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Is Your Workout Aging You?
If you're over-extending and straining your neck when you work out, you could be stretching the facial and neck muscles, causing looseness and associated wrinkles. But obviously the solution isn't to drop your daily sweat: just keep in mind a few of the following expert tips.
Beware of Platysmal Bands
These are two strips of muscles that start at the base of your neck and run up the front left and right sides of your neck, all the way up to the jaw, in the area where frown lines are prominent. When you lift weights or do exercises that put strain on those muscles, they pull down on your face, causing the skin to pull down with them. You can see in the mirror when you flex your neck muscles or lift a weight, that those muscles in your neck may tighten and stick out. When you see this happening, take note of what you are doing to cause it, and how it feels so that you can correct it. If you already have protruding platysmal bands or frown wrinkles as a result of strain, don’t worry, there are ways to correct those as well.
Frequently Adjust Yourself In The Mirror
The best way to avoid straining your platysmal bands is to be aware of them. Do your workouts in front of the mirror and whenever you see your neck being stretched, stop. Relax the muscles. Then continue working out without allowing your neck to strain. Yoga is a fantastic way to really get in touch with all your muscles, and can help you become aware of whenever your platysmal bands are pulling down on your face. Think of your muscles as a pulley system—when you pull down on one end, the other goes up. So when you lift with your arms and shoulders, the muscles in your neck pull up to support the weight, which means the muscles attached to them in your face pull down. Now try pulling down the corners of your mouth using your muscles—you should be able to see and feel the muscles in your neck pulling upwards in return. This is what happens when you work out. As long as you are aware of it, and consciously correct it, you’ll be able to avoid it.
Remember: Botox Isn't Just For Wrinkles
The easy solution to smoothing out wrinkles, especially the ones caused by platysmal band strain, is to get a little Botox magic. But did you know that Botox can also minimize pulling in that bottom of area of your face? Getting Botox in the platysmal band area under your neck relaxes those muscles, so when the lower area tightens, the upper area will remain relaxed, and so will your face. Most people have no idea that they're even working those muscles until they come into the medspa wondering why there are winkles around their chin and why the skin under their neck is stretched!
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