McKenzie Chin Tuck Exercise: How To Do It (Video), Before & After, Side Effects

The chin tuck exercise (also called McKenzie Chin Tuck) is a simple neck exercise that involves pulling your chin straight back, creating a double chin. It is often used as a therapeutic exercise to help improve posture, alleviate neck pain, and reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.
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McKenzie Chin Tuck Exercise: How To Do It (Video), Before & After, Side Effects
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What Are Chin Tucks Exercise?

The chin tuck exercise (also called McKenzie Chin Tuck) is a simple neck exercise that involves pulling your chin straight back, creating a double chin. It is often used as a therapeutic exercise to help improve posture, alleviate neck pain, and reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.

Chin tucks are said to be of great help for many conditions:

  • Neck pain caused by tension in muscles
  • Forward head posture
  • Overall poor posture
  • Developing strength and flexibility of neck muscles
A chin tuck exercise diagram
A chin tuck exercise diagram

How Chin Tucks Work

Although chin tuck seems like a quite simple exercise, it engages muscles you didn’t even think about. These are deep neck flexor muscles. They’re four paired muscles that form our muscular neck structure. Any dysfunction of the deep neck flexors leads to pain and improper posture. 

Deep neck flexor muscles
Deep neck flexor muscles

Apart from the deep cervical flexors, there are:

  • Scalene muscles: responsible for neck and head movements and posture;
  • Suboccipital muscles: four muscles at the back of the neck, responsible for neck extension and head rotation. 

Chin tucks help to restore the stability of these muscles, bringing relaxation and reducing tension that causes pain. 

Moreover, chin tucks are good for alleviating upper back pain. Particularly for reducing the tension in the shoulder blades.

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Chin Tucks Exercise Benefits

Chin tuck exercise is beneficial both for healthy posture and neck muscles, and for correcting the face shape. Therefore, adding chin tucks to your routine exercises will boost their efficiency and bring better results. 

Can Chin Tucks Help with Neck Pain?

As was mentioned, chin tucks appear to be an extremely effective remedy for neck pain. They’re also called neck retraction exercises since mostly done for neck muscle relaxation. While performing the chin tuck exercise, your neck muscles stretch and relax. Also, this neck retraction exercise can be integrated even into your workday. Since you can perform chin tucks sitting or standing. 

Can Chin Tucks Fix Forward Head Posture?

Chin tucks work well for overall posture and help to fix forward head posture. When performing chin tucks regularly, your spine gets used to keeping the correct posture. At the same time, upper back and neck muscles stretch and strengthen.

Fixing forward head posture with chin tuck exercise

Chin Tucks for Reducing Double Chin

Of course, just with chin tucks your double chin won’t disappear. Yet combined with a healthy diet, chin tucks can help to reduce facial fat. They work by toning your jaw muscles, thus, building a defined jawline and getting rid of a double chin.

Step-by-Step Guide to Perform a Chin Tuck

Step 1. Sit upright with your head and shoulders in a relaxed neutral position, looking straight ahead.

Step 2. Glide your chin and head straight back. Your head shouldn’t go up or down, and neither should your neck bend forward. You should feel a good stretch at the top of your neck and the base of your head.

Step 3. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then bring the chin forward.

Step 4. Repeat as many as you can, up to 10 times. 

Starting and ending positions of a chin tuck (how to perform a chin tuck)
Starting and ending positions of a chin tuck (how to perform a chin tuck)

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How To Do Chin Tucks Exercise Correctly (Video)

The following video guide on how to perform chin tucks will come in handy to learn the correct technique. Many exercise modifications are harder to do than simple chin tucks. Yet if you’re experienced, they’re worth trying.

Chin Tuck Exercise Modifications: 

Supine Chin Tuck

Supine chin tuck is performed laying down. Put a rolled towel under your head and glide your chin back.

Supine Chin Tuck with Rotation

Similarly, put a rolled towel under your head and glide your chin back. Then, keeping the chin tuck position, move your head to the right side. Relax, then repeat, this time moving your head to the left. 

Quadruped Chin Tuck

Get down on your knees, and put your hands on the floor. Keep your spine straight. Glide your chin back to the chin tuck position.

Quadruped Chin Tuck with Rotation

In the same position on your knees, glide your chin back and move your head to the right. Then relax, and repeat moving your head to the left with a tucked chin. 

Seated Chin Tuck with Overpressure

Sit upright and glide your chin back. Then with the help of your hand (the part between your thumb and index finger) press your head back between your nose and upper lip. 

Seated Chin Tuck with Overpressure & Counter Pressure

Similarly, when pushing your head back at the nose\upper lip spot, put your other hand on the back of your head. Applying pressure from both sides makes this variation of chin tuck more intense. 

Seated Chin Tuck with Rotation & Overpressure

While sitting upright and gliding your chin back, move your head to the right. At the same time apply a bit of pressure by pushing your jawline toward the head rotation. Then relax and repeat while rotating your head to the left. 

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Prone on Elbows Chin Tuck

Lie down and prop yourself up on your elbows. In this position, tuck your chin back. 

Prone on Elbows Chin Tuck with Band Resistance

Similarly, while staying prone on your elbows, put a resistance band over the back of your head. Hold the ends of the band in your hands. Perform chin tuck movement with a resistance band pressure. 

How to Implement Chin Tucks into Your Daily Routine

Like with any healthy habit, regular performance of chin tucks is key. 

There are a few useful tips on how to make chin tucks a part of your daily routine. 

  1. Start small. If chin tucks are new to you, it’s better to start bit by bit. Spending 5-10 minutes a day to perform simple chin tucks is a great way to start. 
  2. Set up a reminder on Mewing.app. Since regular exercise is crucial, it’s valid to get a reminder for everyday chin tuck. Mewing app will come in handy, as it sends you reminders and also has a great variety of mewing exercise guides. 
  3. Combine with jawline and posture exercises. To boost the efficiency of chin tucks for your jawline and posture, add facial exercises. Thus, you’ll see the results sooner and develop facial muscles for an aesthetic face structure. Use Mewing.app to get guidelines for the most effective mewing exercises. 
Set a chin tuck reminder on Mewing.app
Set a chin tuck reminder on Mewing.app

Chin Tucks FAQ

What Are Chin Tucks Good for?

Chin tucks are good for:

  • improving overall posture, 
  • fixing forward head posture, 
  • relaxing neck muscles, 
  • correcting face shape.

How Long Does It Take for Chin Tucks to Work?

Regular performance of chin tucks is the key to getting the desired effect. Chin tucks for neck pain relief usually work sooner, as deep neck muscle relaxation takes a few sessions of chin tucks. At the same time, visible results of chin tuck for facial shape improvement manifest after a couple of months of regular training. 

How Often Should You Do a Chin Tuck?

The most effective way is to do 5-7 sessions of chin tucks every day. One session of 10 chin tucks 5 seconds each only takes a minute. So it’s recommended to find up to 10 minutes per day to do chin tucks.

How to Do Chin Tuck Correctly?

As for a beginner, it’s better to do a chin tuck in a sitting relaxed position. Sit upright, looking straight ahead. Slowly glide your chin and head back. Feel a stretch at the base of your head and the top of your neck. Avoid head lift, or moving it down or forward. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Do Chin Tucks Reduce Double Chin?

Combined with a healthy diet, chin tucks can help to reduce double chin. Together they promote facial muscle toning, thus, getting rid of any facial fat, including the double chin.

Are Chin Tucks Effective?

Yes, chin tucks have shown great results in reducing neck pain and improving posture. Toning face muscles for more defined facial features comes as a bonus.

How Long Should You Hold a Chin Tuck? 

It’s recommended to hold a chin tuck for 5-10 seconds. You can do up to 10 chin tucks per session and repeat them 5-7 times a day. Such a routine appears to be effective even for beginners. 

Conclusion

Although chin tuck seems like an easy exercise, a proper technique is vital to get the desired effect with no harm. There are many variations of chin tucks to boost their efficiency, yet it’s recommended to start with a simple chin tuck. It’s among the best exercises for neck pain relief. Regular chin tuck routine brings relaxation of the deep neck flexor muscles, posture, and face shape improvements. 

The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional guidance. Mewing and other techniques mentioned on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results may vary. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as an orthodontist, dentist, or myofunctional therapist, before starting any new oral or facial exercises, particularly if you have existing dental, orthodontic, or health concerns.
Written by
Victoria Punda
March 13, 2023