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Pro Shuttle Breakdown

When you think about 20yard pro shuttle, you might think of it as a lateral movement. But the truth is, it still is a forward movement with drastic change of motion. Lateral and backward movement is usually substantially slower than forward movement in human body. The reason why you do those during the athletic movement is an uncertainly of the following movement. Lateral and backward movement in athletics are designed to allow the athlete to make quick change of direction to the opposite direction. In the 20yard pro shuttle test, the athletes know exactly where to turn and where to run to. This means that there is no need to do the lateral movement during this testing. As a review, 20yard pro shuttle consists of the following activities

  1. Lateral Start
  2. Run 5yard
  3. Touch line and 180 degree Change of Direction (COD)
  4. Run 10yard
  5. Touch line and 180 degree Change of Direction (COD)
  6. Run 5+yard

To make the movement very efficient, “Run” part should be straight ahead forward running, since the forward running is way faster than lateral shuffle.

Here are some points the athletes and coaches have to consider when running straight during 20yard pro shuttle test.

  • Maintain (turn) the hip perpendicular to the direction of the movement
  • Always run straight line.

Now let me explain the actual movement step by step.

  1. Start
    1. Stance
      1. Hip
        1. Stays parallel to the direction.
        2. If you are allowed to turn the hip to the direction, turn your hip as close as perpendicular to the direction.
      2. Weight
        1. Bodyweight should be equally distributed to both feet unless you are allowed to lean to one side.
        2. If you are allowed to lean, have more weights on the foot closer to the direction of the movement.
      3. Arm
        1. Arm closer to the direction of the movement
          • Straight down to touch ground. Do not have much weight on the hand.
        2. Opposite arm
          • When being square at the starting stance, have this arm cocked back with bent elbow (approximately 110 degrees plus or minus). You must feel good stretch on shoulder.
          • If you are allowed to turn your hip to the direction or lean to it, amplitude of the cock may be small.
      4. Body
        1. Do not squat down much. More flexion at the hip joint
        2. Foot should be flat on the ground. Weight should be distributed slightly toward the balls of foot.
        3. Width of the stance should be shoulder width or slightly wider. Do not go too wide.
        4. Open your foot closer to the direction slightly.
    2. Movement
      1. Start the movement with backside arm swing to the direction of the movement. This will lead the weight shift to the trigger foot (the foot closer to the direction). Arm swing does not have to be big, but quick.
      2. As the athlete shift the weight to the direction, turn the hip to the direction. It is very important to turn the hip.
      3. As he/she finishes the turn, whole body should be in start position for the straight-line sprint.
      4. Now all the body weight is on the trigger foot.
      5. Pull back the arm he/she swung hard and powerful as the athlete push off the trigger foot.
      6. Do not over turn the upper body. Always lead the movement with the hip the upper body gradually follows that.
      7. Weight shift / loading and push-off will be done in continuous and bouncy fashion.
  2. Turns
    1. Stepping: See the diagram, and the following step.
      1. Slight out step to initiate the turn
      2. Open step (45degree) to break and turn as athlete lean back. This will be the trigger foot.
      3. Maintain the slight contact of the trigger foot as turning this foot and the hip at the same time.
      4. Contact the back leg with slight bent knee.
      5. Drop the hip as the athlete maintain the most of the weight on her/his trigger foot.
      6. Explode straight out with the trigger foot.
      7. Run straight out.
    2. Push off
      1. All the movement will be continuous fashion.
      2. Push down and slight back with “FLAT FOOT”.
      3. Dropping the hip and exploding with the trigger foot is a very bouncy movement. Use the body as a spring.
      4. The body should cover trigger foot. Chest knee and the ball of foot are on the same line at the bottom position.
    3. Body positioning
      1. Complete the hip turn at the bottom position.
      2. Maintain the belly bottom slightly inside of the line.
      3. Never push off as turning.
      4. Focus more on “Hip” flexion and extension instead of knee as turning.
      5. Bottom position should almost look like the start of 40yard dash.
      6. Downward movement and Push-off will be explosive reversing movement (bouncing)
    4. Arms
      1. As making downward movement swipe the line by the opposite hand of trigger foot.
      2. As athlete bounce at the bottom, forcefully cocks back the arm, which swiped the line.
      3. Start swinging arm like straight ahead running.

Other Checkpoints.

  • Always have more focus on movement of the whole body, not just a step. Quicker step sometimes does not mean quicker movement.
  • Do not worry too much detail about the exact spot of the step. The optimal stepping is different everyday according to the physical condition.
  • Find the good split of the legs when turning, before the testing. As mentioned before, the optimal split will be different everyday. Good split means the split that gives the athlete good bounce when turning.
  • Think about triple flexion (hip, knee, ankle) to triple extension. Maintain the flat foot contact of the trigger foot until finishing the hip and knee extension.
  • The entire turning should be done on flat foot.
  • There will be NO lateral movement what so ever. Except the start stance.

You just have to practice the turn and start over and over. It usually is easier to get the feeling of movement by practicing piece by piece. Then combine with the following movement, except for the bottom position of the turn. Always practice the bottom part of the turn (down to up bounce) as one movement.

20yard shuttle is usually the one you can improve in a very short time, by performing it in efficient fashion.

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