Specialty Workouts Article
This might just be the most unconventional workout you ever do. In fact several of the key exercises below that target the neck and face muscles can hardly be considered a workout. Before we get there though, this is my first ‘specialty workout’ post and I want to set a clear tone for how these will be written and how you should interpret them. First, I am a strong believer in understanding why things happen rather than simply accepting causation because we have been told so. Therefore, before I get to the exercises I will first:
- Explain my train of thought.
- Discuss my rationalizations.
- Describe the muscles involved.
Maybe you understand and value that too, or maybe you disagree and are going to scroll over the first bit of this article (or click here). But for those of you that read thoroughly, I am betting you will be better for it. Second, we will get to the exercises and third, we can formulate a plan to do them.
Ah, the elusive jawline. Actors, actresses, and models have made a pretty penny with strong features like this. It is something deeply sought after but rarely attained, so how can someone without a clean jawline get a chiseled one? How come some people just ‘have it’ without even trying and others work tirelessly without result? You can find answers out there online, I have searched through plenty of them in my time but they were rarely effective and rarely helpful. Most people will tell you that it is simply genetic and that you need to just deal with it. Well… in my vain quest, I refused. And apparently so have you!
I have absolutely found effective (natural) methods to enhance your jawline and clean it up. There has been a noticeable change that I have seen in myself and I am hoping you will say the same. But of course just to cover my arse here I have to disclaim that it is possible that these aren’t going to work for you. Give it a full effort though and see for yourself, you really don’t have much to lose. Before we get to the actual exercises I need to fully explain the how’s and the why’s so that you can be more responsive to your own body and know what you should and shouldn’t be feeling as a result.
Genetics absolutely play a role here, there is no denying that. Having a prominent jaw can be as simple the right facial bone structure, which is definitely something I cannot help with. I have to come right out and say that it is extremely unlikely that doing these or any other workouts are ever going to give you the edge that genetics can. It will take effort on your part to follow through and continue doing workouts. But working with the bone structure that we do have as individuals, there are indeed ways to at least increase the definition of our jawlines given you are in reasonable shape. I apologize, but if you are overweight this may not be effective, try to lose excess fat first and then come back. You may find that in doing just that you already have a strong jawline!
Let’s get started. Setting up to figure this out, the first solution I wanted to find was how to make the skin tighter around my jaw. It was clear that I needed to get rid of the flabbiness underneath my chin and get that skin to be taut almost as if it were being pulled over my jawbone. But in order to get there I needed to first study the facial muscles underneath, these would be the anchors that ‘pull’ it. What you may not know is that our facial muscles are uniquely different from the rest of the muscles on our body. Muscles like your biceps or your quadriceps, the muscles we are used to working out are called skeletal muscles and their contractions and extensions help control our bones. The muscles on our face however, are attached from the bone underneath directly to the skin. This is why and how we can make facial expressions. This is a good thing for our plight because it means that with developing those muscles also comes the potential for tightening the skin around them (it also results in a more expressive face!).
Now that we know working our facial muscles can help tighten our jawline, we need to know which muscles to target. I am going to cut this one short and just tell you which muscles they are. You don’t really need to know the names, but I do want you to be able to point to which muscles you are exercising so at least remember that:
- Masseter – This is the muscle to the sides of your jaw, the ones you clench by chewing.
- Mentalis – This is the muscle at the tip of your chin, responsible for elevating your lower lip.
- Suprahyoid Group – These are the muscles under your jaw from the tip of your chin to the top of your neck.
- Sternocleidomastoid – This is the large angled muscle on either side of your neck responsible for rotating the head.
By targeting the above muscles we are able to tighten the skin in that area and potentially burn some localized fat from muscle repair.
The last thing before we get to the exercises is to cover some basic factors that will contribute to a better jawline.
- Cut back on the salt – Eating a lot of salty foods increases your water retention which can bloat your cells and give you that ‘swollen’ look.
- Drink enough water – This will further counteract the salinity balance in your cells and also boost your metabolism.
- Apply toner then moisturizer – As a guy, I personally had never used toner before even though I know a handful of guys that do. It was one of my female friends that suggested it while I was developing this workout with her. Toners tighten up pores on the skin and moisturizing locks it in. Using these may help get the skin taut but it also helps with a cleaner and healthier look. If you don’t believe in it… you should still do it at the very least as a hail mary.
- Lose excess fat – It has to be said!
Finally, let’s get to the movements that help you get a better jawline.
The Jawline Enhancement Exercises
Because these muscles attach to your skin, it is highly recommended that you moisturize your skin in some way before doing them. Use a lotion or even water. These do not have traditional names, so bear with me:
Chin Raises [images coming soon…]
Tilt your head all the way back and protrude your chin and lower lip towards the ceiling as far as it can go. Now push your tongue to the top of your palate (top of your mouth). Do you feel that stretch under your jaw? Good. Now begin the movement: while keeping your head back, lower your jaw all the way down (i.e. open your mouth), your tongue will naturally recede off your palate. Then in an exaggerated move raise your chin to the initial position as your push out your lower lip as far from your face as possible. Be sure to raise your tongue with your chin so that it once again rests at the top of your palate. That is 1 rep.
Lower Lip Dips [images coming soon…]
Just like with the chin raises. Look upwards and push out your lower lip as high as you can and hold it flexed like that – your mouth should be open slightly due to how far your chin is protruded. In a strong move, be very careful to not lose the flex, lower your chin as far down as you can so that it is tucked against your neck. You should feel a tightness in the suprahyoid muscles (the ones under your chin). Hold there for 5 seconds. That is 1 rep. No need to manipulate your tongue in this one.
Lower Lip Side Dips [images coming soon…]
This is virtually the same as Lower Lip Dips except that from the top position you push your chin out to the sides. From the top position, as you push your lower lip upwards and extend your chin, lower your entire face in a diagonal motion so that you are now facing you right. Hold there for 5 seconds and then repeat with your left side. That is 1 rep each.
Mastoid Holds [images coming soon…]
This may or may not be tough on your neck so be careful with this one, listen to your body. If you have chronic neck problems you might want to skip this. Keeping your torso faced forward, turn your head face as far right as you can. Now, without moving your shoulder, tuck your chin downward and attempt to make contact with your shoulder (you shouldn’t be able to), once you get as close as you can. Hold there for 5 seconds then repeat with your left side. That is 1 rep each.
Oblique Cycles (recommended, but optional) [images coming soon…]
Finally something we are used to. It may not seem like it but while we are focused on your abs oblique cycles are actually doing some great work with your neck and chin muscles. Grab a mat and lie on your back. With your legs up and your hands behind your head, reach to make contact with your right elbow and your left knee while extending your right leg. Then repeat in reverse, left elbow to right knee with an extended left leg. That is 1 rep. Your legs move in a cyclical movement and your elbows rock back and forth from side to side.
Incline Bench/Pushups (optional) [images coming soon…]
This step is generally targeted towards men, so if you are a female and aren’t trying to bulk up, skip this step. The upper pectoral muscles also play a part in tightening the skin around our neck. Developing them adds further tension and can also enhance your jawline. If you do not have an incline bench to use, put your feet up on a chair and do pushups. One push/lift is 1 rep.
The ball is in your court
So there you have it. Using these workouts I have noticed a clear difference in my own jawline as well as a couple of my friends. As for how many repetitions and sets you do, that is where it gets tricky. If you wanted to, you could absolutely put them as a set with defined reps but I am going to tell you what I have done (and do) and what I told my friends.
I barely even consider this a workout with the exception of the last two exercises. In fact it is more like a set of habits. I almost wonder if some people get chiseled jawlines just from turning their heads a lot or from habitually protruding their jaw when they think. Whatever the case, I ended up never creating a workout routine for these exercises; it obviously is not something worth going to the gym for since you could do it right now in your home! Well that is exactly what I did. I decided to simply do it whenever I remembered to.
Find what works for you. I live on the 30th floor of my building so I have at least a couple long elevator rides daily. So whenever I step into that elevator (and am alone, ha) I will do these silly looking exercises all the way down. Usually I will do about 10 reps of one exercise. I mentioned above that these exercises should be done with a bit of moisture on your skin to avoid damaging dry skin. Because of that I now do a set of these in the shower! Not the last two exercises, of course, that would be… unusual, not to mention incredibly difficult. Additionally, if I am ever sitting at my desk or watching some TV I will work some reps in as well. Over the course of the day, regardless of what other workouts I do, I generally will complete over 2 dozen reps of each exercise above – they go by quick! Again, find what works for you, if you want to structure a pre-set routine go for it, if you want to try my approach that is fine too.
I would love to hear your feedback on how it goes so feel free to leave a comment below with updates or questions.
[images coming soon…]