The off-season consists of a unique time where the rigors of sports won't interfere with our training. This is why the chief consideration is generally to boost strength, power and high intensity fitness, which is most probably wrong!
After a long hard season the body has taken a beating, literally. There will be imbalances, asymmetries, stiffness, slight injury and inflammation. In laymen terms:
The foundation to your body is fu*ked and needs re-calibrating.
An extremely fast expensive car may move like the wind and look dazzling but the majority of time, energy and money of the creators was spent almost solely under the hood i.e. what makes this car so fancy is the quality of the inner parts that hold it together, the foundation, the stable platform of which horsepower is generated. Our body is exactly the same.
We require time and energy to be spent 'under the hood', building a strong, stable foundation that's well balanced and symmetrical.
This strong foundation will not only help protect us from overuse injuries but provides a platform to develop higher levels of strength, power and fitness. The analogy Cannon from a canoe illustrates this point.
Check the size of this cannon from the canoe. Now is the perfect time to build that battleship, develop the foundation and stabilize your platform. The questions remains, how is this best achieved?
The answer is single limb or uni-lateral training. Perhaps walking lunges, single leg work, one arm presses, single arm farmers carries etc. The unequal load placed on the body forces certain muscles to maintain equilibrium and balance whilst other muscles add movement. This effectively resets the body into a well-oiled state.
The unequal load will also identify any weaknesses of single limbs. For instance shoulder pressing a barbell overhead may feel fine, but you may only be able to press a single arm Kettlebell overhead for 4 on your left arm whilst completing 12 on your right. Or even worse you may experience pain on one side.
Asymmetries and imbalances are the mother of all non-contact injuries and identifying and alleviating them is paramount to creating a strong stable platform on which you can add performance. I've created a video below to help provide some ideas to help achieve this: