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Original Research

Open Access

Impact of short term high-intensity interval training on the aerobic and anaerobic fitness of young male football players in the final stages of rehabilitation

  • Gaofei Zhang1
  • Yonghwan Kim2,*,
  • Jiyoung Lee2,*,

1Physical Education College, Zhoukou Normal University, 466000 Zhoukou, Henan, China

2Department of Physical Education, Gangneung-Wonju National University, 25457 Gangneung, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2024.098 Vol.20,Issue 6,June 2024 pp.108-115

Submitted: 27 December 2023 Accepted: 26 January 2024

Published: 30 June 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Yonghwan Kim E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Jiyoung Lee E-mail:


After rehabilitation, it is important for athletes to regain their previous fitness level in order to return to play. In this study, we sought to determine whether short-term HIIT and MICT improve the fitness in young male football players. Our analysis included 50 participants with a mean age of 16.4 ± 1.3 years (range: 15.5–17.7 years), a mean height of 174.7 ± 6.2 cm (163.1–191.0 cm), and a mean weight of 65.7 ± 6.5 kg (48.6–79.0 kg). Athletes who had almost completed their rehabilitation and were about to return to playing football were classified into high-intensity interval training (HIIT, n = 25) and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT, n = 25), and underwent a 12-session intervention training program that lasted four weeks. We conducted graded exercise tests, as well as Wingate, isokinetic strength, and Y-balance tests. The Mann-Whitney test was used for between-group comparisons and Wilcoxon’s test was used for comparisons before and after intervention. Volume of oxygen uptake peak, heart rate recovery and anaerobic threshold showed significant improvement in both groups following intervention but were significantly higher in the HIIT group than in the MICT group (p < 0.05). The Wingate anaerobic peak power and fatigue index showed significant increasement in the HIIT and MICT in first and second sets, but only for third set in the HIIT (p < 0.05). HIIT improved isokinetic strength at 60/s, whereas both training methods provided improvement at 180/s (p < 0.05). Results arising from the Y-balance test did not improve in either group. In conclusion, short-term HIIT and MICT are effective methods with which to improve fitness in young male football players preparing to return to play after injury. However, HIIT was slightly more effective than MICT in terms of improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness and strength.


Football; Fitness; Adolescent; High-intensity interval training; Moderate-intensity continuous training

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Gaofei Zhang,Yonghwan Kim,Jiyoung Lee. Impact of short term high-intensity interval training on the aerobic and anaerobic fitness of young male football players in the final stages of rehabilitation. Journal of Men's Health. 2024. 20(6);108-115.


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