In this paper we deal with the iterative computation of negative curvature directions of an indefinite matrix, within large scale optimization frameworks. In particular, suitable directions of negative curvature of the Hessian matrix represent an essential tool, to guarantee convergence to second order critical points. However, an “adequate” negative curvature direction is often required to have a good resemblanceto an eigenvector corresponding to the smallest eigenvalue of the Hessian matrix. Thus, its computation may be a very difficult task on large scale problems. Several strategies proposed in literature compute such a direction relying on matrix factorizations, so that they may be inefficient or even impracticable in a large scale setting. On the other hand, the iterative methods proposed either need to store a large matrix, or they need to rerun the recurrence.On this guideline, in this paper we propose the use of an iterative method, based on a planar Conjugate Gradient scheme. Under mild assumptions, we provide theory for using the latter method to compute adequate negative curvature directions, within optimization frameworks. In our proposal any matrix storage is avoided, along with any additional rerun.