Increase Speed with 5 Agility Ladder Workouts
updated January 1, 2019
Agility is the ability of the body to change direction quickly and accurately without losing speed. It is the mark of a superior athlete. The fastest way to increase your agility and improve your multidirectional speed is to train with an agility ladder. In this article we present 5 kick-butt speed and agility ladder exercises that will make you better at every athletic and sporting activity you put your hand, or foot, to.
Workout #1: Beginner Agility Ladder Routines
This workout consists of three ladder footwork drills that are done in sequence and repeated for 5 rounds. Each exercise is done for 60 seconds, for a total workout time of 15 minutes.
Exercise #1: Bunny Hop
With both feet together, bunny hop between each rung of your ladder, making light, quick touches in each square with the balls of your feet.
When you reach the end rung, swing round and come back again. Imagine that the ground is hot, so that you make the quickest ground contact possible.
Exercise #2: Single Leg Hops
Hop down the length on one leg, then come back on the other leg. Ground contact is limited to the balls of your feet, and you should move as quickly as possible.
Your goal here is to maintain balance, not touching the rungs of the trainer.
Exercise #3: Lateral Bunny Hop
Turn your body side on and bunny hop laterally up and down your ladder. It is important to keep your upper body straight up and down on this one. If you lean to build momentum, you will fall at the end.
Workout #2: Quick Feet Ladder Drills
This workout again involves three moves that are done in sequence for 60 seconds each. Complete four rounds with no rest.
Exercise #1: Lateral One Leg Bunny Hop
Turn side on and jump laterally with your inside leg only, keeping the other foot elevated. Keep a slight bend in your jumping knee, maintaining an upright body posture. Once you reach the end of your ladder, come back on the inside leg.
Exercise #2: Icky Shuffle
Start with one foot in the center of the first square and the other out to the side. Now step the outside leg into the square, then the other leg out to the other side. Now move the leg remaining in the rung up to the next square. The sequence is ‘one-two-step-up’. Go as fast as you can, without touching your ladder.
Exercise #3: Lateral Shuffle
Start with both feet outside the ladder. Step into the ladder with both feet and then out to the other side. As the last foot comes out of the ladder, tap it lightly on the ground and then straight into the next rung. Continue down your ladder.
Your verbal cue for this move is ‘one-two, one-two, tap and back’.
Workout #3: Agility Ladder Drills for Football
This series of three exercises focuses on foot speed and hip flexibility. Perform each one for 60 seconds for a total of four rounds.
Exercise #1: Quarter Hops
Start at the outside of the ladder, Bunny hopping into the first rung on the balls of your feet. Now jump out and up to be level with the next rung. Continue as fast and accurately as you can, with an emphasis on hip movement and quick touches on the balls of your feet.
Exercise #2: Skier
Place one foot on the inside of the first rung, with your body positioned on a 45 degree angle. Jump with both feet to bring the opposite foot into the next rung As you move to each rung your hip angle will change to the opposite direction. Pump your arms as you work your way down your ladder.
Exercise #3: Forward / Back Bunny Hop
Start with both feet in the first rung. Bunny hop two forward and then one back. Stay light on the balls of your feet and keep your knees bent.
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Workout #4: Agility Ladder Drills for Basketball
This agility ladder workout focuses on improving your ability to rapidly change direction. Perform each move for 60 seconds, for a total of four rounds. In this workout, every time you touch your ladder, drop down and do 10 push ups!
Exercise #1: Step In / Step Out
Start side on to the ladder, facing the ladder. Step your outside foot into the ladder, then bring your inside foot in. Now move down your ladder by bringing your outside foot out, followed by your inside foot, in a ‘one-two-three-four’ motion.
Exercise #2: Snake Drill
Start side on to your ladder. Bunny hop on the balls of your feet into the first rung, then immediately out to the other side. Now jump over to be in line with the next rung. Then jump back twice to go into that rung and then out to the other side.
Exercise #3: Lateral Plank Walk
Get down in top push up position with your hands in the first rung and feet out to the side. Now simply walk down your ladder, making sure to get two hands in each rung. Keep your butt down and maintain a slight bend in your elbows at all times.
Did you know that you can work your upper body effectively with an agility ladder? Check out these tips on how to perform agility plyo push ups . . .
Workout #5: Power Agility Drills with Ladder
Our final workout will focus on speed through power in the lower body. This time push for 90 seconds on each move for four rounds. Again, penalize yourself with 10 push ups every time you hit that ladder!
Exercise #1: Triple Jump
Start in the first rung and perform a two foot broad jump to cover three rungs. Immediately go into a second jump to cover four rungs. Then perform your final jump in which you go forward as far as you can, beyond the ladder. Now, run back to the start and repeat.
Exercise #2: Power Jumps
Start with one foot in the first rung and the other in the second, standing side on to the ladder. Bend slightly, then jump up to bring your knees as high in the air as possible. As you come down move to the right, so that your feet land in the next two rungs.
Exercise #3: Squat Jumps
Stand with your feet outside the first rung. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Maintaining a neutral spine, place your clenched fists in front of your chest. Stay in this squat position as you hop down the ladder.
Now that you’ve got an awesome arsenal of agility ladder training workouts, it’s time to find the best agility ladders on the market. Check out our investigation of the 10 best agility ladders 2016 review to get the knowledge you need.
The seven speed ladder workouts described above will allow you to progressively develop the agility and multidirectional speed that you need to dominate on the playing field. Perform your foot ladder drills on alternate days, doing each one for 3 weeks and then moving on to the next. That will give you a solid 15 weeks of speed and agility ladder drills, turning you into a true athlete.