As you grow older, gravity can take a toll on your facial muscles and jawline, causing a droopy look. At the same time, your skin stops creating as much elastic and collagen – the very protein fibers that firm the skin of your face, jaw and neck. Like any other muscle in your body, the muscles along your jawline can be toned with a variety of exercises.
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The Chewing Muscles
Consisting of four muscles located around your jaw joints, your chewing or masticatory muscles are responsible for moving your lower jaw. They can apply over 150 pounds of force to crush an object between your back teeth, according to “Vital Face: Facial Exercises and Massage for Health and Beauty” by Leena Kiviluoma. When the masseter muscles along the lower right and left sides of your jaw start to sag, they diminish your jawline. Perform an isometric exercise for your chewing muscles to help define your jawline. Place the inside of your right index finger against the inside of your right cheek, resting the back of your finger against your back molars. Position your left index finger in the same way on the left side. Grit your teeth, pushing your chewing muscles against your fingers. Hold the contraction for a count of five and then relax. Perform five reps.
Under the Chin
The muscle under your chin, or the platysma, can get soft and flabby. Perform an exercise to tighten this muscle and further sculpt your jawline. Begin by positioning the tips of your thumbs under your chin. While pressing your jawbone against your thumbs, use your thumbs to direct your jaw in little circles. Simultaneously, press the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, which will contract your chin muscles. Release your thumbs and then repeat the exercise 10 times.
Roar Like a Lion
If you only have time to do one facial exercise, roar like a lion to work all 53 facial muscles. The Simhafarjasana, or Roaring Lion-Face pose, can help your jawline battle the effects of gravity. Begin by sitting upright in a chair and putting your palms on your thighs. Take a long deep inhale through your nose. As you exhale, roll your tongue out and draw it down toward your chin. Simultaneously, roll your eyes upward. Envision the exaggerated face of a lion roaring. Hold the pose for four to 10 seconds and then release and inhale. If you repeat the exercise a few times, it’ll elevate the levels of nitric oxide in your nasal cavities and lighten your mood.
Kiss the Sky
Exercises that work the muscles in your neck and jaw can involve swallowing and kissing or puckering your lips. For example, begin an exercise by lifting your chin and nodding your head back. At the peak position, swallow and simultaneously push the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Repeat the exercise only tilt your head to the right, drawing your right ear to your right shoulder. Do the exercise a third time but tilt your head to the left. A variation of this exercise is to tilt your head back and kiss the ceiling or sky. Squeeze your lips together in an exaggerated pucker to work your chewing muscles. Perform four reps.