Neck and Jaw Toning and Firming Exercises

Written by bill white
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Neck and Jaw Toning and Firming Exercises
The neck and jaw areas need to be exercised. (neck image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com)

The neck and jaw areas are not priorities in many workout regimens, but toning them has the advantage of improving posture and decreasing pain in the shoulders and upper back, as well. Most neck and jaw exercises can be performed without weights. Adding weights will create bulk and size, which may not be desirable.

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Chewing Exercises

Chewing or mimicking a chewing action while placing your head in a different position can work both the neck and jaw muscles. One exercise is so simple that many people do it everyday: chewing gum. Chewing gum targets the jaw muscles while putting minimal stress on the joints. A second chewing exercise involves mimicking the act of chewing. Tilt your head back and look up. Once your head is in this position, begin to pretend to chew. This action works the muscles of the jaw and neck, especially those around the neck line. Always remember not to chew an actual piece of food while performing this exercise.

Neck Exercises Done Lying Down

Lie down on your back on an elevated platform with your head off the end, suspended in the air. Maintaining control, lower your head down slowly, and then bring it back up until your chin is tucked into your chest. You can also work the neck muscles from a lying-down position by lying on your side on a platform with your head off the end. Slowly lower your head down and bring it back up. Once you have completed your repetitions on one side, flip to the other hip and perform the same exercise for the other side.

Exercise Ball Workouts

The exercises that can be performed lying down can also be performed, with slight variations, using an exercise ball. Begin by either standing or kneeling in front of an exercise ball that is against the wall. Facing the ball, lean your forehead directly into the ball and let your head drift into it, allowing the ball to roll down the wall just slightly. Now press back up through your neck and push in with your forehead. The side neck variation of this exercise is done by leaning the side of your head into the ball and pressing the area around your ear. To make these exercises more difficult, you can step your feet further away from the ball. If you are just looking to tone up your neck, increasing the amount of repetitions should suffice.

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