Comparison of HIIT training thermal responses

Comparison of HIIT training thermal responses

03/06/2020 By: Javier Arnáiz Lastras Infographics

Infrared Thermography has been used for analyzing the match thermal responses on Game Days +1 and +2 (de Andrade Fernandes et al 2017). However, nothing in regards with studying generic field-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and the comparison of acute thermal responses of football players immediately after a training session.

In one of the studies of the doctoral dissertation of Arnaiz-Lastras (2017), the author investigated how skin temperature of soccer players responded after four formats of running-based HIIT (Buchheit and Laursen, 2013)

  • HIIT 1 | Short Intervals | 6×30’’ all-out sprints with 30’’ of passive rest between sets. 
  • HIIT 2 | Sprint Interval Training | 6×30’’ all-out sprints with 120’’ of passive rest between sets. 
  • HIIT 3 | Repeated Sprint Sequences | 3×6 max sprints of 40m (20m + 180º change of direction + 20m) with 10’’ passive rest between sprint and 6’ of passive rest between sets. 
  • HIIT 4 | Long Interval | 6×3’ of work and 1’ passive rest between sets at 70-80% of max effort perceived.

The findings of the author suggested that there was a complex interaction between:

  • Intensity of the drill (high vs low RPE)
  • Total duration (short vs long duration)
  • Movement (linear, circular, change of direction 180º)

One of the most interesting things was that biomechanics of the different HIIT formats targeted localized thermal responses in hamstrings and quads (linear HIITs 1 & 2). Asymmetrical responses were found in the posterior chain for HIIT 3 due to change of direction (with players braking and performing a 180º change of direction) and finally the calves for continuous self paced (70-80% perceived RPE) in HIIT 4, where biomechanically there was not such a huge hip flexion.


  1. de Andrade Fernandes A, Pimenta EM, Moreira DG, et al.(2017)  Effect of a professional soccer match in skin temperature of the lower limbs: a case study. J Exerc Rehabil.;13(3):330‐334. 
  2. Buchheit, M., & Laursen, P. B. (2013). High-intensity interval training, solutions to the programming puzzleSports medicine43(10), 927-954.

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

CDTI Thermohuman has received funding from the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), in participation with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), for the R+D activities involved in creating a new tool, based on thermography, for the prediction and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. See project detail.