Posts Tagged ‘muscle anatomy’
Prior to face exercises, I didn’t realize the intricacy of the face and face muscle. A cheek is a cheek … ok … the cheek is made up of flesh. But I never thought of it as cheek muscle.
Nowadays I get curious about every other face muscle on my face. It seems like each muscle of the face has a job to do. Some describe the face muscle actions as a ‘tug of war’ between elevator and depressor muscles.
An elevator function is to raise a face muscle while the depressor role is to pull down a face muscle.
For instance, if the Frontalis(elevator face muscle) is activated, we have raised eyebrows. Conversely, if the Procerus or Corrugators(depressor face muscles) is activated, the brow is pulled downwards into a frown.
As you can see, it is the movements of the face muscles that creates facial expressions. And these facial expressions in turn produce the dynamic expression lines on the face. As such, face muscles are sometimes called the muscles of face expressions.
The elevator and depressor muscles work as a team. When one set of face muscle is activated, it contracts(shortens); the other set of muscle relaxes(lengthens).
Another way to understand the working of face muscles is to categorize the muscles as agonist and antagonist. The agonist is a contracting face muscle whose action is opposed by another muscle(antagonist) that acts in opposition to it.
For example, one set of muscle open the eyelid, and another set of muscle get to close the eyelid.
I find that by learning how the face muscles work, I become more aware of my own face muscle movements. This has been helpful when I am doing my face exercises or when I am engaged in everyday activities.
Now, I am able to catch myself in the moment I’m about to frown, squint or turn my lips down. And for each self alert, it brings a smile to my face.
Yes, gotta have more smiles and less of the other undesirable face muscle actions.
Image Credit: FranUlloa
I must confess, it’s so much easier to do a face exercise than to learn the name of a face muscle.
For example, have you heard of Orbicularis Oculi, Buccinatorius or Mentalis?
If you read Latin, then not a problem for you, but for the rest of us, it can be difficult to remember the names.
Each of the term refers to a specific face muscle. In this case, it is the muscle around the eyes, cheek muscle and chin muscle.
We have more than 50 muscles in the face and neck, so it can be a pretty challenging task to master the names of all the facial muscles.
But why do you need to know about facial muscles?
Actually, you don’t have to. Even if you have no knowledge about the face muscles, you can still go ahead with facial exercises.
However, many face exercises make reference to specific face muscle in their training instructions. So, if you are familiar with the name and location of each face muscle, you can quickly and effectively focus on the target muscles. No more hit or miss, or worrying whether if you have place your fingers on the correct positions on your face.
If you are doing face exercises, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of the facial muscles. You will have a better understanding of your face structure and a greater awareness of the relationships between face muscles, facial expressions and facial lines.
The more you know about the working of the face muscles, the more confident you have in performing the face exercises correctly and each specialized exercise becomes more meaningful.
Come with me if you are interested to know more. I found an interactive website where you can teach yourself the name and position of each face muscle. Once you are on the website Artnatomy, click on “Application”(on the lower right hand side), and you can start right away. Have fun exploring.
Image Credit: Patrick J. Lynch