Exercises to Improve the Platysma Muscle

Mature Woman With Towel Around Neck
A mature woman is standing in the gym with a towel around her neck. (Image: tetmc/iStock/Getty Images)

The platysma muscle is found at the front of the neck, under the chin. Platysma banding is known as a "turkey neck." Turkey neck is more common in women than men, and many people seek cosmetic surgical procedures, such as a neck lift, to reduce the appearance of a sagging platysma muscle. However, before you opt for surgery, some lower face and neck exercises may tighten and firm this area of your jaw and neck.

Platysma Muscle

The platysma muscle extends from the upper portion of the chest to the lower jaw and part of the face, a system of muscles known as the superficial musculoaponeurotic system plane. This group of muscles, when toned, literally holds your neck and jaw line upward in your youth but may separate during the normal aging process, leading to a drooping chin, sagging jaw line and loose skin under the chin known as the turkey neck. Aging and lack of skin and muscle tone encourage the placement of fat layers beneath the muscle sheath.

Range of Motion

Practice daily range of motion exercises for your neck to keep muscles flexible and toned, suggests the University of Maryland. Movement promotes toning, so tilting your head slowly from side to side or front to back will exercise all of the muscles of the lower face, jaw and neck, engaging the platysma muscle group and leading to a firmer jaw line. Such exercises can be performed several times a day, repeating each side-to-side or front-to-back motion five to 10 times for each set.

Hanging Head Exercise

Lie on your bed with your head hanging slightly over the side. Start with your hands down at your sides, but as you feel your neck growing stronger, place a light hand-held weight against your forehead. Exhaling, slowly lift your chin toward your chest. Hold the contraction for a moment and then relax your head back to your starting position. Repeat this exercise three to five times to start, increasing repetitions as your neck muscles grow stronger.

Chin Firm

Stand or sit with your shoulders relaxed, facing forward. Place your lower lip over your upper lip and tilt your head back, feeling the stretch along the sides of the jaw and along the front of the neck. Stretch until you can see the ceiling, and hold this position for several seconds. For an extra boost, thrust your chin upward slightly to feel added resistance along your lower jaw line and all of the muscles of the platysma, from chin to chest. Slowly return to your starting position and then repeat three to four more times.

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