Clenching - can it increase strength?

Clenching - can it increase strength?

To prevent injuries, boxers use mouth guards. You might have seen Mike Tyson clamp on a guard to prevent his teeth from getting knocked out. 

But can mouth guards improve your muscle strength? Give you more superhuman skills? 

Originally, mouth guards were used to prevent injuries to the face. But in an interesting twist, athletes started using it to build greater power and strength. 

The missing connection? Your neural pathways. Apparently, when you clench your mouth, you activate your mandible muscles. Mandible muscles are muscles of the mouth. 

In turn, the clenching of your muscles in the mouth creates a condition called occlusion. Occulsion is the blocking or closing of a blood vessel.

So imagine that the blood vessels leading up to your muscles were closed as a result of clenching.

Occlusion recruits specific muscle groups (fast-twitch fiber) and stimulates protein production in the body. 

So, did you get stronger as a result? The opinion is mixed.

There are three kinds of mouth clenchers. Standard, boil-and-bite, and customized.

To use clenching effectively, you need to create a mouth guard specifically tailored for your mouth.

Doing so ensures that when you bite, you get the right pressure and force, unique to you. You do not get the same results from buying something off-the-shelf. 

Research studies showed that using clenching can improve lower body strength and knee flexibility. With regards to agility and speed, the results were less convincing. 

So what would I recommend? 

I am finding the shape of your mouth, the manner in which we chew, whether you breathe in through your nose and mouth, and your wisdom teeth fascinating rabbit holes. 

It is clear that the shape of your teeth and mouth affects your nasal passageway, which in turn affects pretty much everything. 

So I am buying a mouth clenching [see here] and using it for my work out.

It is hard to measure at home whether you really made a difference to your strength and what caused it. But given the small investment, it is probably worth it.