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Build Sports Endurance with Shuttle Runs

Check your sports endurance


Updated April 16, 2014

The shuttle run is often used to measure the kind of endurance you need for stop-and-go sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, and tennis. While it is a great way to track your progress, why stop there? Add shuttle runs into your training routine once a week and get a major interval training workout.

Most of us did shuttle runs in grade school or high school. This drill is no different.

The Drill

  1. Set up markers (such as cones) 25 yards apart.
  2. Make sure you are warmed up, or add this drill to the end of an easy jog.
  3. Sprint from one marker to the other and back. That's one repetition.
  4. Do 6 repetitions as fast as you can (that's 300 yards).
  5. Time your result for the entire 6 repetitions.
  6. Rest 5 minutes.
  7. Repeat the drill.
  8. Add the times for each run together and divide by two to find the average time. [
  9. Record this time.
  10. You can use this test monthly to track your progress over time.

To give you an idea of what your results means, the US Military Academy Admissions showed the top West Point men score 52 seconds, and women score 58 seconds. Their maximum acceptable time is 65 seconds for men and 79 seconds for women.

The shuttle run is an easy way to add some high intensity drills into a basic exercise program while you build speed, stamina and endurance.

Need new workout ideas? Check out the Sample Workouts Page.


US Military Academy Admissions, Lemmink KA, Visscher C, Lambert MI, Lamberts RP. The interval shuttle run test for intermittent sport players: evaluation of reliability. Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. November, 2004.

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