The sternocleidomastoid is one of my favorite muscles.  Solely for its name.  When I was first learning the muscles I saw that name and thought, “you’ve got to be kidding me.”  I had so much fun laughing at myself trying to remember how to pronounce it.  That must be a sign that I love the body.

The sternoceidomastoid is easy to remember because you can see it in your neck.  It’s that ropey, thick muscle that pops out when you turn your head from side to side.  If you can’t see it, then put your hands on your neck like you are feeling for a pulse.  Turn your head to the left and you’ll feel a muscle pop out under the fingers on the right side of your neck.  Turn to look to the right and you’ll feel it pop out under the left fingers.

It attaches to the base of the skull, pretty much right behind your ear.  And at the other end it connects to your collar bone and the very top of your breast bone.  Both sides working together help you nod your chin to your chest and turn the head from side to side.  If you bring your ear toward your shoulder, one side helps you do that.  Bring your other ear to the other shoulder and the other does the work.

The body is just great!