Rectus capitis anterior

The rectus capitis anterior (also rectus capitis anterior muscle, anterior rectus capitis, latin: musculus rectus capitis anterior) is a short muscle located anterior to the vertebral column, stretching between the atlas and the base of the skull. It is involved in flexion of the neck. Along with the rectus capitis lateralis it belongs to the anterior suboccipital muscles.


The rectus capitis anterior originates from the anterior base of the transverse process of the atlas (C1).


The fibers of the rectus capitis anterior insert onto the inferior surface of the basilar part of the occipital bone.


Upon contraction the rectus capitis anterior aids in flexion of the neck at the atlanto-occipital joint.


The rectus capitis anterior is innervated by branches arising from the loop between the anterior rami of the 1st and 2nd cervical spinal nerves (C1 - C2).