Int J Sports Med 2024; 45(05): 335-342
DOI: 10.1055/a-2184-9007

Energetics (and Mechanical Determinants) of Sprint and Shuttle Running

1   Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
1   Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2   Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Unsteady locomotion (e. g., sprints and shuttle runs) requires additional metabolic (and mechanical) energy compared to running at constant speed. In addition, sprints or shuttle runs with relevant speed changes (e. g., with large accelerations and/or decelerations) are typically short in duration and, thus, anaerobic energy sources must be taken into account when computing energy expenditure. In sprint running there is an additional problem due to the objective difficulty in separating the acceleration phase from a (necessary and subsequent) deceleration phase.

In this review the studies that report data of energy expenditure during sprints and shuttles (estimated or actually calculated) will be summarized and compared. Furthermore, the (mechanical) determinants of metabolic energy expenditure will be discussed, with a focus on the analogies with and differences from the energetics/mechanics of constant-speed linear running.

Publication History

Received: 17 July 2023

Accepted: 13 September 2023

Article published online:
13 November 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
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