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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Oct 28


language: English

Recreational football training improved health-related physical fitness in 9- to 10-year-old boys

Jin WANG 1, Liquan CAO 2, Pengfei XIE 2, Jianxiong WANG 3

1 College of Sports Science, Tianjin Normal University, China; 2 Tianjin Physical Fitness Research Center, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Tianjin University of Sport, China; 3 School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Australia


BACKGROUND: Recreational football is an aerobic/anaerobic intermittent sport with altering exercise periods at high or low intensity. Various football drills and body movement in this exercise may easily attract children to take part in. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that recreational football training would improve the health-related physical fitness in healthy 9- to 10-year-old boys, compared to the outcome from non-exercise boys.
METHODS: Forty boys were randomly allocated into the football and control groups. Body composition, predicted maximal oxygen uptake, heart rate responses during submaximal exercise, running ability, muscle strengths, and body balance and flexibility were measured before and after the experimental period. No dietary modification was suggested to the boys in this study.
RESULTS: Following 10 weeks of recreational football training, the football group achieved significant improvements in body fat% (-2.42%), fat mass (-0.93kg), abdominal fat (-0.06kg), 50-meter run (-0.9s), long jump (+7.6cm), core muscle strengths (front bridge increased 10.9s and side bridge increased 5.6s), and body balance (single-leg standing time increased 5.2s). The heart function during submaximal exercise and predicted maximal oxygen uptake were also significantly improved in the trained boys. There were no changes in these variables of the control group. There was no sport injury occurred during the training program. The daily energy intake was not changed for all boys before and after the interventions.
CONCLUSION: the 10-week recreational football training is an effective method to improve the health-related physical fitness in 9- to 10-year-old boys.

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