You’ve probably heard of the term ‘turkey neck’. It refers to sagging skin around the neck, caused by age-related weakening of neck muscles and loss of skin elasticity.
Many people try neck exercise to get rid of sagging neck and jowls. But do these exercises really work?
There isn’t a proper study that has looked into the effectiveness of neck exercises.
But based on what we know about exercise, doing neck exercises can help tone your neck muscles and may reduce some of the sagging.
However, if you have excess skin around your neck, exercise is not going to be very helpful. Even if your muscles tighten, your skin will remain loose.
Generally, neck exercises work best for people with mild sagging. If you’ve just noticed some loose skin around your jaws and neck, various exercises can help slow it down and maybe even reverse some of the sagging.
Exercises for sagging neck and jowls
If you want to try toning your neck muscles, here are the best neck exercises for sagging neck and jowls. They are all pretty easy and you can do any of them at home, in the office or when commuting.
Remember that the success of these exercises is consistency. Do them 2-3 times a day to see results.
1. Chewing exercise
While seated, lift your head back and lift your chin such that it’s pointed upwards. you should feel some tightening under the chin.
With your lips closed, pretend you are chewing something for 10-20 seconds.
Repeat this 10-20 times.
2. Forehead push
This exercise uses resistance to strengthen your neck muscles.
With your elbow propped on a table or desk, hold your palm against your forehead. Push your forehead against your palm as hard as you, making sure your head doesn’t move forward.
You’ll feel your neck muscles straining and you may even feel a bit sore afterwards.
Hold this position for 10 seconds at a time and repeat as many times as you can.
3. Lips and chin workouts
Toning your lips and chin will reduce the appearance of jowls and give you a smoother facial look overall.
Here are some workouts that target your lips and chin.
- While seated, lift your head back and point your chin towards the ceiling. Keep your lips closed and make a pout. The more exaggerated the pout, the better. Repeat this expression 10-20 times.
- With your mouth closed, lower your bottom lip as far down as you can until you feel the strain in your chin. Hold it for 5-10 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
- Make a fish face to strengthen your lip muscles. Do this by sucking your cheeks as far in as you can until you feel your lips tightening. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
- Open your mouth wide and then close your mouth very slowly but don’t let your teeth touch. Repeat this 10-20 times. This tones your chins and reduces the appearance of jowls.
- Pout your lips outwards, exaggerating the expression as much as possible. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat at least 10 times.
4. Neck ups
This is like a sit up for your neck. Make sure you don’t have any neck problems or pain before you do it. If you do, choose one of the other exercises.
Lie on the bed on your back and let your head hang over the side. Lift your head, making sure to use your neck muscles only.
Repeat 5-10 times.
Also try moving your head side to side while holding it mid-air using your neck muscles. Do 5-10 side reps.
How to slow down sagging neck
In addition to the above exercises, here are a few more things you can do to slow down sagging neck and jowls.
Of course, you cannot prevent it forever unless you go for a radical treatment like surgery.
- A healthy diet is important. It keeps your muscles functioning properly and keeps your skin looking good.
- Drink adequate water. Chronic dehydration can reduce skin elasticity and increase the appearance of wrinkles.
- Practice good skin care. Avoid excessive sun exposure, use the right skincare products and protect your skin when outside.
- Have an active lifestyle. Regular exercise keeps all your muscles, including neck muscles, toned. It’s also great for your skin.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
- Avoid activities and expressions that lead to overuse of muscles around the neck and mouth such as talking on the phone for long periods, too much chewing and excessive frowning.