You are at full liberty to laugh at the figure, for there is no question that it has strong elements of the ludicrous; but for all that it is not exaggerated, and such attitudes may be seen in every last short-distance match.
In the professional, the weight falls on a nearly perpendicular column through the body, which is in balance, striking the ground midway between the points of support—the feet. If the man were to stop just where he is, he is in a position to resist a shove either forward or back. A smart push from behind would infallibly send our unskilled friend on his nose.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Handbook of Summer Athletic Sports, by Various published 1880