Health and performance effects of 12 weeks of small-sided street football training compared to grass football training in habitually active young men

Morten B. Randers*, Marie Hagman, Jesper F. Christensen, Susana Póvoas, Jens Jung Nielsen, Peter Krustrup

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the health and exercise performance effects of street football training on very small pitches surrounded by boards in young habitually active men in comparison to small-sided football training on grass. Methods: Thirty-nine habitually active men (30.7 ± 6.7 years, 90.9 ± 16.6 kg, 183.8 ± 4.5 cm, 39.6 ± 6.0 mL/min/kg) were randomly assigned to a street football training group (ST) or grass football group (GR) playing small-sided games for 70 min, 1.5 and 1.7 times per week for 12 weeks, respectively, or an inactive control group (CO). Intensity during training was measured using heart rate (HR) and GPS units. Pre- and post-intervention, a test battery was completed. Results: Mean HR (87.1 ± 5.0 vs. 84.0 ± 5.3%HRmax; P > 0.05) and percentage of training time above 90%HRmax (44 ± 28 vs. 34 ± 24%; P > 0.05) were not different between ST and GR. VO2max increased (P < 0.001) by 3.6[95% CI 1.8;5.4]mL/min/kg in GR with no significant change in ST or CO. HR during running at 8 km/h decreased (P < 0.001) by 14[10;17]bpm in ST and by 12[6;19]bpm in GR, with no change in CO. No changes were observed in blood pressure, resting HR, total body mass, lean body mass, whole-body bone mineral density, fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, plasma insulin, total cholesterol(C), LDL-C or HDL-C. Moreover, no changes were observed in Yo-Yo IE2 performance, 30-m sprint time, jump length or postural balance. Conclusion: Small-sided street football training for 12 weeks with 1–2 weekly sessions led to improvements in submaximal exercise capacity only, whereas recreational grass football training confirmed previous positive effects on submaximal exercise capacity as well as cardiorespiratory fitness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume124
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)805–813
ISSN1439-6319
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Game formats
  • Small-sided games
  • Soccer
  • VOmax
  • Exercise Test
  • Physical Fitness/physiology
  • Humans
  • Exercise/physiology
  • Male

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