Strength & Conditioning

Discover 9 Agility Ladder Drills For Faster Footwork

Agility Ladder Drills

Agility ladder drills are a great way to get your heart pumping and for improving agility, speed, coordination, and overall athletic performance.  

Even though agility training is more commonly used by athletes and sports teams, this type of workout can still form part of your strength training to boost your fitness level and makes for a great form of cardio.   

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The Best Agility Ladder Drills For Improved Physical Fitness

Let’s jump into some of the best agility ladder exercises with step by step instructions that you can begin to incorporate into your training sessions.  

ladder agility drills

Single Step Basic Ladder Drill

  1. Stand at one end of the ladder.
  2. Step into the first box with your right foot.
  3. Quickly move your left foot into the second box immediately in front.
  4. Continue moving down the entire ladder moving your feet in alternative boxes as quickly as possible.

​Ickey Shuffle

  1. Stand at the end of the ladder and to the right-hand side of the first box. 
  2. Side step into the first square with your left foot, then immediately move your right foot into the same square.
  3. Now take your left foot and move out to the opposite side quickly followed by your left foot.  
  4. Continue these movement patterns working your way down the length of the ladder.

Double Trouble

  1. Start at one end of the ladder with your feet on either side of the first square. 
  2. Step into the first square with your right foot followed by your left foot.
  3. Take your right foot back out to the side of the ladder to the next rung along, quickly followed by the left foot on the other side.
  4. Continue stepping in and out of the ladder and moving forwards as you go.

Lateral High Knees

  1. Stand at the end of the ladder and side on to the first rung.
  2. Step into the first square with your right foot, bringing your knee up to hip height.  Follow this with your left foot.  
  3. Step out of the square with your right foot and step into the next rung then do the same with the l
  4. Move as quickly as you can making sure you bring your knees up to hip height each time
  5. Continue this lateral movement down the ladder. 
  6. Once you’ve reached the end, move back in the opposite direction. 

Ali Shuffle

  1. Begin by standing perpendicular to the first ladder square.  Your lead foot will depend which direction you move down the ladder. 
  2. If moving in a leftwards direction, jump forward taking your left foot into the first box. 
  3. Simultaneously jump your right foot back so you’re forming a split stance.  
  4. Next, jump into the same square with your right foot while jumping back out with your opposite foot.
  5. Continue this crisscrossing pattern as you move down the rungs of the ladder.

Zig-Zag Drill

  1. Position the ladder at an angle.
  2. Step into the first square with your right foot, then your left foot.
  3. Step diagonally into the next square with your right foot, then your left foot.
  4. Continue this zig-zag pattern as you progress down the ladder. 

180-Degree Rotation Drill

  1. Start off by facing the end of the ladder.
  2. Jump forwards with both feet and rotate a full 180 degrees so you land in the first squat facing the opposite direction. 
  3. Pivot back around to the face the front. 
  4. Repeat step 2 by jumping into the second ladder square, then follow this with step 3.  
  5. Continue this pattern down the ladder.

​In Out Jumps

  1. Stand at the end of the ladder with both feet positioned either side of the first square of the ladder.
  2. Jump your feet inwards so they both land together in the first square. 
  3. Jump back out to the starting position but slightly forwards so your feet are now either side of the second square. 
  4. Repeat this in and out jumping movement while moving down the ladder. 

Ladder Bunny Hops

  1. Begin at the end of the ladder with both feet together and facing forwards. 
  2. With both feet take a small jump forward into the first square and land on the balls of your feet. 
  3. Without pausing, immediately jump forward into the next square. 
  4. Continue taking small and fast jumps forward until you reach the end of the ladder.  

Tips When Doing Speed Ladder Drills

  • If it’s your first time doing an agility ladder workout, then start off slow and gradually increase your foot speed.
  • Proper form with agility exercises requires you to stay on your toes. 
  • Agility ladders come in different lengths with different size boxes, consider which one is best based on your current ability.
  • Keep your steps light and move quickly, this will help you to stay on your toes.  
  • Be sure to practice both linear and lateral ladder agility drills to improve forward-backwards and side to side agility movements.  
  • Keep your stride length small.  Ladder drills only require you to take small steps with precise foot movements.   
left side of the ladder 1

Can You Do Ladder Drills Everyday

As long as you don’t have any pre-existing injuries then doing ladder drills everyday can be very beneficial for your cardiovascular health.  

As with any form of training, listen to your body and make sure to factor in some rest and recovery when your body needs it.  

Wrapping Up

Agility ladder drills offer a versatile way to enhance your physical performance and overall well-being.

By engaging in the dynamic exercises suggested above, you’ll not only elevate your heart rate, promoting cardiovascular health, but also boost your explosive power improving your agility, speed and performance. 

Remember to keep your fitness routine varied by incorporating resistance-based training alongside any cardio activity.  

This helps to boost your metabolism, keeps your muscles strong while preventing atrophy and improves your endurance.  

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