Agility Testing

Illinois Test Demonstration


Agility Testing

Agility testing can be valuable in assessing function.  It is often helpful to have pre-test information in case of athletes but that is not very likely to be available for most clients.  The next best thing is normative values but there are a limited number of tests for which these are available.  Even when normative values are available, the population to which you are comparing may not match.  Nonetheless, the agility tests could be used for serial measures during the rehabilitation process to demonstrate functional improvements.

This blog will provide a sample of agility tests with instructions on the performance, statistical data, and normative values when available.  ALL of this data (and more) is available in the mobile app iOrtho+ Premium (  The tests include:

  • Hop for Distance Test
  • Crossover Hop Test
  • Maximal Controlled Leap Test
  • Illinois Agility Test
  • T-Test
  • Zig Zag Test

Hop for Distance Test is the simplest of all the agility tests.  The individual stands on 1 leg and hops as far as possible onto the same leg.  The individual must “stick” the landing for it to be a valid measure. It is recommended the test be repeated 3 times on each leg and the averages used for comparison.  If the involved leg is less than 85% of uninvolved leg, the difference is considered significant.  This test has been correlated with knee flexion/extension isokinetic testing at 240 degrees/second.  Other statistical data are as follows:  Sensitivity = 38-58%; Specificity = 98%; ICC for an uninjured leg = 0.88 – 0.96; ICC after ACL reconstruction = 0.80 – 0.92

Crossover Hop Test adds a lateral movement to the hop for distance test.  Begin by marking a  straight line on the floor.  Have the individual start on 1-side of the line and perform 3 consecutive  hops with the same leg with each hop landing on the opposite side of the line.  It is recommended that the test be performed 3 times on each leg and the average the distances used for comparison.  Again, if the involved leg is less than 85% of uninvolved leg, the measures are significant.  The crossover hop test has been correlated with knee flexion/extension various velocities of isokinetic peak torque: at180°/sec = 0.69, at 300°/sec = 0.64, at 450°/sec = 0.53.

Maximal Controlled Leap Test involves the individual standing on 1-foot with hands on the hips.  The individual “leaps forward” as far as possible to land on the contralateral foot.  The individual must “stick” the landing for it to be a valid assessment.  The task should be repeated  3 times starting on each leg and average distances for comparison.  The criteria is: if the involved leg is less than 85% of uninvolved leg, the measures are significant.  There is no statistical data on this test.

Illinois Agility Test (IAT) involves the set up on 8 cones as in the diagram.  The individual starts at cone “1” and runs 10 meters to cone “2,” runs 10 meters to cone “3,” weaves around cones “3,4,5,6” and back through “5,4,3” runs 5 meters to cone “7,” and finally 5 meters to cone “8.”  Reliability (ICC) has been studied in several populations:

  • Semi-professional rugby players = 86%
  • Military service men = 99%
  • Football, handball, rugby = 96%

Data for both males and females have been classified in categories based on the times of task completion.  They are as follows:

Male                              Female

Excellent                                    < 15.2 seconds             < 17.0 seconds

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 seconds              > 23.0 seconds


In addition, Salimi and Ferguson-Pell (2020) studied the use of the IAT with experienced wheelchair users.  The average ICC was 89%.  Thus, this study demonstrated the IAT can be used as a reliable tool to assess and train wheelchair users, both for clinical and athletic applications.

T-Test requires significantly less set-up but still involves the strategic placement of 4 cones in the shape of a “T.”  The individual starts at cone “A” and runs 5 yards forward to cone “B”, touches the base of cone “B” with the right hand, shuffles left 5 yards and touches base of cone “C” with left hand, shuffles right 10 yards and touches the base of cone “D” with right hand, shuffles left 5 yards and touches the base of cone “B,” then back pedals past the starting point at cone “A.”  The time is recorded from start to finish.  The ICC = 0.94-0.98

Zig Zag Test also involves a series of maneuvers around 5 cones as displayed in the diagram.  Start at cone “A” and zig zag around the cones in the following order “B – C – D – B – E – A.”  The individual is not required to touch the cones with his/her hand or foot.  Normative values have been identified for athletes and non-athletes:

  • Athletes = 6.86 ± 0.53 – 6.97 ±  51 sec
  • Non-athletes = 7.67 ±  66 -o 7.70  ±  0.61

Statistical data has been reported as:

  • Inter-tester ICC: athletes = 0.97, non-athletes = 0.97
  • Intra-tester ICC: athletes = 0.92, non-athletes = 0.94


In summary, these are just 6 tests available.  There are other tests that require the purchase of specific equipment but these tests can be performed in any environment with little expense.  Overall, agility tests can be valuable to identify functional limitations, asymmetries, and criteria for the return to work or sport.

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