Exercises for Sagging Neck Skin

The delicate skin on the neck is one of the first places to show signs of aging. Sun damage, gravity and lack of exercise are the biggest causes of sagging around the neck and chest area. The neck is composed of a complex network of muscles and tendons that are linked to the jaw and facial muscles. The muscles of the neck can be firmed and toned through exercise just like any other muscle in the body. As with any exercise program, consult a physician or health-care professional before starting a new program. Anyone with neck problems or injuries in the neck and shoulder area should consult a physician before doing any of these exercises.

Tongue Extension

Stick out the tongue and say “ahhhhh.” Hold the tongue out and keep the rest of the face relaxed. Hold for 60 seconds. Do not worry if your eyes start watering, which is normal. This yoga exercise firms the skin under the chin.

Neck Strengthener

This exercise targets the platysma, trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck. These are the large muscles that help hold the head upright.

Lie down on the floor, grab your neck with both hands (one on each side) and lift your head off the floor with the front of the neck. If done correctly, you should feel the contraction of the muscles with the palms of the hands. Repeat this 30 times. Next, move the arms to the sides of the body, lift the head off the floor about ¼ inch, using the front of the neck and rotate the head side to side. Work up to 30 repetitions.

Tongue Tracing

Form an O shape with your mouth and trace the lips with the tongue. Keep the brow and forehead smooth and relax the lower jaw. Trace the lips in both directions. Repeat five times. This exercise can be done at intervals during the day when sitting or just relaxing for a few minutes. The toning benefits of tongue tracing target the neck and throat but also firm the cheeks and plumps the lips.

Annelise Hagen (author of “The Yoga Face”) teaches this exercise in her facial yoga classes in New York City.


Shoulder shrugs have the highest level of muscle activation, according to the National Institutes of Health. Shrugs work the trapezius muscle, one of the large muscles of the neck, firming and toning the neck. Shrugs can be done with or without weights. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms at the sides (with or without dumbbells) and raise the shoulders up toward the ears using the neck and shoulder muscles. This is a muscle builder and stress reliever. Shrugs can be done sitting at a desk, also. Make sure to sit erect with your back straight.

About this Author

Caroline Thompson has been a professional photojournalist since 1999. She combines writing and photography in her stories. Thompson’s work has appeared in the “Sacramento Bee,” “People Magazine,” “Newsweek” and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University Hayward (CSUH) and a personal trainer certification from the Health and Fitness Institute out of CSUH.