Review Article

Sports Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 37-51

The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test

A Useful Tool for Evaluation of Physical Performance in Intermittent Sports
  • Jens BangsboAffiliated withInstitute of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre Email author 
  • , F. Marcello IaiaAffiliated withFaculty of Exercise Sciences, State University of Milan
  • , Peter KrustrupAffiliated withInstitute of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre

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Abstract

The two Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (IR) tests evaluate an individual’s ability to repeatedly perform intense exercise. The Yo-Yo IR level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1) test focuses on the capacity to carry out intermittent exercise leading to a maximal activation of the aerobic system, whereas Yo-Yo IR level 2 (Yo-Yo IR2) determines an individual’s ability to recover from repeated exercise with a high contribution from the anaerobic system. Evaluations of elite athletes in various sports involving intermittent exercise showed that the higher the level of competition the better an athlete performs in the Yo-Yo IR tests. Performance in the Yo- Yo IR tests for young athletes increases with rising age. The Yo-Yo IR tests have shown to be a more sensitive measure of changes in performance than maximum oxygen uptake. The Yo-Yo IR tests provide a simple and valid way to obtain important information of an individual’s capacity to perform repeated intense exercise and to examine changes in performance.