompts grunts.
  • Wrist Wraps – Compress wrists to alleviate strain that leads to grunting during pressing moves.
  • Athletic Tape – Tape thumbs during pulling moves like rows or pull-ups to avoid grunt-inducing hand discomfort.
  • Yoga Blocks – Aid in proper squat, lunge, and other exercise alignment to minimize awkward positions that cause grunting.
  • Heart Rate Monitor – Track intensity to avoid overexertion and grunt-prompting fatigue.
  • Nose Clips – Prevent air release through the nose which forces you to exhale more slowly and quietly through the mouth.

When to Seek Help

Persistent grunting may indicate an underlying medical issue or breathing impairment. See your physician if you:

  • Grunt loudly doing light everyday tasks
  • Have difficulty taking deep breaths
  • Feel short of breath frequently
  • Have chronic cough or wheezing
  • Have heart or lung disease

Diagnostic tests like chest x-rays, CT scans, pulmonary function tests, or bronchoscopies may be recommended. Treatment will depend on the cause but may include medication, breathing therapies, or surgery.

See a physical therapist if loud grunting only occurs with certain motions or positions. They can assess flexibility and strength imbalances contributing to exertion and grunting.

A sports psychologist can help develop mental strategies to break grunting habits that have psychological origins. Cognitive behavioral therapy changes negative thought patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I grunt more as I get fatigued during exercise?

As muscles tire, more exertion is required to move the weight, prompting breath holding and excessive grunting. This signals it’s time to end your set. Improving endurance helps.

Are there grunt-proof exercises I can do?

Moves relying on balance, flexibility, and lighter loads like Pilates, yoga, and air squats naturally elicit less grunting than heavy strength training.

Will wearing a weight belt prevent me from grunting?

Weight belts provide core and low back support during heavy lifts, reducing strain that prompts breath holding and grunting. But don’t use it as a crutch.

How can I avoid grunting when lifting near my max weight?

Have a spotter so you can safely perform quality reps without compensating with poor form and grunting. You can also do heavy partial reps without the grind.

If my friends grunt, will I naturally grunt too?

It’s very common to mimic grunting behaviors, especially in group workout settings. Trying noise-canceling headphones and focusing on your own breathing technique helps avoid this response.


Breaking the grunting habit takes diligence but doing so makes exercising more pleasant for both you and those around you. Be mindful of when you grunt, breathe properly, lighten intensities if needed, and implement other anti-grunting strategies.

With consistent effort, you can retrain yourself to save the audible exertion noises for when they’re truly necessary, like during an all out sprint. In most other cases, keeping it quiet allows for better concentration, form, and workout performance.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.