When you smile, you are using the zygomaticus major muscles and these help accentuate the cheekbones and give a tapered or upside down triangle shape to the face. As these muscles also help lift the mouth when smiling, toning up these muscles not only adds shape and definition to the face but also counter-acts the natural downward droop of the mouth.
Exercising these muscles can be easy or more challenging depending on how you use your face when talking. Some people’s faces are very animated when they talk and use these muscles a lot. Others tend to only move the mouth when talking while the rest of the face stays still.
If you are one of the latter group, isolating and exercising these muscles will seem strange, but the effort is worth it to avoid that drawn and sunken look a face full of slack muscles assumes as time goes by.
Try to smile without curling up the sides of your mouth. Feel the muscles pulling your mouth up and out? These are the muscles you will be exercising.
Place the thumbs of each hand under each cheek bone and the other fingers on the side of the head to anchor the thumbs.
To stop this, gently bite your upper lip and suck it against your teeth. You should also try to avoid squinting with your eyes. Try to isolate the upper cheek muscles only and keep your eyes wide open. Now try to lift your upper cheeks upward and outwards towards your ears.
You should feel your thumbs move up with your cheek muscles as the muscle moves under the skin. Hold for up to a slow count of 30 and then slowly relax the tension.