Depth jumps off an exercise step or platform are great for conditioning, says Matthews, as long as you know how to land. After you take off and leap into the air, you're coming back to earth with a lot of force. If the majority of it lands on the ball of your foot, it's difficult for your body to disperse the weight, and you may drive the knee forward, resulting in knee pain. If you land on your heels, you'll stress the lower back.
Be safe: To better absorb impact, Matthews advises landing on your mid-foot, under your arch. This helps disperse force and generate power for your next move. If you do it correctly, you should feel ready to roll forward, push off from the ball of your foot and jump up in the air again.