Why do everyone start with their head down these days?

Back in the day you could still see some people having their heads raised, looking straight ahead as they got into the set position. The last I can think of is Dennis Mitchell.

Is the prevalence of the head down start just a fad or is there some theory behind it?

head down while in the blocks or during acceleration?

My coach (Quik) has told me the reason why the head is down at the start is because it helps keep the torso in line with the shins. If the head is up it can cause the chest to come up which may eventually lead to the the torso popping upright which is not optimal for acceleration.

thats the same reason i heard. Head done keeps the body in alingment. I was also thinking of this very thing the other day, as i saw ben doing a race and the start had him looking down the track in the blocks. And yet, he was a fantastic starter. So???

I think for most its just following what other sprinters do. I personally have timed myself with both methods and dont find that much of a difference, with some being faster head down and some being faster head up.

There have been some really great starters with head up method: Ben, Jesse Owens, Armin Hary, Dennis Mitchell. Im sure the list is longer, but thats just off the top of the head. If you notice, most hurdlers will have the head up position and it doesn’t seem to hurt them.

As long as you are not leaning backward, I can’t see how it would hurt to go either way. HSI preaches head down. I try to preach good posture, and see what the individual models. Everyone has their own concept of good posture.

Drive phase technique starts with the head. Powell has his head down til about the 60 meter mark.

More importantly than the head is the overall angle of the COG compared to the foot contact point. If you watch most people, the head is actually kept in line with the spine morso than looking down. Can anyone find any pics with Powell being within his first 30m from the side? I’d like to see his alignment.

As for hurdlers, they need to get there body in an upright position before most sprinters do because of the hurdles.
In my exp coach, it seems to delay the posture associated with deccel phase by a bit. It also seems to give more control and consistency for the “accel phase/drive phase; tomato/tomato”

Now I speak with caution in saying this on this site. I believe it has been very beneficial IF the MV and Speed Endurance are in place