Why Do Boxers Yell When They Punch? 5 Helpful Facts!

You might be wondering why boxers make sounds exactly when they punch. In this article, I’ll talk about the different types of sounds that are popular among boxers and the various benefits and logical reasons for making such sounds:

Do Boxers Yell When They Punch?

Yes, boxers yell when punching. This helps expel air and regulate breathing, improving their body movement and striking power. Yelling aids in breath control during punches which directly impacts their form and power while enhancing overall mental energy.

Benefits of Making Noises While Punching for Boxers

Many boxers have their own opinions about the various so-called sound effects, But here are the most important benefits of making such sounds while punching.

1. Regulate Breathing Pattern

Inhaling takes oxygen inside the body whereas exhaling releases toxic carbon dioxide outside. So, a proper breathing pattern is necessary for a boxer as it helps to achieve better control over body muscles.

Usually, boxers exhale only while hitting punches by making noise and inhaling between any other time. This technique helps them to regulate breathing in a much better way.

If boxers don’t make sounds with their tongue while hitting, their breath can run out anytime. Their tongue acts as a barrier for exhaling air and thus they use their lips in a particular way to make noise.

While punching on a boxing bag, boxers forcefully make sounds to get used to this technique. As there is no risk of counterattacks, boxers use this opportunity to develop their muscle memory during their training.

Afterward, it becomes a natural part of their fighting and the boxer will manage this breathing pattern unconsciously.

Poor breathing technique in-ring leads to stiffness, lack of power, and endurance. Whereas if breathing is done in a proper and controlled way it helps the boxers to throw faster punches with fluid movements and offers longevity in the ring.

However, making noise on every small shot (like a light jab) is not necessary. In normal patterns, boxers throw punches and then maintain a distance from opponents to balance breathing. During fast combinations of attacks, some boxers exhale only through clamped teeth or just once on the last shot.

2. Enhance the Power of Strikes

The most significant benefit of yelling is that it adds extra power to the punches. It is scientifically proven that making weird sounds or grunting (a form of exhaling) improves athletic performance output by almost 10 percent.

Breathing out forcefully helps the person’s body to synchronize all the muscles. And thus it becomes easier for them to channel their power to one technique.

The striking power and breathing pattern of boxers are closely linked with each other. So, mostly every boxer keeps their mouth closed throughout the match and exhales sharply only while punching to enhance the power of strikes.

That’s the reason why the force of the punch is also analyzed by the amount of air exhaled along with the volume of sound made by them.

While throwing small shots boxers lightly exhale only through the nose without creating noise. Whereas on heavy and high-intensity punches they exhale heavily. Their knockout punches mostly came with the loudest and heaviest noise.

Not only boxers but karate and powerlifting contestants also yell and exhale forcefully to uplift the weight in the best possible way and increase their strike power.

Some boxers are worried and nervous during the match so when they exhale air and yell, tension adds up to which makes their punch stronger. So tensing up is also beneficial for some shots and attacks.

3. Tighten the Core Abs

If the opponent aim’s directly at the flexible stomach it becomes difficult to survive in a ring. Just one perfect and powerful attack on the abs is enough to end the bout. That’s why boxers keep their abs tight to standoff in front of such counterpunches.

When boxers exhale sharply by making a weird sound it will create rigidity in the core and their abdominal muscles get hardened.

Even you can also try this: When you exhale forcefully by breathing out air from your lungs, it tightens and strengthens your core abs. Now slightly move a hand on your stomach you will find it solid and hard.

That’s why boxers use this technique to reduce the impact of counter-attacks and withstand dangerous counterpunches and avoid vulnerable situations.

4. To Distract And Intimidate Opponent

It’s obvious that grunts or weird sounds of boxers while attacking can distract their opponent. There is also one study that proves the correlation between this noise and the late response of the opponent.

On yelling opponents somewhere also get frightened and discouraged. In martial arts like karate and boxing, fighters yell to not only increase their strike power but also to somewhat scare their opponents.

However, this kind of intimidation only works at the amateur level of boxing because professional boxers are kind of getting used to it.

5 Types of Sounds Boxers Make While Punching

Changing the sound and the force of exhalation can change the impact of the punch because every sound requires a different grasp of jaws and mouthguards as each is unique in its own way.

Here’re the most common sounds used by boxers:

1. “EEESH” Sound

The fastest and most relaxed sound in boxing is ” EEESH ” because small air exhalation is required for it. And thus one can use it during quick counter-attacks without exhausting.

This sounds forms when the boxer breathes out through the throat by applying little effort from the core abs and leaving air through the teeth. Some boxers exhale with closed lips so their sound is pronounced as ” BEESH” which also creates the same impact.

Mostly the boxers who love to surprise their opponents through high-speed shots ( e.g potshots) use this sound. But it is not going to work if one wants to attack with powerful punches.

2. “AGHHH” Sound

I must say that ” AGHHH ” is the most powerful sound in boxing and that’s the reason why All the dominant fighters popularly use it.

This sound provides energy to the whole body and activates the boxer’s back. The “AGHHH” sound is perfect especially when a boxer is trying to throw hooking punches and wider shots.

Boxers create this sound from the back of their throat with an open mouth and the boxers who prefer to keep lips closed pronounce ” PAH ” instead of “AGHHH”. The only disadvantage of this sound is that it uses lots of air and thus boxer is able to hit only 2-3 punches in a period of time.

The “AGHHH” sound is not a good option while attacking with combinations because your breath can run out anytime. And also boxer opens their mouth while creating this sound which is a vulnerable and unsafe position for their jaws.

3. “IMHHH” Sound

“IMHHH” sound combines speed with strength. It is good for longer and faster combinations as it adds some more extra strength to the speedy punches.

It is a modified version of the “EEESH” sound. Just boxers breathe out little more air and apply force from the core more hardly which helps them to add power to the punch. The boxers keep their lips closed to create an “HMMMF” sound.

But the ” IMHHH” sound doesn’t work for everyone as it needs more air so some boxers get tired faster. And for longer arm punchers this sound does not suit them perfectly so they avoid using it.

4. “UNNGH” Sound

The “UNNGH” sound came from the abdomen (core) and it is used when a boxer wants to punch by front body muscles by tilting forward. This sound adds more power to speed combinations and to digging punches (e.g hooks and uppercuts to the body).

The “UNNGH” sound can be used in several methods, some boxers used it to hit a single shot in relaxed mode. It is actually a relaxed sound if the punches are thrown in a slower manner. While some fighters use the same sound in urgency to dig many punches.

5. “OOOSH” Sound

This sound is first priority of aggressive fighters who prefers to throw overhand punches. The “OOOSH” sound is used while attacking by leaning forward like the “UNNGH” sound with straight shots.

The only difference is that it came from the chest (front body) not from the core and back muscles. Boxers who exhale less air for making sound create a tighter sound “OOH” instead of ” OOOSH”.

According to my opinion, the “OOOSH” sound is more relaxed and stronger than “EEESH”. But if body language and moves are not correct then it can also make you tired more easily.

My Final Thoughts

This is how breathing sound and boxing style are co-related to each other. Exhalation sound should come only while punching not before not after. As it’s nearly impossible to attack hard with improper breathing patterns.

Some boxers make very distinctive sounds (something like “CH-OOH”) as they had modified it themselves according to their own breathing pattern. Now it all depends upon your convenience and personal preference.

Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.