5-meter multiple shuttle repeat sprint test (5 m-RST)

The 5m multiple shuttle test is a measure of anaerobic power and agility. Participants run back-and-forth over distances increasing by 5m each shuttle, 6 times for 30 seconds each time (35 seconds rest). This is different from a similarly named 10 x 5m Shuttle Test. This test was adapted from the Welsh Rugby Union shuttle run test (Pendleton 1997).

purpose: this is a test of anaerobic power and agility.

equipment required: stopwatch, measuring tape, marker cones, whistle, a flat non-slip surface.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure and mark out the test area. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

course layout: marker cones and/or lines are placed every 5 meters along a 25m distance. You may also want to place down smaller markers every 2.5m to increase the accuracy of recording the distance reached during each shuttle.

procedure: This is a maximal test, the subject should be instructed to run as hard as they can in each trial, and avoid pacing. Participants start with a foot at the end line. When instructed by the timer, the subject runs to the first marker (at 5m), turns and returns to the starting line. They then turn and run to the marker at 10m and return. They continue this pattern to the 15m, 20m and 25m marker. At each marker, the hand is used to touch the ground at the level of the marker (in the original test description by Pendleton 1997, the foot only touched each marker). A whistle is blown after 30 seconds, and the total distance during that time (to the nearest 2.5m) is recorded. There is a 35 second recovery period between trials. During the recovery period, the players make their way back to the starting point. After 35 seconds, the participants repeat this 30-s shuttle five more times (total 6 x 30 seconds).

scoring: Record the total distance covered for each trial, and the total distance overall. A fatigue index can also be calculated, the percent difference between the average two longest sprints and the two shortest sprints.

variations: Some earlier versions of this test required the subjects fully cross the line with both feet. There are many other shuttle test variations. Depending on the distance of each shuttle and the number repetitions, different energy systems are being tested. For example, the 10 x 5m Shuttle Test, 20m Shuttle aerobic test, the 10m Agility Shuttle and the 100 yard (10x10) shuttle test.

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