The neck is a sensitive structure with delicate nerve attachments that can be harmed by vigorous exercises. The one that I describe here will give you no problems but some exercises might.

For example, some exercise gurus recommend an exercise for the neck in which you lie on a bench or bed with your head hanging over the edge. Now you raise and lower the head. This is an excellent exercise for the front of the neck - the sternomastoid muscle and the platysma - but this exercise has the potential of giving you an acute and long-lasting "pain in the neck."

Be extremely careful with any neck exercise. It is uncomfortable to have pain radiating down into your upper back and shoulders. If you do the exercise I show on this page, you'll get excellent results without any adverse effects. It's a gentle exercise.

A Trim Neck

When you lose weight fast, it often takes a lot of time for the skin of the neck to shrink back to where it matches your new scaled-down body. Maybe it never will shrink back if you're on the far side fifty.

The neck and the belly are probably the first places you gain weight. These are also the last places where you will lose weight. And when you do lose weight around the neck, there is sometimes what's called platysmal banding. These are the ugly vertical bands you see at the front of the neck. It's hard to get rid of these. Necklace bands are the horizontal lines that form in the front of the neck - also hard to get rid of, but not impossible .

Exercise Four - Front of Neck

Muscles, front of neck 

This exercise firms up the area at the front of the neck where aging first leaves its mark of deterioration. Here's how to do it:

  • In the sitting (I do it in the sitting) or standing position, tilt your head back the way you see me doing it in the photo.
  • While tilting your head back, press your tongue firmly into the roof of your mouth. This tightens up all the muscles at the front of your neck and under the chin.
  • Now bring your chin down toward your neck while still holding the tongue against the roof of your mouth.

That's all there is to it. If you are doing it right, you will feel a tightness under the chin and in the front of the neck. Check this out with your fingers. Does your platysma muscle feel tense while you are moving your head up and down? If it does, you are doing the exercise right.

This video I made will give you a detailed description and demonstration of how the exercise for the muscles at the front of the neck is done.

The following video of the same material is for those who speak Spanish - para las personas que habla español.

Loose Skin or Excess Skin

So what if your platysma and sternocleidomastoid muscles are well-developed and tight with little or no overlying fat - but there is still excess skin, a fleshy lobe hanging down from the throat or chin - the turkey wattle, the dewlap. (The neck often ages before the face.)

Cervicoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess or loose skin from the front of the neck. It involves a small incision below the chin and perhaps behind the ears. The excess skin is then neatly trimmed and tightened up. The results of this simple procedure can last over ten years, at which point a touch up may be needed.

During the surgery excess fat may also be removed with a suction device - liposuction. All this will sharpen up the chin and jawline, taking years off a person's appearance.

The recovery time for these procedures in usually less than two weeks, and there is only a small chance for complications like infection or scarring.

I've never had any cosmetic surgery, but if I had a turkey wattle loosely hanging down from my throat, I certainly would make an appointment with a competent surgeon. I would check on the surgeon's credentials and find out the price before I signed any forms though.


Continue to - Exercise Five