The Application of the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Level 2 Test to Elite Female Soccer Populations

P. S. Bradley, M. Bendiksen, A. Dellal, M. Mohr, A. Wilkie, N. Datson, C. Orntoft, M. Zebis, A. Gomez-Diaz, J. Bangsbo, P. Krustrup

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of
the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test level 2 (Yo-Yo
IE2) to elite female soccer populations. Elite senior
(n = 92), youth (n = 42), domestic (n = 46) and sub-elite
female soccer players (n = 19) carried out the Yo-Yo IE2
test on numerous occasions across the season. Test–retest
coefficient of variation (CV) in Yo-Yo IE2 test performance in domestic female players was 4.5%. Elite senior
female players’ Yo-Yo IE2 test performances were
better (P < 0.01) than elite youth, domestic and sub-elite
players (mean standard deviation; 1774 532 vs
1490 447, 1261 449, and 994 373 m). For elite
senior female players, wide midfielders (2057 550 m)
had a higher Yo-Yo IE2 test performance (P < 0.05)
than central defenders (1588 534 m) and attackers
(1516 401 m), but not central midfielders (1764
473 m) or full-backs (1964 522 m). Large correlations
were observed between Yo-Yo IE2 test performance and
the total and high-intensity distance covered (r = 0.55;
P < 0.05) during elite senior soccer matches (r = 0.70;
P < 0.01). A large correlation was also obtained between
Yo-Yo IE2 test performance and VO 2max (r = 0.68;
P < 0.01). Performances in the Yo-Yo IE2 test were
greater (P < 0.05) in the middle and the end of the
season compared with the preparation period for elite
youth female players (1767 539 and 1742 503 vs
1564 504 m) and in elite senior female players, Yo-Yo
IE2 test performance increased by 14% (P < 0.01) after
completing 4 weeks of intense training prior to the
FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals (2049 283 vs
1803 342 m). The data demonstrate that the Yo-Yo
IE2 test is reproducible and is an indicator of the matchspecific physical capacity of female soccer players. Furthermore, the Yo-Yo IE2 test illustrates sensitivity by
differentiating intermittent exercise performance of
female players in various competitive levels, stages of
the season and playing positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • female soccer
  • physical capacity
  • match running performance
  • playing position
  • competitive level
  • heart rate
  • female
  • football


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