Question: My son recently suffered a concussion at practice. The doctor’s have cleared him to return to practice and training in the gym. Should he be able to go back at it close to full speed or should we begin with light training and step up over time?
Answer: A concussion requires a gentle return to training and especially practice.
If your doctor has cleared him for workouts then keep a detailed activity report for at least five days along with information about how he feels and performs. Include if he gets dizzy, lightheaded or has any headache. If he exhibits any of those symptoms contact your medical professional.
A concussion requires a period of inactivity to allow the bruising to heal. This rest time is going to interfere with his conditioning and affect both training and practice.
Recovery time between sets will be higher so rest longer between sets as the workout progresses. Avoid exercises like heavy squats or deadlifts which involve multiple muscle groups. These can elevate blood pressure and lifters often hold their breath during heavy reps which will elevate pressure in sinus cavities.
Use light weights and moderate rep schemes for the first week. Avoid heavy contact for the first week to ten days after returning to his sport.
Concussions among young athletes need to be treated carefully and overdoing the recovery is better than dealing with any long term affects.
God bless and keep training,