The first thing people notice about you is your face, so it’s not surprising that as a society, we’re constantly preoccupied with wanting to look our best. In fact, research has proven that physical attractiveness is very important to humans. Whether we’re aware of it or not (whether or not, we choose to admit it), we’re often judging others based on the way they look.
This might have something to do with evolution. Certain facial traits that look particularly masculine or feminine might be how our ancestors were able to tell if a mate was healthy and fertile. Studies and surveys have also shown that women tend to prefer men who have a strong, distinguished jawline.
As men and women age, the shape of their face goes through various changes. Your jawline may become less defined if there is extra fat in the neck and jaw area, or if the muscles have begun to shrink, which is why you’ll tend to notice older people have less prominent jawlines.
While you can’t totally fight off ageing or base genetics, there are some things you can to do to improve the look of your jawline. Exercising your jaw muscles will help to build them up and give your jaw a more defined and attractive look.
How These Exercises Help Your Jawline
According to most chiropractors, our front neck muscles are often underdeveloped, inhibited, and almost never exercised at the gym. They can end up being a major cause of droopy neck and a hidden cause of neck pains.
The muscles we’re referring to attach from the sternum and collar bone or clavicle to various parts of the jawbone. With the proper form, these exercises should not only sharpen the jawline, but also prevent neck pain, headaches, and jaw pain.
To find exercises that work, we’ve done the research and testing for you. Here are five exercise moves to give your neck muscles a solid workout, and that can help to define your jawline.
1. Neck Curl Ups
Think of this as an abdominal curl for your neck. It’s performed by lying on your back with your tongue pressed on the roof of your mouth, as this will activate the front neck muscles.
Once you’re lying down flat, squeeze and bring your chin to your chest and then lift your head off the ground for about two inches. It’s important to not lift your stomach up, and also not to poke your chin out. You should start by doing three sets for 10 repetitions first, and once you get used to the exercise, increase the number of sets and gradually build up to more. Do not rush when performing this exercise. Take your time because these muscles are often underdeveloped and thus can cause neck strain if you try too much too fast.
2. Collar Bone Backup
This exercise can be done either while seated, standing, or lying flat down on your back. Keeping your head level with the floor, bring your head back several inches to feel the muscles on either side of your throat contract, then bring your head back to the starting position and your muscles should relax. Make sure that your ears stay over your shoulders and your head stays level with the ground.
Start with three sets of 10 repetitions at first, and then progress to holding the position for more than 30 seconds, once you’ve got the hang of things.
3. Tongue Twister
This exercise will effectively target the muscles right underneath the chin, and you can do this while sitting up straight.
Start by placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth directly behind your teeth. Press your tongue to completely close the roof of your mouth and add tension. Begin humming and making a vibrating sound, and this will activate the muscles.
Complete three sets of 15 reps when you’re just starting out, then increase accordingly as and when it feels comfortable.
4. Vowel Sounds
These movements will target the muscles around the mouth and also on the sides of the lips.
Open your mouth wide then say “O,” followed by “E.” You don’t have to audibly say it out loud – just moving your mouth according to the vowels is enough to work out the facial muscles. Be sure to exaggerate these sounds and movements and not show or touch your teeth.
Once again, three sets of 15 reps would be sufficient, but if you feel like challenging yourself, increase the number of sets.
5. Chin Up
This exercise helps lift the face and chin muscles, and it’s not the same as the chin ups you would do using a pull-up bar.
Sitting down, close your mouth and push your lower jaw out, then lift your lower lip. You should feel a stretch build just under the chin and in the jawline — that means your chin muscles are getting a good workout. Hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds, then relax and repeat.
Perform three sets of 15 reps, and increase it once you’ve mastered the basics.