Illinois Agility Test

Original Editor - Janine Rose

Top Contributors - Janine Rose and Wanda van Niekerk  

Introduction

The Illinois Agility Test (IAT) is one of many tests used to assess agility. Agility is one of the testing components of physical fitness. Agility may "be defined as the ability to alter direction to achieve a a specific goal (e.g. evade/deceive/react to an opponent, create space).[1] Agility training is often associated with athletics as it is seen as an important component in improving athletic performance. Agility training, however, is also used outside of the athletic sphere. Liu-Ambrose et. al (2004) found that balance confidence in an elderly cohort improved with resistance or agility training[2]. It is to be noted that there appeared to be no correlation between "balance confidence and changes in fall risk and physical abilities as a result of participating in a group-based exercise program" in the study.[2]

Young athlete performing the IAT

The IAT is also used in the training of tactical athletes. The term tactical athletes is used to refer to those individuals in law enforcement, military and rescue professions. These persons require specialized training which is geared at optimal physical performance for the job.[3] The IAT is also a component of the Comprehensive High-Level Activity Mobility Predictor which was developed to assess male service members who had suffered traumatic lower limb loss.[4]

The IAT

The IAT is often used in screening athletes. It being used as a "go to" test for agility may be due to the fact that it is easy to administer. What it requires in regard to equipment is relatively easy to obtain and is often already in the department. To conduct the test adequate space, a timer and 8 cones are required. The individual starts by lying face down by the first cone. Staring at cone 1 he is required to run to cone 2 which is placed at a distance of 10 meters away from the first. He then runs 10 meters to cone 3. At this point the individual has to weave around cones 3,4,5,6. After this he has to go through 5,4,3. He will then run to cone # 8. The time to complete the task is then recorded.

Video of Illinois Agility Test[5]

Normative values for the Illinois Agility Test (16-19 years)

Category Male (sec) Female (sec)
Excellent <15.2 <17.0
Good 15.2-16.1 17.0-17.9
Average 16.2-18.1 18.0-21.7
Fair 18.2-18.3 21.8-23.0
Poor >18.3 >23.0

Reprinted from Roozen[6]

Reliability and validity of the IAT

In a study by Hachana et. al.(2013) significant correlation was noted between the IAT and leg power (r=0.39[95% CI, -0.26 to 0.44]; p<0.05. Correlation was also noted between the the IAT and speed (r=0.42[95% CI, 0.37-0.5}; p<0.05. After controlling for speed with partial correlation it was noted that "the significant relationship between IAT and leg power disappeared". The study concluded that the IAT was a valid and reliable test correlating more to speed than leg power.[7] Raya et. al (2013) did a study on male service members which compared the IAT to the Edgren Side Step Test (ESST) and the T-Test. "The purpose of the study was to establish the reliability and convergent construct validity of the ESST, T-Test and the IAT in young, non-disabled, physically active male service members". The study found that the tests including the IAT had excellent interrater reliability and moderate to good test-retest reliability. The study found that these tests including the IAT provided a comprehensive assessment of high level mobility.[8]

References

  1. Brukner, Peter. (2016). Brukner & Khan's Clinical sports medicine: Injuries, vol. 1. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical, p.144.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Liu-Ambrose T, Khan KM, Eng JJ, Lord SR, McKay HA. Balance confidence improves with resistance or agility training. Gerontology. 2004;50(6):373-82.
  3. Scofield DE, Kardouni JR. The tactical athlete: A product of 21st century strength and Conditioning. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 2015 Aug 1;37(4):2-7.
  4. Gailey RS, Gaunaurd IA, Raya MA, Roach KE, Linberg AA, Campbell SM, Jayne DM, Scoville C. Development and reliability testing of the Comprehensive High-Level Activity Mobility Predictor (CHAMP) in male servicemembers with traumatic lower-limb loss. WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER WASHINGTON DC; 2013 Jan.
  5. hanglekio. Illinois Agility Test. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgO6ohh7zHk [last accessed 6/24/2018]
  6. Roozen, M. (2004). Illinois agility test. NSCA's Performance Training Journal 3 (5), 5-6
  7. Hachana Y, Chaabène H, Nabli MA, Attia A, Moualhi J, Farhat N, Elloumi M. Test-retest reliability, criterion-related validity, and minimal detectable change of the Illinois agility test in male team sport athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2013 Oct 1;27(10):2752-9.
  8. Raya MA, Gailey RS, Gaunaurd IA, Jayne DM, Campbell SM, Gagne E, Manrique PG, Muller DG, Tucker C. Comparison of three agility tests with male servicemembers: Edgren Side Step Test, T-Test, and Illinois Agility Test. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development. 2013 Nov 1;50(7).