Definition: Position of Mechanical Advantage or Monkey Position

The Position of Mechanical Advantage was the term F M Alexander gave to a position we assume when bending forwards by flexing the hip joints in a way that allows the spine to remain lengthened, rather than curling over.  Many children naturally use this type of movement and position, as in this photo. However, as we grow up, we often lose this easy body use with free movement in our hip joints and resort to contracting our bodies as we bend forwards, which compresses the spine and interferes with our alignment. 

Toddler using Monkey Position

In Alexander lessons we explore using this way of moving and this procedure has now been called 'Monkey Position' (for obvious reasons!).  It is very adaptable way of moving and protects our backs whilst bending. We can use a 'small monkey' for actions such as chopping the vegetables, or a 'deep monkey' if we want to bend towards the floor.