Under the microscope: Plyometrics
What? Explosive, rapid movements usually involving some kind of jump, plyometric exercises are used to build power and speed in muscles. By making muscles exert maximum force repeatedly, you train them to keep working when you hit a steep incline out on the trails.
Why? These movements stimulate several different muscle groups at the same time in a short session. Aside from economy of time, they improve athletic performance, building strength and muscular endurance by training your fast-twitch muscle fifibres, as well as coordination and balance. Where? Find anywhere with a bit of space or something to jump onto, and you’re good to go. Just remember to keep the number of reps low but intensity and effort high.