Shuttle runs are a great method of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise and are the most efficient and effective way to improve your fitness level.
For years athletes have been using shuttle runs to improve their conditioning level, as this kind of conditioning reproduces conditions that athletes contend with during competition. Regardless of what sport you play, and especially if you aren’t active in athletics, shuttle runs give you the most bang for your exercise buck.
Shuttle runs can be performed just about anyplace providing you have at least a 10-12 yard area of relatively flat, even space. These conditioning drills can be done inside, in your yard, at the beach, on a basketball court and – of course – on a lined field. I’ve done them in hallways in schools, at the water’s edge by the ocean, on tennis courts and in my backyard, driveway and the street in front of my house.
The set-up is simple; pace of 8-15-yards and mark the area so you are aware of the start and finish line. You don’t need to use cones, especially if you are doing the shuttles on a lined field, but can use anything from sticks, to disposable drinking cups and lines in the sand.
To perform the shuttles you sprint to each line, making sure one of your feet gets to the “line,” and use a side-shuffle step to change directions. Complete 4 “laps” of this course. So if you’ve paced off 15-yards, run this course 4 times and you will have covered 60-yards. You don’t want to run past the line, slow down too early or get to the line and have to stop and completely turn around in order to change directions.
For as long as it takes you to complete the shuttle, your rest period should be 3 times as long. So if it takes you 15-seconds to complete a 60-yard shuttle (a pretty good time if you’ve never done this before) you can rest for 45-seconds before starting your next set. Following this formula, you can get a complete cardiovascular workout completed in 8-10 minutes.
Shuttle runs are a versatile, effective and efficient method of cardiovascular training that everyone can take advantage of.