A Pre-season comparison of aerobic fitness and flexibility of younger and older professional soccer players

G. R. Signorelli, R. R. Perim, T. M. Santos, C. G. Araujo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Aerobic fitness and flexibility generally present age-related decreases, yet the influence of age on these variables in soccer players is still unknown. We obtained oxygen consumption (VO 2) and heart rate (HR) at 12km·h -1, anaerobic threshold and maximum intensities, and athletes flexibility profiles using Flexitest (FLX). Pre-season data (2005-2011) from the 2 extreme age terciles (n=54) YOUNGER (17-22 years old) and OLDER (27-36 years old) of a group of 162 players from an elite Brazilian soccer club were compared. The effects of aging were also assessed by contrasting VO 2, HR and FLX linear regressions slope and intercept vs. age-predicted and reference values. The results were similar between the YOUNGER and OLDER terciles for VO 2max, at 62.7±6.1 vs. 63.2±6.2mL·kg -1·min -1, respectively (p=0.67), effect size (ES)=0.08, and for FLX, at 43±5.9 vs. 41±6.0, respectively (p=0.11, ES=0.34); the YOUNGER tercile exhibited higher values for HRmax than the OLDER tercile, at 194±8.1 vs. 189±8.8b·min -1, (p<0.01, ES=0.59). Players in the OLDER tercile did not present an age-predicted decrease in VO 2max, whereas HRmax and FLX diminished with age as predicted. We conclude that, at least for these variables, younger and older players were effectively identical in their pre-season levels of conditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-872
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiopulmonary exercise testing
  • Flexitest
  • heart rate
  • sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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