The move: Stand in front of a two-foot-high log with your feet shoulder-width apart. Sink into a squat, using your glutes, abs, and core to initiate the movement. Focusing on your glutes and hamstrings, explode up onto the log, absorbing the impact with those same muscles. Stand up, repeat the motion, and jump down, landing softly in a squat.
The payoff: In addition to building quickness and balance, “you’ll retrain your lower body to use its most powerful muscles and take some of the strain off your quads,” says Backstrom.