Move What You Got: Face Exercises for Quadriplegics

Following a workout video when you have paralysis can be frustrating. This is why face exercises can be so enjoyable if you’re a quadriplegic. Face exercises and face yoga focuses on everything from the neck up (and sometimes the shoulder area), making it possible for even a C1 quadriplegic to try.


And face exercises have several benefits. We're all guilty of holding tension in our faces, from tension in our jaw to furrowing our brows. Face exercises and yoga helps strengthen and relax the muscles you can still feel and move, which is also amazing for your mental health. Face yoga in fact can boost the mental health of anyone who tries it. 


And don't forget the beauty benefits. Tightening skin, double chin removal, reducing puffiness, improving posture, and increasing blood circulation. And that is just a start. To learn some of the easiest and most effective face exercises, continue reading below.


Chin Stretches


One of the most popular facial exercises, chin stretches, is super easy to do. Tilt your head back so your face is towards the ceiling, and as you tilt your head, pull your jaw up at the same time strongly. You'll feel your neck and chin muscles stretching as you do this. As you do this stretch, you'll also burn a small number of calories. Most facial exercise routines last around 10 to 15 minutes and can burn around 200 calories.


To get the best version of this workout, do 30 chin stretches in a row. You can also change the angle of your head, by turning to the left and doing the same exercise, and then doing the same exercise with your head turned to the right. This is one of the best ways to burn fat under your chin and to get the circulation going in your head and neck area.


Air Kisses


To do the air kisses exercise, tilt your head back with your face towards the ceiling, and then kiss upwards as if you're kissing the ceiling. You can either hold this singular kiss position for 30 seconds or you can make the kissing motion continually for 30 seconds. As you do this, you will feel your chin and neck muscles really burn.


Bulldog Bite


You may look silly doing this particular exercise, the bulldog bite, but this exercise works muscles in your neck and chin that you may not move that often. To do this, pull your lower jaw forward and tilt your head back with your face towards the ceiling. Hold for a second, then lower your head down to the resting position, and repeat this 30 times. 


Stick out Your Tongue


Most people don't know that tongue time has a huge influence on how the face looks. Most people put their tongue, when in a resting position, in the lower part of their mouth. To work the muscles in this area and to improve the look of your jaw, intentionally hold your tongue at the root of your mouth whenever you can. This small move can make a big difference over time.


There's also a tongue exercise that works this part of the body. To do this exercise, turn your head to the right and then stick out your tongue with your chin upwards, and hold for 30 seconds. Do the same stretch again with your head turned to the left, and hold again for 30 seconds.




A popular exercise that has been done by Italian women for years is repeating "AEIOU." This is done by tilting your head backward, turning your face towards the ceiling, then repeating the vowels of the English alphabet, "AEIOU." As you say the vowels with your head and neck in this position, you will feel the muscles in your neck pull each time you say them. Repeat this 30 times.


Tongue Window Wipers


Many people move their tongues in their mouths without really thinking about how they move what one of the most important muscles in the body is. You can seriously work out the face and neck by moving the tongue in a window wiper motion — left to right, back and forth. Do this motion for 30 seconds in a row with your tongue continuously swiping.


Massage Under Chin


Massage is important for any muscles you exercise, and the same goes for your chin and neck area. After you're done working out, or while you're working out, try to massage under the chin in any way you can (or ask for assistance) for at least 30 seconds at a time. Massage helps reduce swelling and improve blood flow to this area of the body, helping improve posture and better overall.


Remember, as you do these exercises, read your body and do not do more than you can. It is never wise to push yourself too hard and risk injury. Also, make sure to check out Masumi, a facial yoga expert from Japan, who demonstrates many of these exercises, and neck/chin massages, on her Youtube channel.


— Check out Masumi, a certified face yoga expert from Japan: 

Topics: quadriplegics, Tongue Window Wipers, Face Exercises, Chin Stretches, Air Kisses, Bulldog Bite, Stick out Your Tongue, Say “AEIOU”, Massage Under Chin

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