Jowls are one of the most visible signs of gravity’s toll on your body. Unfortunately, your neck and jaw are front and center when it comes to appearance. While chewing gum and whistling are effective toning exercises for these problem spots, you may have ditched those habits decades ago. The plus side is you don’t need weights or machines to tone your neck and jaw.
According to “10-Minute Yoga Workouts: Power Tone Your Body from Top to Toe” by Barbara Currie, a neck roll exercise can tone the muscles in your neck and jaw, take out that second chin and eliminate calcium deposits that tend to accumulate on the surfaces of joints. Neck rolls can also help to release tension in your neck. Sit with straight back in a chair or in the kneeling position. Slowly drop your head forward, and then roll it to the right. Allow your head to circle back, continuing to roll it gently to the left. Roll your head forward to finish one roll. Perform three gentle circles clockwise, and then repeat the exercise counterclockwise.
To tone the front of your neck, you can do head lifts while lying in bed. Hang your head slightly over the edge without straining your neck. Lift your head slowly until your neck aligns with your spine and forms a straight line. Although the range of movement is small, you should feel the contraction in the muscles in your neck. Hold the peak position for a count of three and then slowly allow your head to relax back. Perform six reps. As your neck grows stronger, increase the range of motion and hang your head further out from the bed’s edge.
Jaw and Chin
You can use your thumbs and tongue to help tone your jaw and chin. For example, press your thumbs under your chin, pushing up against your jaw. Guide your jaw in small circles with your thumbs. At the same time, use your tongue to push against the roof of your mouth, causing your chin muscles to flex against your thumbs. Another exercise is to open your jaw as wide as possible and stick your tongue out and as far down as possible. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
In Pilates, you’ll begin many exercises by curling the chin toward your trunk and holding it, according to “Pilates Lite: Easy Exercises to Lose Weight and Tone Up” by Karon Karter. Perform the towel roll-up Pilates exercise, which can tone the front of your neck while lengthening the back. Lie supine with your knees bent and feet parallel and flat on the ground. Put a rolled-up towel in a horizontal position under your chin and over your throat. Place your arms by your sides. Gently lower your chin to secure the towel. You should feel the muscles in your neck simultaneously stretching and strengthening. Hold this position, breathing naturally and keeping your tongue and jaw relaxed.
- Pilates Lite: Easy Exercises To Lose Weight And Tone Up; Karon Karter
- 10-Minute Yoga Workouts: Power Tone Your Body From Top To Toe; Barbara Currie
- The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging; Joan Vernikos
- Beauty and the Budget; Sandi Brenner
- Stretching Anatomy; Arnold G. Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen
Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.