The two muscles attached to the base of the skull descending to the shoulders are the main support of the neck. They also form the back of the neck. The sides are braced by another pair of large muscles attached to the skull immediately behind the ears, which descend to the collarbone. These large muscles are braced by minor ones but the contour and strength of the neck largely depend upon these main supports. If they are poorly developed, the neck and sides of the neck will appear weak and unsymmetrical. And in lacking proper support, the skin covering will soon fall into unsightly creases. This causes the sign of old age, which may not justify your true age.
Persistent rubbing of the back and sides of the neck with the palm of the hand will, to a considerable extent, remove the wrinkles. But it only provides temporary effect since the underlying muscles are not thoroughly developed. In this case, the muscles will grow weak and shrink and will result to loose and flabby skin which causes deep creases.
To solve this problem using the so-called "skin-foods" alone will not result to improvement. It is because it is impossible to form muscular tissue by their use. The use of these "skin foods" would certainly help if accompanied by the necessary friction and massage.
It would be very beneficial to have restored the youthful characteristics of the muscles. In order to have a smooth skin, it is necessary to have proper support. And this can be achieved through practicing exercises designed for the throat and the neck to avoid loose and flabby skin.
This is a very effective neck strengthening exercise. While lying in bed, clasp the hands firmly at back of the head. Raise the head clear of the pillow then press it backward, exerting at the same time a strong forward, or resistance, pressure with the arms. Begin with not more than five movements. That is, alternately raising and lowering the head, at the same time keeping up the full strain of the arms. At the end of a week increase one or two movements, as your condition may allow.
My own limit is now twenty-five, which I find ample. By an excess of this exercise, I increased my neck measurement from fourteen to sixteen inches. Being out of proportion to my height, I totally discontinued for about six months, the same measurement reducing to fifteen and one quarter inches at which it remains afterwards. If you are interested, check out Neck Muscles.
To develop the sides of the neck, lying on your side, turn the chin as far as possible towards the upper shoulder. This movement will contract the muscles on the side of the neck, and will also bring into action those muscles of the throat immediately under the chin. When the head drops back to its original position the muscles will relax. Their alternate contraction and relaxation constitute an exercise, which will develop the muscles of the sides of the neck, and will also strengthen and improve the contour of the throat muscles.
Ladies who are considering practicing this neck exercise need not fear the appearance of undue muscularity. The effect of neck exercise on the muscles of women is not the same as on the muscles of men. The knotted and rugged appearances of the muscles of the trained male athlete do not appear in the similarly trained women athlete. Their muscles always remain soft, elastic and more graceful in their roundness than those of men.
The neck exercises here described will improve and beautify the neck at a time, when in middle life and beyond, it is usually very scrawny. For more detailed information, visit Neck Muscles.