How do you make your sessions count more on legs day? Put the kettle on. According to sports scientists, ditching the plates and hanging kettlebells from your bar engages more muscles by creating an unstable load during your squats. This fires up more of the fibres that count. In a study published in The Journalof Strength andConditioning Research, scientists found that activation in participants’ core rose by 86 percent – that’s a hefty number for such a simple swop. Just grab kettlebells that weigh 50 to 60 percent of the load you’d normally squat, and hang them from the bar with resistance bands. Five sets of 15 reps is all it takes before you can turn your attention to something more palatable. Forget all that bro nonsense about going big or going home. It’s time to go fast, then head home smiling. All sports require short, sharp, multidirectional dashes, and it’s mobility and stability exercises that allow you to do so. Lance Walker, global director of performance at the Michael Johnson Performance facility for professional American football, ice hockey and soccer players, says inchworm drills can develop ankle flexibility and back stability for Novak-esque changes of direction. Place your hands by your toes, inch them forward into a plank position, then inch your toes forward intoa pike position, and repeat. It’s hard to train for alpine climbs when the biggest hill nearby is the speed bump at the end of your street. But bicycle training on flat roads with a lower cadence (60rpm) and higher gear (so it’s harder to pedal) can help, says Tim Kerrison, head of athlete performance at Team Sky, home of two-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome. The extra effort recruits more muscle fibres, so your body learns to handle the sustained effort needed to conquer real cloud scrapers.