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School-Based High-Intensity Interval Training Programs for Promoting Physical Activity and Fitness in Adolescents: A Systematic Review

André Filipe Paulino da Silva Bento, Luis Carrasco Páez, and Armando Manuel de Mendonça Raimundo

Purpose: This review aimed to evaluate the utility of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs integrated into physical education classes. Method: Searches of electronic databases from January 2008 to March 2020. Inclusion criteria: Applied to adolescents aged 10–19 years; applied in school settings; reported results on physical fitness, physical activity (PA), and motivation; at least for 4 weeks; and randomized controlled trials. Studies with adolescents with physical or intellectual limitations were excluded, as well as other interventions parallel to HIIT. Results: Fourteen studies were included. All works present significant improvements in physical fitness and PA. Improvements in body composition recorded, at most, a moderate effect size. HIIT is presented as a powerful stimulus on cardiorespiratory fitness. Improvements in PA registered, a least, a moderate effect size. Conclusions: HIIT in the school context has great potential in improving physical fitness and PA in adolescents. HIIT efficiency (about 10 min) reflects the wide applicability that these protocols can have in physical education classes and great adaptation to the facilities.

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Effects of a 10-Week In-Season Eccentric-Overload Training Program on Muscle-Injury Prevention and Performance in Junior Elite Soccer Players

Moisés de Hoyo, Marco Pozzo, Borja Sañudo, Luis Carrasco, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Sergio Domínguez-Cobo, and Eduardo Morán-Camacho

Purpose:

To analyze the effect of an eccentric-overload training program (ie, half-squat and leg-curl exercises using flywheel ergometers) with individualized load on muscle-injury incidence and severity and performance in junior elite soccer players.

Methods:

Thirty-six young players (U-17 to U-19) were recruited and assigned to an experimental (EXP) or control group (CON). The training program consisted of 1 or 2 sessions/wk (3–6 sets with 6 repetitions) during 10 wk. The outcome measured included muscle injury (incidence per 1000 h of exposure and injury severity) and performance tests (countermovement jump [CMJ], 10-m and 20-m sprint test).

Results:

Between-groups results showed a likely (ES: 0.94) lower number of days of absence per injury and a possible decrement of incidence per 1000 h of match play in EXP than in CON. Regarding muscle performance, a substantial better improvement (likely to very likely) was found in 20-m sprint time (ES: 0.37), 10-m flying-sprint time (ES: 0.77), and CMJ (ES: 0.79) for EXP than for CON. Within-group analysis showed an unclear effect in each variable in CON. Conversely, substantial improvements were obtained in CMJ (ES: 0.58), 20-m sprint time (ES: 0.32), 10-m flying-sprint time (ES: 0.95), and injury severity (ES: 0.59) in EXP. Furthermore, a possible decrement in total injury incidence was also reported in EXP.

Conclusions:

The eccentric-based program led to a reduction in muscle-injury incidence and severity and showed improvements in common soccer tasks such as jumping ability and linear-sprinting speed.