Have all your selfies sprouted second chins lately? Thankfully, neck and chin toning can be achieved without surgery — all it takes is adding a few targeted exercises to your workout. Over time, skin loses collagen and elasticity, causing it to sag around the neck and chin, a process that begins around age 20, according to Dr. Suzan Obagi, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Factors like sun exposure, smoking and poor diet can intensify the process. Two main muscles — the sternocleidomastoid and platysma — make up your neck, and toning them can help pull the overlaying skin tighter for a younger, healthier look. To achieve results, try the exercises on the next slides from personal trainer Mike Donavanik that are designed to help return your neck to its former glory.
EXERCISE 1: TONGUE PRESS
Sitting with your back straight and shoulders down, tilt your head back so that you are looking at the ceiling. Forcefully press your tongue flat to the roof of your mouth. Then, keeping your tongue against the roof of your mouth, lower your chin to your chest as far as possible without rounding your upper back. You should feel your chin and the front of your neck contract. Then relax your tongue and straighten your neck to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete two sets of 20 reps each.
EXERCISE 2: POUT AND TILT
From a sitting or standing position, stick out your lower lip as far as you can to form a pout (place a finger on your chin; the skin should feel wrinkly and puckered). Hold this contraction for one second. Then, with your lip still out, contract the muscles at the front of your neck to lower your chin to your chest as far as possible without rounding your upper back. Pause and hold for another second, then relax your lips and straighten your neck to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete two sets of 20 reps each.
EXERCISE 3: THE O
Sitting with your back straight and shoulders down, tilt your head back so that you are looking at the ceiling. Close your lips so they are together but relaxed. Keeping your lips closed, open your mouth so it forms an “O” shape. Hold this position for 20 seconds. You should feel a contraction on both sides of your neck directly under your jaw line. Relax your mouth and lower your chin to return to the starting point. That’s one rep. Complete two sets of 10 reps each.