A ladder workout isn’t just for football players! It’s for people looking for a fun challenge that will increase speed and reaction time and work the fast twitch muscle fibers, which give you power. You can utilize the ladder by itself, or add a few more elements to the drills like cones, medicine balls, hand weights, hills and a stopwatch. No ladder? Use a chalk spray paint on the grass – comes right off with a rinse. No more excuses, now. Get out there and sweat through these agility drills!
Hop and shuffle: On one foot, hop through each grid of the ladder once from beginning to end. When you reach the end, straddle the ladder and shuffle the feet backward until you’re at the beginning again. Repeat on the opposite foot. Try doing five complete sets (both left and right foot is one set).
Jack with a twist: Begin with both feet outside of the ladder in a half squat position. Then jump the feet together inside the first box while turning to the left. Jack the feet to the outside of the ladder and back together again in the the box while turning right. With the next jump, move forward. When you reach the end, turn and sprint back to the beginning.
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Wide/narrow high knee run: Straddling the first grid, get into a low squat with the hips at knee height. Stay wide as you pull the knees up to hip height or higher, running the length of the ladder. Turn around and come back with feet inside the ladder, pulling the knees straight up toward the chest. For both directions, holds your hands together up over your head.
Lateral jumps: Facing one side, put one foot in the first grid and the other foot in the second grid. Swing your arms down and back past your sides as you squat. Then throw them up to your head as you jump up and over to the next two boxes of the ladder, moving one to two boxes at a time. Remain facing the same direction and you’ll work the opposite side on your way back. Click here to get the entire family in on the workout, too!
Criss cross sprint: Begin facing toward one side with one foot in the first ladder. Cross the other foot in front in the same box. Swing the back leg behind you and over to the second box. Cross the other foot in front again so both feet are in the same box at once. Sprint back to the beginning and repeat on the other side.
Walking pushup: Begin in a plank position with both hands outside of the ladder and perform one push up. Walk the hands into the first box and perform a second push up. That’s one set. Continue by walking your body up to the second box by maintaining a solid plank. Move as quickly as you can through each set.
Triangle run: Looking at the ladder in front of you, sprint in a diagonal line away from the ladder then shuffle sideways back toward the ladder. With both feet, jump in and out of every grid until you get back to the beginning. Then sprint a diagonal line on the other side, shuffling sideways toward the ladder and repeat the jumps.
Side hops: Holding a medicine ball or hand weights overhead, hop one foot in and out of the ladder, moving side to side. Backpedal through the ladder with control and repeat on the other side. Hand weights or a hand-over-head position works well, too.
These moves are meant to be done quickly and with control. If you feel like your knees or ankles are not equipped to handle the snappy movements, then modify to your comfort level. Stay low throughout each jumping and shuffling series. You’ll be work your calves and hamstrings, quads, glutes and abdominals the entire time, not to mention your heart and lungs while building muscular support around joints.
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