My first experience with the agility ladder was in ninth grade. I trained at a gym in Buford, GA five times a week, and every day we started with the agility ladder. Initially, I knocked around the ladder repeatedly, but I eventually got the hang of how to place my feet into each square as quickly as I could.
For any athlete interested in improving their foot speed and overall quickness, the agility ladder is a must have. Most sporting outlets sell them for around thirty dollars, but you do not need to buy one if you want. Just use chalk or duck tape on a flat surface and make 12-15 squares, about 20 inches wide.
Before we get into the agility ladder drills, there are a few rules:
- Don’t touch the ladder rungs with your feet! That is a penalty. You must do one pushup for every run you touch.
- Pump your arms! The more you move your arms the faster you can go.
- Start at a slow walking pace. These drills get complex quickly, and your body is not used to moving this way. Starting off at a comfortable pace lets your body familiarize itself with the motions.
- If you can, do these drills with a friend. A little competitiveness in this drill never hurts.
The drills in the video below follow a progression and should be done in order. Watch the video closely to see where your feet go in the ladder.
- Two Feet Per Square (just like it sounds)
- One Foot High Knees (gets your knees above your hips)
- Two Foot High Knees (gets your knees up and feet moving, this one is a little tougher than the above one)
- One Foot In From Side (lead foot goes into square)
- Double Feet From Side (lead foot goes into square followed by rear foot)
- Quick Hops (both feet land in square at same time)
- Slolam (side to side)
- Hop Scotch (outside to inside)
- Switch Hips (place your rear foot where your lead foot is, repeat down the ladder)
- Two Foot Slides (like the first exercise, but your facing out and sliding)
- Carioca (over, under, over)
- Icky Shuffle (in, in, out, in, in, out)
- Backwards Icky Shuffle (if you can do this one I salute you!)
I find it helpful to sound out where my feet go if I am having trouble with a drill. For instance, during the Icky Shuffle I say out loud “In, In, Out” over and over again. This technique focuses my mind on the task at hand, and I tend to do better in the drill.
If you have any questions about the agility ladder feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for Friday’s video of every cone drill you could think of.