Biokinetics SA’s Guidelines to returning to play after Covid


Covid and school sport is a hot topic, however new research has come to light. 

Biokineticists have been instrumental in developing general guidelines in returning to play after Covid.

  •   Minimum 10days of rest after onset of Covid symptoms
  •   Symptoms can be Chest pain, breathlessness, palpitations, headaches, psychological disorders (PTSD), respiratory, gastrointestinal, rheumatological, elevated resting heart rate, longer recovery of heart rate.
  •   At least 7 days symptom free before starting graduated return to play protocol (GRTP)
  •   One should be able to complete all activities of daily living without any symptoms before starting a GRTP
  •   An individual should be assessed by your general practitioner prior to starting your return to play, especially if you have had moderate to severe symptoms 
  •   All medication needs to have stopped before starting GRTP.

It can be beneficial to See your local Biokineticist who in conjunction with your doctor’s guidance will help assess your cardiopulmonary exercise response by monitoring your Heart rate response, blood pressure, saturation level and your ability to recover from exercise.  

They will also monitor and progress your training load in a controlled gradual manner until you are cleared for full training. 

Graduated return to play protocol (GRTP) 

Only exercise if you have recovered from the previous days exercise and there are no symptoms 

Drop back a phase if you are finding the training difficult  

Phase one: preparation for return to exercise.  

Stretching, breathing and gentle walking 

Goal: allow recovery time and protect cardiovascular system 

Time: <15min 

Duration: 7days 

Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion: 6-8 out of 20 (The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale will help you estimate how hard you’re working (your activity intensity). Perceived exertion is how hard you think your body is exercising. Ratings on this scale are related to heart rate (how hard your heart is working to move blood through your body) 

Phase two: low intensity  

Light yoga, walking, light garden and house work 

Goal: Increase HR slowly, allow systems to start adapting 

Time: <30min 

Duration: 7 days 

Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion: 6-11 out of 20  

Phase three: moderate aerobic and strength training 

Simple movement activities eg running drills, progressively integrating sport specific training. 

Goal: Increase load gradually, Detect, Manage and treat any post viral symptoms, integrate skills and tactics 

Time: <45min 

Duration: 7 days 

Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion: 12-14 out of 20 

Phase four: moderate aerobic and strength training with sport specific drills 

Functional skills and sub-maximal play simulation. 

Goal: Further increase load, restore confidence, Assess functional skills 

Time: <60min 

Duration: 7 days 

Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion: 12-14 out of 20 

Phase five: Baseline goal. Return to regular exercise pattern. 

Play specific activity 

Goal: Resume normal training 

Borg Rate of Perceived Exertion: > 15 out of 20 

Should you require specific guidance and rehabilitation find a bio on or follow us on social media #biokineticsSA @biokineticsSA