Jawline exercises have caused a ruckus in the last few years. So much so, that businesses are opening or expanding their products with promises of a sharper jawline and specialty medical centers are warning against them. These exercises are claimed to be the cure-all for the soft round babyface. The concept of a sharper jawline is popular among the fitness community, but everyone wants to know, do jawline exercises really work?
Jawline exercises tighten the skin of the jawline and build up jaw muscles to give the face more definition. But the bone structure of the face determines the jawline and you can’t change your bone structure with exercises unless you do the “mewing” exercise for years with consistent dedication.
If you want a completely new look you won’t get it from jawline exercises. But many give testimonials of jawline exercises slimming the face and getting rid of that bit of fat under the chin. They claim these exercises widen their face and give them a more defined profile. With so many swearing by the benefits of jawline exercises, it is worth the look to see what all the talk is about.
What Do Jawline Exercises Do?
There are many ways to exercise your jawline to increase the muscle mass there. It is not only good for the tone of your face, but it is also good for your health. By working out these muscles, you will be improving posture and strengthening the neck muscles. Strengthening the neck muscles will help relieve any neck or back pain you might have from bad posture.
When it comes to facial definition, jawline exercises are great for filling out the back area of your jawline area, which will tighten the skin and give the rest of your jawline more definition. This can help tighten the skin under your jawline as well, but it will not get rid of any excess fat. Jawline exercises cannot target fat cells, therefore if you want to lose any excess fat in your face, you will need to lose it in the rest of your body as well by practicing healthy living.
Jaw Exercise You Can Do Now
The internet is full of jaw exercises that are meant to give your jawline more definition and tone. Many of these exercises don’t take into account the damage and pain they may cause. Using devices that promote excessive use of their product to get the results you are looking for are usually the ones you want to be wary of. Their product may work, but it could damage as well. Everything in moderation. Excessive use can cause complications.
Say Your Vowels
By saying your vowels with exaggerated mouth movements, you will begin to notice the muscles around your mouth will tighten. Because this exercise is done without clenching your teeth together, you will be sparing your jaw joint while receiving the benefits of your workout. The vowels “O” and “E” are particularly helpful because the movements exercise the mouth and cheek muscles the most.
Mewing is a little different from other jawline exercises because it involves the tongue and takes years to show results. The thought behind this exercise is more about the long-term health of your jaw muscles and teeth. Mewing is more like practicing a healthy positioning of your tongue. To mew, all you need to do is relax your tongue and press the entirety of it to the roof of your mouth. There is no clenching of the jawbones which will save you the pain in the long run.
However, mewing also activates the suprahyoid and masseter muscles, as they are the antagonists of the tongue. Over time, these muscles move your hyoid bone inward and upward, leading to a more defined jaw. To find out more about the hyoid bone and its importance to the jawline, see our article.
Our Ultimate Guide to Mewing has all the information you need about proper mewing.
Kiss the Sky
This exercise will look a little funny while you do it but is said to benefit the muscles in both your jawline and your neck. In order to do this exercise, you will need to put your head back and look up toward the ceiling or sky, slightly pop your chin out, and make a kissing movement. The kiss should be so exaggerated that your chin muscles tighten as well. Repeat the kissing movement until your muscles begin to tire and stop.
Fingers as Resistance Bands
In order to work out your jaw muscles without damaging your joint in your jaw, you can use your fingers as a sort of resistant band against your movements. This type of healthy exercise is easy on the joints and works the muscles enough to show results without damage. There are two ways to do it.
Using your thumb to add pressure against the underside of your chin, open and close your mouth while always keeping tension. Once you have finished that you will use your fingers to add gentle pressure on your bottom teeth while opening and closing your mouth. These two exercises will help strengthen your muscles without causing further damage to your joints.
Massage the Face Muscles
Massaging the face will not increase muscle mass, but it is good for the face muscles. A face massage a few times a week can improve the blood circulation and stimulate the muscles in the face. This will improve skin tone and facial definition in a different way than jawline exercises might. Facial massages will not cause jaw pain or TMJ and they are said to decrease stress and improve skin condition, so there really is no downside to them.
The masseter muscles are the muscles that move our jaw up and down to chew food. They are one of the strongest muscles in the human body, in terms of volume. Humans haven’t always had easy access to nutrition from soft carbohydrates as we do in modern times. Back in caveman days, we had to work really hard for our food. Look how worn down our ancestor’s teeth were:
Because we no longer grow up under these same pressures that our ancestors did, modern humans have a much higher incidence of crowded teeth, small jaws, and malocclusion. Most people have the genetics to be good-looking. But our easy environment no longer allows us to live up to our potential.
In either, case. Chewing is the only thing that will increase the width of your jaw from a frontwards view. By working out your masseter muscle via a high volume activity such as chewing, you can cause those muscles to hypertrophy. Those muscles then cause your face to widen and lead to the appearance of a larger bigonial width:
However, starting off light and slow is key. Chew gum no more than 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Don’t Overdo It
The jaw muscles are fragile and can be harmed if they are overused. If you work these muscles out too regularly, you will be risking further jaw issues such as lockjaw and TMJ disorders. Your body will tell you when it is tired. It is your job to listen to it. If you decide to work out your jawline muscles, just be sure to take a break when your jaw begins to get tired.
Much like any workout, you should do a cool-down session to untighten any muscles in the jaw and relax your face muscles as well as practice whenever a time occurs that your jaw muscles tighten up. By practicing these techniques, you will experience less pain and tightness in the jaw, as well as the neck and back.
Wiggling your jaw side to side periodically throughout the day can prevent any tightness of the jaw muscles. It is recommended to do this in 10-minute increments but don’t be too worried if you forget to do it so often throughout the day. After the wiggle, you will want to rest your jaw and avoid any clenching, nail-biting, or excessive chewing. These types of movements can cause your jaw muscles to tighten up and create future jaw problems.
The default resting position for the jaw is back straight, chin up, and teeth slightly together. However, the key is to make sure you’re not clenching your teeth. This is counterproductive as it will lead to teeth grinding and possible TMJ issues. It’s not worth risking those for the better jawline. If you clench your teeth, your masseter muscles of your jaw will become too big and you’ll get a chipmunk face.
If you feel like you’re grinding your teeth, see your doctor. Botox is usually injected into the masseter muscles to keep you from overusing it.
Practice Good Posture
Good posture is not often thought about when it comes to jaw health. But you have to remember that everything is connected in some way. By practicing good posture, your jaw joints will align more naturally and correctly, which will save you from future TMJ disorders. While this isn’t an exercise or stretch, it will help you keep your jaw muscles and joints healthy.
In addition, proper posture also facilitates proper mewing technique. During development, and even throughout life, posture guides growth. It is of supreme importance. Focus on your posture before you focus on any exercises. Posture is constant. Exercise is not.
Moderation is Key
When exercising, whether it be your jaw or the rest of your body, moderation is key. By over-exercising and pushing your body too far, you run the risk of injury. So, when you decide to exercise your jawline, don’t listen to the companies that are selling you their products and telling you to use it every day for 20 to 30 minutes. That is putting way too much strain on your jaw and you will likely get a TMJ disorder from it.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is any wrinkling of the skin. Many jawline exercises require big exaggerated movements, and this can cause wrinkles. An easy way to combat this is by using face cream every day to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.
Instead of spending money on these products, chew gum.
Ask the Professionals First
If you have the desire for a more chiseled look but worry the effects of jaw exercises won’t all be good, it is a good idea to talk to people that work with mouths for a living. A neuromuscular dentist will be the best person to talk to about the muscles of your jaw. They will be able to answer any unanswered questions you may have and advise you on exercises that will help. This is especially important if you already have clicking in your jaw.
The clicking in your jaw is usually the first sign of a TMJ disorder. If this is something that you experience than jawline exercises could be even more damaging to your jaw joint. It could even potentially lead to lockjaw, and then a chiseled jawline will be the last thing on your mind. The best thing for you to do is talk to a dentist. If they advise you against jawline exercises, there are other ways to get a more defined jawline.
If you are one of those people that are advised against any or all jawline exercises, a dermatologist might be your next best option. Their job as skin experts is to clear and even out the skin tone and in some cases, tighten the skin. One of the ways they do that is Ultherapy.
Ultherapy is the use of strong ultrasound rays on a targeted area to cause your body to produce collagen in that particular spot. The collagen will then tighten the skin in those areas, giving it more definition and a youthful glow. There are many rumors about Ultherapy. Many people say it doesn’t work and others say it is extremely painful. This treatment is mostly done on the jawline, cheeks, neck, and forehead.
When considering the things that others say about the treatment, it is important to remember that everyone is different. Some people have a high pain tolerance while others have none. This procedure is non-surgical and non-invasive. It is perfectly safe, and FDA approved. The effects of the treatment are meant to last up to 18 months. The downside to Ultherapy is the price. How much you spend depends on how much of your face you will be treating, but it can be pricey.
CoolSculpting is an FDA approved treatment that freezes your fat cells. Once fat cells die, they don’t grow back, so the idea behind this treatment is to freeze the problematic fat cells in order to contour the body. CoolSculpting usually takes about 35 minutes a session, but in some cases, it can take longer. It usually takes around 8 to 12 weeks to see the results of this procedure because you will need to give your body time to metabolize the frozen fat cells.
The treatment can be uncomfortable in the first 5 minutes or so because the application is quite cold, as well as after the treatment is over because the aesthetician will massage your skin to break up the frozen fat cells. It is not the most comfortable of treatments, but it shows results. Doing this treatment will help get rid of any excess fat under the chin and help give you a more sculpted jawline.
Much like Ultherapy, radiofrequency causes your body to produce collagen in a targeted area. The difference is that radiofrequency actually induces heat to build in the area you are treating and takes six weeks to see the full effect of the treatment. It takes 6 to 8 sessions as well. It tightens the skin and causes more blood flow in the area which allows you to see more definition in the jawline area. It is not as expensive as Ultherapy and doesn’t cause much if any, pain.
Getting fillers injected into the back of the jaw and chin can help give your jawline more definition. Many people go wrong here and request large amounts of fillers to give them the look they want. But all the excess filler is unnecessary. A little can go a long way with this. By only getting a small amount, it will give your face that toned look without making it look so unnatural.
This treatment is a bit less desirable and that is because the injector will use needles to inject the fillers under the skin. It is more expensive than other treatments you can get for the same overall result, but it can last up to 6 months. The treatment is said to cause no pain whatsoever and the only type of pain reliever usually used in a treatment like this is ice on the targeted area to avoid bruising. It is a treatment that can take up to 90 minutes and can cause slight swelling.
Here’s an example of results you can see with filler. The problem with this is twofold:
- First off, it’s very expensive. Lots of vials were used here and they only last a few months. This was thousands of dollars at the minimum.
- Second off, this picture was taken right after injection. It looks good…but trust me, it doesn’t stay that way. Fillers are gel-like. They’re not made for holding their shape.
Filler is best used for filling empty areas, such as underneath the eye. As of now, I don’t recommend getting it for the jaw.
Getting a sharper jawline is completely possible and, in most cases, completely safe. Moderation is the most important rule you will want to follow because overdoing it with anything can cause bad results or even injury. This means take it easy on the jaw exercises and don’t push your jaw muscles too far. When doing these exercises, keep in mind the impact some of them might have on your jaw joint. If this joint is damaged in any way it can cause some painful side effects.
If jaw exercises aren’t an option for you because of a previous injury or a current condition, you also have the option of cosmetic treatments. There are plenty of treatments you can get done to get the definition you were looking for in jaw exercises. They are a bit more costly but have less likelihood of causing injury if they are done correctly by a professional. If you decide to get a cosmetic treatment done make sure to do your research.
There are a lot of crooks in the world, and the last thing you want to do is allow them access to your face. By doing your research on a doctor that will potentially be applying fillers into your face, you will be less likely to come upon someone that will cause you harm. If someone injects a filler into your skin incorrectly, they can cause serious injuries. Some examples of the injuries this could cause is blindness and even necrosis, causing your tissue to die off.
After you have done your research, talked to your dentists and dermatologists, and decided on the way in which you will get a more defined jawline, all you need to do is follow through with your decision. There is really no harm in trying as long is any treatment or technique you use is done correctly. In most cases, the treatment doesn’t cause extreme pain. The cheapest option is the free option, and that is mewing and doing the jaw exercises.
For more information about the jaw, and how to optimize it, see our jawline article.