How do I Build Smile Muscles?

Marjorie McAtee

Smile muscles include the zygomaticus major and the zygomaticus minor, which are the muscles that pull up the corners of your lips when you smile. They're also important for chewing, talking, and pursing your lips. Strengthening these muscles can help to keep your skin taut and slow the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and droopiness, on the lower face. Smile muscle exercises are generally easy to perform at home without special training or equipment. There are a number of smile muscle exercises you can choose to help build facial muscles.

Practicing smiling can help improve the smile muscles.
Practicing smiling can help improve the smile muscles.

One of the easiest ways to build smile muscles may be to practice smiling. Experts generally recommend stretching the mouth into the widest possible smile. The smile should ideally be held for a count of five seconds. Repeating the exercise 10 to 12 times per session can help build the facial muscles responsible for smiling. Some fitness experts recommend performing this smile muscle exercise while pressing down on the balls of the cheeks with one to three fingers of each hand, in order to add some resistance and build stronger muscles.

Opening and closing your mouth will aid in stretching and toning the muscles.
Opening and closing your mouth will aid in stretching and toning the muscles.

Smile muscles can also benefit from the lip pucker exercise. For this exercise, experts often recommend puckering the lips firmly, then pulling them back into the mouth so that they wrap over the teeth. You may benefit from holding this position for a count of ten seconds and repeating it five to six times per exercise session.

Building smile muscles can involve stretching and toning facial muscles, especially in the cheeks.
Building smile muscles can involve stretching and toning facial muscles, especially in the cheeks.

To work on the facial muscles of the cheeks, keep your lips together while opening your jaws slightly. Suck the check flesh in between the teeth, as if you were making a fish face. Hold the cheek flesh between the jaws for a ten-second count, while being careful not to bite yourself. Fitness experts generally advise repeating this exercise five to six times.

The "smile muscles" comprise the zygomaticus major and the zygomaticus minor.
The "smile muscles" comprise the zygomaticus major and the zygomaticus minor.

Building smile muscles can also involve stretching and toning facial muscles, notably in the cheeks. Closing the mouth with some air still inside it, and forcing that air first into one cheek, then the other, and then into first the upper and then the lower lip, can help to stretch and tone the smile muscles in the cheeks. The air should ideally be held firmly in each location for a count of ten seconds, and most experts advise repeating this exercise at least five times per session.

Kissing may help strengthen and tone facial muscles.
Kissing may help strengthen and tone facial muscles.

Closing and opening your mouth widely for 10 to 12 repetitions can also help stretch and tone the smile muscles. Hold the mouth open as far as possible for a count of five seconds, and then rest for a five-second count after closing the mouth.

Strengthening the smile muscles can help to keep your skin taut and slow the signs of aging.
Strengthening the smile muscles can help to keep your skin taut and slow the signs of aging.
Holding your mouth open as far as possible for five seconds and then closing it can help to build smile muscles.
Holding your mouth open as far as possible for five seconds and then closing it can help to build smile muscles.

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Discussion Comments

Melonlity

Wow. There are experts for everything these days, seemingly. One would think that generally happy people would get all the practice smiling they need. That begs the question -- are grumpy people the ones that need to build smile muscles should the time come when they need them?

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