eli5: why can’t our faces be buff



If our faces are made out of muscles, they why can’t we exercises them like we do our other body muscles and get buff faces.
Thank you, that is all.

In: Biology

Actually you can have a buff face, depending on your diet the major muscles in your jaw can grow or shrink, your skull actually changes over time to accommodate these muscles. So you can have strong muscles in your face but they won’t flex the same way the muscles in your arm do, they will always be perportionate to your skull shape. You can learn more by looking at prehistoric and pre-homosapien skulls, which often have raised edges for anchoring these muscles.

Once upon a time I saw a before and after here on reddit of a guy who worked out his jaw muscles some how and it totally changed the shape of his face but that was a while ago and I don’t remember the sub or the OP

Part of it is that your face isn’t made up of a few large muscles, it’s made up of A LOT of VERY SMALL ones. So even if an individual muscle got more developed than others, there’s only so big it could get. More to the point, with the exception of your mandible (jaw), your face is made up of – and therefore your facial muscles are connected to – immobile bones, aka the mask of your skull. The thing that normally taxes muscles most, on the parts of your body that get “buff”, is doing the heavy work of moving your bones around and offsetting other large bone-related movements. Without any opportunity to move bones around, all most of your face muscles can really do is wiggle around on top of your skull mask. That doesn’t give much opportunity for the type of exercise necessary for bulking.

BUT – you will notice that there IS one muscle (well, two, the same one bilaterally) that you can really “flex” and feel the bulk of – your masseter muscle, the one that clamps your jaw shut. (Place your fingers on the lower outer corner of your jaw, then tighten and relax your jaw to feel it flex and release.) Notice that that’s one that moves a bone!