Reliability and Construct Validity of Yo-Yo Tests in Untrained and Soccer-Trained Schoolgirls Aged 9–16

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 University Institute of Maia
  • | 2 University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • | 3 University of Porto
  • | 4 University of Coimbra
  • | 5 University of Beira Interior
  • | 6 University of Copenhagen
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The reliability and construct validity of three age-adapted-intensity Yo-Yo tests were evaluated in untrained (n = 67) vs. soccer-trained (n = 65) 9- to 16-year-old schoolgirls.


Tests were performed 7 days apart for reliability (9- to 11-year-old: Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children’s test; 12- to 13-yearold: Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 1; and 14- to 16-year-old: Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 2).


Yo-Yo distance covered was 40% (776 ± 324 vs. 556 ± 156 m), 85% (1252 ± 484 vs. 675 ± 252 m) and 138% (674 ± 336 vs. 283 ± 66 m) greater (p ≤ .010) for the soccer-trained than for the untrained girls aged 9–11, 12–13 and 14–16 years, respectively. Typical errors of measurement for Yo-Yo distance covered, expressed as a percentage of the coefficient of variation (confidence limits), were 10.1% (8.1–13.7%), 11.0% (8.6–15.4%) and 11.6% (9.2–16.1%) for soccer players, and 11.5% (9.1–15.8%), 14.1% (11.0–19.8%) and 10.6% (8.5–14.2%) for untrained girls, aged 9–11, 12–13 and 14–16, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficient values for test-retest were excellent (0.795–0.973) in both groups. No significant differences were observed in relative exercise peak heart rate (%HRpeak) between groups during test and retest.


The Yo-Yo tests are reliable for determining intermittent-exercise capacity and %HRpeak for soccer players and untrained 9- to 16-year-old girls. They also possess construct validity with better performances for soccer players compared with untrained age-matched girls, despite similar %HRpeak.

Póvoas is with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, University Institute of Maia, ISMAI, Maia, Portugal. Castagna is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. da Costa Soares is with the Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal. Silva is with the Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal. Coelho-e-Silva is with the University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, Portugal. Matos is with the University of Beira Interior, Beira Interior, Portugal. Krustrup is with the Dept. of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Address author correspondence to Pedro Silva at