8 Amazing Exercises To Build Jaw Muscles

Ever wonder how to make your jaw stronger and why it's even important? From eating to speaking, strong jaw muscles play a vital role in your daily life.

This article will teach you exercises like the “Relaxed Jaw Exercise,” “Goldfish Exercises,” and more to build those jaw muscles effectively. Intrigued?

Keep reading for the nitty-gritty details and get ready to unlock a stronger you.

Precautions Before Starting Jaw Exercises

So, you're pumped and ready to start strengthening that jaw, huh? But hold on a second—before you dive in, there are some safety steps you've gotta know.

Trust me, you'll thank yourself later for being cautious.

Important Note on Consulting with Dental Specialists

First thing's first—schedule a chat with your dentist or an oral health specialist.

You might think, “It's just jaw exercises, what's the big deal?” Well, the jaw is a complex joint, my friend.

You don't want to end up doing more harm than good, especially if you have an underlying issue like Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) or a misaligned bite.

These pros can give you tailored advice and even recommend a regimen that suits your specific needs.

Warning About Not Doing Exercises When in Severe Pain

Got jaw pain that's making you wince just thinking about it? Time out.

Severe pain is a red flag that something's not right, and exercises can potentially make it worse.

You'll want that pain to subside before you start your jaw-strengthening journey.

And hey, if the pain persists or gets worse, that's another solid reason to consult your dental specialist.

Briefly Touch on Frequency Recommendations

Now let's talk about how often you should be doing these exercises.

Some have frequency guidelines—like “do this three times a day”—but others are more of a free-for-all.

In the latter case, again, your dental specialist is your go-to for advice.

They can tell you how many reps and sets are good for you. But as a general rule, don't overdo it, okay?

Overworking your jaw muscles can lead to fatigue and even strain.

Relaxed Jaw Exercise

So you're ready to get this jaw workout party started. First up is the Relaxed Jaw Exercise.

Sounds chill, right? And it is! But don't let the name fool you; this is a solid go-to exercise to kick things off.

How to Do It

Doing this exercise is like a mini-vacation for your jaw, and here's how you can get on board:

  1. Find a Quiet Spot: Choose a quiet space where you can focus. You don’t want distractions while you're connecting with your jaw.
  2. Position Your Tongue: Rest your tongue gently on the top of your mouth right behind your upper front teeth. This helps to disengage the jaw muscles, setting the stage for relaxation.
  3. Open Up: Now, here's the easy part. Simply let your teeth part naturally. Don't force it open; just let it happen.
  4. Relax the Jaw: Focus on your jaw muscles. Feel them? Okay, now consciously try to relax them. You're aiming for a loose, relaxed feel—like your jaw is effortlessly hanging down.

When and How Often You Should Do It

As for when and how often to do this exercise, it's pretty versatile. You can slot it into different parts of your day:

  • Morning Start: Doing this exercise right after you wake up can help set your jaw muscles in a relaxed state for the day ahead.
  • Work Breaks: Stressed out during a busy workday? A minute of this exercise can serve as a quick jaw de-stressor.
  • Before Bed: If you tend to grind your teeth at night or if you feel jaw tension before sleep, make this exercise a part of your pre-sleep ritual.

The Relaxed Jaw Exercise is gentle enough that you can do it several times a day. But, as always, if you've got specific issues or questions, your dental specialist is the one to ask for tailored recommendations.

Goldfish Exercises

This exercise is all about partial opening of the jaw, making it an excellent step up from the Relaxed Jaw Exercise. Ready to give it a whirl?

How to Do It

Alright, let's break it down step-by-step. It's a bit more hands-on than the last exercise, but nothing you can't handle.

  1. Locate Your TMJ: First off, use one of your fingers to find the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). It's right in front of your ear. Feel it? Great.
  2. Tongue Position: Just like in the Relaxed Jaw Exercise, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. It's like your tongue's home base.
  3. Get Your Fingers Ready: Place the finger you used to locate your TMJ there again, and put your other pointer finger on your chin. You're now ready for the action!
  4. Halfway There: Lower your jaw halfway down. Don't open it fully, just about halfway is good. You should feel some resistance but—this is important—no pain.
  5. Close Up: Now gently close your jaw. Congratulations, you've just completed one rep!

Ideal Times to Perform the Exercise

So when's the best time to get your goldfish on? Here are some suggestions:

  • After the Relaxed Jaw Exercise: The Goldfish Exercise is great to pair with the Relaxed Jaw Exercise. Consider doing them back-to-back for a comprehensive jaw workout.
  • During Screen Time: You know those moments when you're binge-watching or scrolling through social media? Why not make them productive for your jaw?
  • Pre-Meal Warm-up: About to dig into a chewy steak or crunchy veggies? A set or two of Goldfish Exercises can prep your jaw muscles for the feast ahead.

As for frequency, this exercise has a bit more oomph than the Relaxed Jaw Exercise, so you may want to start with a few reps and build up over time.

And I can't say this enough—if you're not sure about how often to do it, especially if you have existing jaw issues, consult your dental specialist.

Resisted Mouth Opening

This one's like the gym buff in your circle of exercises—still cool and friendly, but it takes things up a notch. It incorporates resistance to really get those jaw muscles working.

Steps to Perform the Exercise

Here's how you can get down to it:

  1. Find Your Starting Pose: Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath. You're about to work those muscles.
  2. Thumb Placement: Place your thumb under your chin. No, this isn't to ponder life's mysteries; it's to offer resistance to your jaw.
  3. Begin the Opening: Slowly start opening your mouth, but—here's the kicker—as you do, push gently against your chin with your thumb. This creates resistance.
  4. Hold and Count: Once your mouth is open, hold that position for about 3 to 6 seconds. Count it out if you have to. “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…”
  5. Gentle Close: Now, start closing your mouth slowly. The key word here is “slowly.” No need to rush.

Holding Time and Frequency

  • Holding Time: As mentioned, you'll want to hold the open position for 3 to 6 seconds. This time-frame is long enough to engage the muscles but short enough to avoid strain.
  • Frequency: Since this is a more strenuous exercise, starting with a set of 5 to 10 reps is a good baseline. You can do this once or twice a day, depending on how your jaw feels afterward.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • If at any point you feel pain, not just resistance, stop immediately. Pain is your body's way of saying, “Hey, this isn't right.”
  • As with any exercise, it's always smart to consult your dental specialist to figure out if this is an appropriate exercise for your specific situation, especially if you've got pre-existing jaw or dental issues.

Neck Curl-Ups

This exercise is like the multitasker in the group—it not only works your jaw muscles but gives your neck some love too. Let's jump in!

How This Exercise Also Benefits the Neck

When you think of jaw strength, you probably don't immediately think of your neck. But guess what?

The muscles in your neck and jaw are interconnected. So, by working on neck curl-ups, you're giving those jaw muscles an indirect workout.

It's like hitting two birds with one stone—only no birds are harmed in this exercise!

Proper Form and How Often to Do It

Okay, ready to get this done? Make sure to get your form right; otherwise, it's like putting in the work without reaping the benefits.

  1. Position: Lie flat on your back on a bed or a mat. Keep your arms by your sides, and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Chin to Chest: Tuck your chin into your chest as if you're trying to hold an imaginary orange under your chin.
  3. The Curl-Up: Now, lift your head just a few inches off the bed or mat. No need to go for a full sit-up. The goal is to engage the neck and jaw muscles.
  4. Hold and Lower: Once you're up, hold that position for a couple of seconds. Feel those muscles working? Great! Now, slowly lower your head back down.
  5. Repeat: Aim for about 10 to 15 reps per set, and try to complete at least 2 or 3 sets.

As for frequency, consider doing this exercise every other day to start. If you're feeling good and want to level up, you can eventually work your way up to doing it daily.

A couple of tips for you:

  • Make sure you're not straining your neck. The lift comes from the muscles at the front of your neck, not the back.
  • As always, if you feel any pain or discomfort, it's a sign to stop and consult your dental specialist or a healthcare provider.

Tongue Up

This one sounds like it could be a dance move, doesn't it?

But in reality, it's a super simple yet effective way to engage not just your tongue but also your jaw muscles. Intrigued? Let's unpack it.

Steps and Focus Areas

No intricate steps or tricky positions here; the Tongue Up exercise is as straightforward as they come. Here’s how it's done:

  1. Starting Position: Stand or sit up straight. The more aligned your posture, the better the exercise's effectiveness.
  2. Tongue Placement: Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Try to cover as much area as possible. Feel like you're creating a seal up there.
  3. Open and Close: While keeping your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth, slowly open and close your jaw.
  4. Focus on Tension: The idea here is to maintain constant pressure between your tongue and the roof of your mouth as you open and close your jaw. This tension is what works those jaw muscles.

When to Perform This Exercise

Ah, timing is everything, isn't it? Here are some suggestions:

  • Morning Routine: This is a great exercise to wake up your jaw and start the day. Maybe do it while you're waiting for your coffee to brew?
  • During Work: If you find yourself seated at a desk for long hours, take a few minutes to perform this exercise. It can even help reduce tension in your jaw and face.
  • In the Car: Stuck in traffic? Instead of stressing, use the time to give your jaw a workout with some Tongue Ups.

Frequency-wise, you can perform this exercise multiple times a day.

It's low-impact enough that you won't strain your muscles, but always listen to your body.

If something feels off, pause and consult with a dental specialist.

Chin Tucks

Get ready to meet the next VIP of jaw-strengthening exercises: the Chin Tuck.

It may have a name that makes you think of facelifts, but trust me, this little gem is all about strength, not aesthetics. You in? Let's dive in, buddy!

How to Do a Proper Chin Tuck

It's super crucial to get this one right; otherwise, you might end up working the wrong muscles. So, here’s how to master the art of the chin tuck:

  1. Mirror, Mirror: Stand or sit in front of a mirror. Yeah, you'll want to see yourself do this one. It helps to make sure your form is spot-on.
  2. Head Straight: Keep your head level—like you're balancing a book on it. Eyes forward, Captain!
  3. Tuck and Hold: Gently tuck your chin down and back towards your neck, kind of like a turtle pulling its head into its shell. Hold it for a few seconds. You should feel a light stretch, not a cramp.
  4. Release and Relax: Let go and bring your head back to the neutral position. Congrats, you've just completed one rep!
  5. Repeat: Aim for 10 reps to start with. As you get more comfortable, you can increase the reps.

How Often and When to Include This in Your Routine

This is the million-dollar question, isn't it? So, when's the best time to sneak in some chin tucks?

  • Morning Wake-up: Do a set after you get up. It's like saying “Good morning!” to your jaw muscles.
  • Mid-day Pick-Me-Up: If you’re sitting at your desk and you feel your energy dipping, a couple of chin tucks could also help to straighten your posture and wake you up.
  • Evening Wind-Down: Why not end the day the way you started, with a quick set of chin tucks?

As for frequency, aim for at least once a day to start. If you're really getting into it, two or three times a day would be the dream scenario.

But, as always, if you feel any discomfort, take it down a notch and consult a professional.

Jaw Slide Side-to-Side

Roll out the red carpet, because here comes the Jaw Slide Side-to-Side!

This one is a bit like a dance move for your jaw—think of it as the Cha-Cha slide but for your face. Feeling curious? Let's break it down.

Instructions on How to Perform

You'll need a bit of coordination for this one, but don't worry, it's easier than it sounds. Follow these steps:

  1. Get Your Object Ready: Grab an object that's about a quarter-inch thick. We'll get to what that object should be in just a moment.
  2. Place the Object: Put the object between your front teeth. Make sure it's positioned securely but comfortably.
  3. Ready, Set, Slide: With the object in place, slowly slide your jaw from side to side. Try to keep the rest of your head stable, so it’s just your jaw that’s moving.
  4. Steady As You Go: Keep the slide controlled and measured. The aim is to feel your jaw muscles working, not to win a speed race.
  5. Pause and Repeat: After a few slides, pause and give your jaw a moment to relax. Then dive back in for another round.

What Object to Use for Best Results

Alright, let's talk objects. What should you use for this particular exercise? You've got options:

  • Rubber Spacer: A small, soft rubber spacer often used for dental purposes is ideal. It's easy on the teeth and gives just the right amount of resistance.
  • Folded Paper: In a pinch, a small, folded piece of paper can also work. Just make sure it's folded to the right thickness.
  • Eraser: A piece of a pencil eraser cut to size could also do the trick.

Remember, the object shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. You want something that provides resistance but won’t hurt your teeth.

Tongue Twister

Hold onto your hats, folks, because here comes the Tongue Twister!

No, we're not talking about those phrases that tie your tongue in knots.

This is a jaw exercise that's as fun to do as it is to say. Ready to give your tongue—and jaw—a proper workout? Let's go!

Methodology and Steps

You won't need anything but your very own tongue for this one.

Yep, no special equipment needed! Here's how to get twisting:

  1. Starting Position: Sit or stand with your back straight and your head facing forward. Imagine there's a string pulling your head up toward the ceiling.
  2. Tongue Placement: Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth. Your tongue should cover a broad area, almost like it's hugging the roof of your mouth.
  3. Apply Pressure: Press your tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth. Imagine you're trying to lift the roof up with your tongue—yeah, get those muscles working!
  4. Add Some Vibration: While keeping the pressure, start to hum. The idea is to create a vibrating or buzzing sensation. Feel those jaw muscles start to activate?
  5. Hold and Hum: Try to maintain this tension and vibration for a few seconds, then relax and take a breather.

Importance of Creating Tension With Your Tongue

So why the focus on tongue tension? Here's the deal:

  • Activates the Right Muscles: Creating tension helps to engage both your tongue and jaw muscles, which makes the exercise doubly effective.
  • Improves Control: Tension provides a level of control that helps you isolate the muscles you want to work on. Think of it as doing targeted strength training for your jaw.
  • Enhances Focus: Maintaining constant tension makes you pay close attention to what you're doing. You can't just go through the motions; you've got to be engaged.
  • Might Just Help with Stress: Let's be real—there's something a bit meditative about focusing on creating and maintaining tension. It's like a mini-break for your mind while your jaw gets a workout.


So, there you have it—a full suite of jaw-strengthening exercises that are as effective as they are varied.

Whether you're humming away with the Tongue Twister or doing the side-to-side slide, remember that consistency is key.

But hey, always consult your dental specialist if you're in doubt or experiencing any discomfort.

Ready to give your jaw the workout it deserves? Let's get to it!