Grunting in tennis increases ball velocity but not oxygen cost

Emily R. Callison, Kris E. Berg, Dusting R. Slivka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Grunting is widely used by professional tennis players, but no research has been done to verify enhanced performance with grunting. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if grunting enhanced ball velocity in groundstrokes and secondly, to determine if grunting increased the physiological cost of hitting (V̇O2, HR, VE/V̇O2, and RPE). Participants were 10 members of the men's (n = 5) and women's (n = 5) tennis teams at a Division I university who had just completed their indoor competitive season. Two hitting sessions were used as players repetitively hit forehand and backhand shots while either grunting or not grunting. Each hitting session consisted of five 2-minute periods with a 1-minute break in between each period. Ball velocity was measured with a radar gun. During each hitting session, players wore a portable metabolic measuring unit. HR was monitored using a Polar monitor, and RPE was assessed using Borg's 6-20 scale. Grunting increased ball velocity (kph) 3.8% compared with non-grunting condition (p < 0.034) with the mean 6 SD being 83.4 6 0.6.1 and 80.3 6 0.8.7, respectively. The physiological responses (V̇O2, HR, VE/V̇O2, and RPE) for the 2 hitting conditions were not significantly different for any variable. When averaged across both hitting conditions, HR over the 5-time periods was higher in periods 3-5 than period (p < 0.018) 1, whereas VE/V̇O2 and RPE were greater in periods 2-5 than period 1 (p = 0.001). RPE significantly increased over time with periods 2-5 being greater than period 1 (p = 0.001). It was concluded that grunting increased ball velocity without increasing V̇O2 or VE/ V̇O2 or RPE in comparison with not grunting. It may be worthwhile for players and coaches in tennis and other sports to experiment with grunting to determine possible improvement in performance.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1915-1919
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
    Volume28
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2014

    Fingerprint

    Tennis
    Oxygen
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Radar
    Firearms
    Sports
    Research

    Keywords

    • Breathing
    • Energy cost
    • Force
    • Groundstrokes
    • Valsalva maneuver

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

    Cite this

    Grunting in tennis increases ball velocity but not oxygen cost. / Callison, Emily R.; Berg, Kris E.; Slivka, Dusting R.

    In: Journal of strength and conditioning research, Vol. 28, No. 7, 07.2014, p. 1915-1919.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    abstract = "Grunting is widely used by professional tennis players, but no research has been done to verify enhanced performance with grunting. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if grunting enhanced ball velocity in groundstrokes and secondly, to determine if grunting increased the physiological cost of hitting (V̇O2, HR, VE/V̇O2, and RPE). Participants were 10 members of the men's (n = 5) and women's (n = 5) tennis teams at a Division I university who had just completed their indoor competitive season. Two hitting sessions were used as players repetitively hit forehand and backhand shots while either grunting or not grunting. Each hitting session consisted of five 2-minute periods with a 1-minute break in between each period. Ball velocity was measured with a radar gun. During each hitting session, players wore a portable metabolic measuring unit. HR was monitored using a Polar monitor, and RPE was assessed using Borg's 6-20 scale. Grunting increased ball velocity (kph) 3.8{\%} compared with non-grunting condition (p < 0.034) with the mean 6 SD being 83.4 6 0.6.1 and 80.3 6 0.8.7, respectively. The physiological responses (V̇O2, HR, VE/V̇O2, and RPE) for the 2 hitting conditions were not significantly different for any variable. When averaged across both hitting conditions, HR over the 5-time periods was higher in periods 3-5 than period (p < 0.018) 1, whereas VE/V̇O2 and RPE were greater in periods 2-5 than period 1 (p = 0.001). RPE significantly increased over time with periods 2-5 being greater than period 1 (p = 0.001). It was concluded that grunting increased ball velocity without increasing V̇O2 or VE/ V̇O2 or RPE in comparison with not grunting. It may be worthwhile for players and coaches in tennis and other sports to experiment with grunting to determine possible improvement in performance.",
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