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Why You Shouldn't Smile at the Gym

cronfeld / flickr

Want to tap your secret power source? A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research states that clenching your jaw can boost your vertical jump and weightlifting ability.

When 14 college athletes performed countermovement jumps, the researchers found that those who kept their jaw clenched generated significantly more force through their lower body muscles than those relaxing their mouth. Not only did the clenching group sky higher, but they also elevated more quickly. The study’s authors also highlight previous findings that show a 16-percent increase in grip strength through jaw clenching.

While the mechanism behind the benefits is still unclear, it’s believed that the oral action triggers brain mechanisms responsible for the power boost. The researchers suggest using a mouth guard when attempting this mouthy move in order to preserve your dental health.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Plyometrics, Power, Training, Strength

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