Let's face it, no man wants to look like a chicken. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many who suffer from the embarrassing condition known as "chicken neck".
More commonly called "turkey neck", this accumulation of loose skin can be a serious blow to any man's self-esteem. While drastic measures like a neck lift may be able to help, there is a better fix that doesn't involve going under the knife.
If you're willing to put in the work, strengthening your neck muscles can cure turkey neck, and do it for a fraction of the cost of any cosmetic surgery. Not only will you save money, but you'll also see a significant boost to your overall health. But first, what exactly is "chicken neck"; or as you most likely know it, "turkey neck"?
What is turkey neck?
Turkey neck is an unflattering excess of skin that hangs loosely from the neck and chin. This sagging neck skin bears a striking resemblance to the signature physical feature of all turkeys and chickens: the wattle. Much like with the similarly unattractive "double-chin", turkey neck often causes people to feel self-conscious.
Turkey neck can be so mortifying that some men seek surgical treatments to remedy it. A neck lift is a common surgery used to repair turkey neck and comes with a hefty price tag. The average cost of a neck lift is nearly $6,000, and that's just for the procedure. Thousands more can be added in auxiliary operating room costs and lost wages before recovery is completed.
What causes sagging neck skin?
One common source of sagging neck skin is aging. The skin becomes looser as we age, and the dermal layer of the neck is thinner than many other areas of the body. It also contains a very small number of subcutaneous glands, which are vital for tight skin.
If the subcutaneous glands are damaged, as often happens as we grow older, the elasticity of the skin is reduced. Poor elasticity is what allows the skin to hang away from the neck, giving the unfortunate appearance of a turkey or chicken.
Sun exposure can damage a vital structural protein in our skin known as collagen. Collagen, which helps maintain the integrity of connective tissue, is responsible for skin's elasticity. Without the use of sunscreen, the collagen can be damaged, resulting in sagging skin.
Weak Neck Muscles
Weak neck muscles can also contribute to reduced elasticity. If the muscles of the neck are not properly exercised, they lose their grip on the surrounding skin. Maintaining good exercise habits can help these muscles hold on tight, and dramatically reduce the appearance of turkey neck .
How can strengthening face and neck muscles help turkey neck?
Strengthening the neck muscles makes them larger, and larger muscles keep the skin stretched taut. This skin tightness will not only rid you of turkey neck, but help with the appearance of a double chin as well.
Facial exercises can also be helpful; these can be as simple as chewing gum with your lips closed, or moving your eyebrows up and down. Try to target the muscles you use to yawn, smile, and frown during these exercises.
While facial exercises can help a bit, it's better to focus on a solid neck workout routine. Maintaining a regular workout schedule is the best tool you can use to start fixing your turkey neck. Not only that, but strong neck muscles result can result in many other health benefits.
What are the other benefits of working out the neck muscles?
A good neck workout can help increase blood circulation, and strengthen auxiliary muscles that support the spine. This can negate the loss of mobility many people experience as they get older.
A solid neck is also the foundation for good posture. Though the back and abdominal muscles play some part in ensuring we stand up straight, a strong neck is just as important as a rigid and confident stance. Weaker muscles can lead to a slumped forward posture known as tech neck.
Named for the posture one assumes when they text or work on a computer, tech neck is the result of persistent neglect of the neck muscles. Engaging in a solid neck workout regiment ensures you'll have the strength to hold your head confident and high.
Exercises to help cure chicken or turkey neck
The best step you can take to combatting your chicken or turkey neck is to start engaging in some specialized neck workouts. While these exercises can work somewhat by themselves, you'll want to use resistance training equipment to maximize their efficiency.
To begin the forehead push, place your hand flat on the front of your forehead. Make sure to keep your shoulders back and neck straight.
Then, push your head against your hand while your hand is firm and still. You should feel some resistance, and once you do, hold this position for up to 10 seconds.
After 10 seconds, release, and let your neck return to its starting position. Repeat 5 times, and stop immediately if you feel any pain beyond just your neck muscles working.
It's important to exercise the antagonistic muscles as well, so after a couple of sets, you'll want to work on the opposite form of the forehead push. You can do this by placing your hands on the back of your head, and gently pushing your head backward.
Once you feel resistance in the neck, hold that position for up to 10 seconds. Then, release and relax your neck. Repeat 5 times, making sure not to overdo it and cause unnecessary neck pain.
Despite the title, this is not related to the surgical procedure of the same name. A neck lift is performed by getting down on all fours and keeping your back straight. Then, slowly lift your head as high as you can, trying to engage all of the muscles in your neck. Do this 4-6 times, then rest and repeat.
This exercise will not only pull the skin tight over the neck, increasing elasticity, but also increases blood circulation. Adding more resistance can especially help get the blood pumping.
Start with your legs firmly planted, and your back straight. Looking straight ahead, carefully turn your head towards your right shoulder. Then, rotate back to your starting position, pausing briefly. After you pause, turn your head further to your left shoulder.
Repeat this sequence of right, pause, left, pause, for 5 to 10 sets. The number of sets you complete should depend on your particular neck strength and tightness. Make sure to rotate slowly, stretching each tendon of your neck as you reach the left and right shoulders.
The head tilt is an exercise that is best performed from a standing position. Tilt your head downwards as though you were trying to touch your chin to your chest. Hold your chin in this downward position for up to 10 seconds, then return to looking straight ahead. Repeat this up to 5 times.
How can resistance training help with my turkey neck?
While you can get started with these exercises utilizing only your body weight, you'll see faster results with the introduction of increased resistance. And at a certain point, you'll hit a wall training with bodyweight - you eventually need to incorporate resistance into your training.
Working with resistance helps strengthen the muscles more rapidly, and quickly tighten the skin of your neck.
To do this efficiently, you'll need high-quality equipment designed specifically to build up your neck. The issue is finding a company that specializes in neck strengthening equipment. Many resistance equipment brands focus on full-body training and lack the functionality to help you train the neck in particular.
With that said - there is one brand worth shopping with if you're looking for the best neck training equipment available online.
What brand works best for performing chicken neck exercises?
If you want to fix your chicken or turkey neck fast, the best option you can choose is Iron Neck. Iron Neck is the leading brand of neck resistance training equipment; we maintain this lofty position in our industry through the perfection our flagship product, the Iron Neck. This is the #1 neck strengthener online.
This revolutionary multi-direction resistance device will not only tighten your skin but decrease neck pain and improve your posture at the same time. If you feel stiffness or lack of mobility, Iron Neck will give you the workout you need to get back to feeling 100%. No other piece of equipment on the market is more functional, unlocking 360 degree training for your neck.
You don't have to live with a turkey neck any longer. Now that you know what this unsightly condition is, what causes it, and how you can fix it, it's time to put in the work!
With a bit of focus and hard work, you can eliminate this embarrassing condition without the need for expensive surgeries. Don't settle for loose skin, start fighting aging today with Iron Neck's lineup of awesome training tools!