Improve Speed and Agility with Ladder Drills
Ladder drills like the ones demonstrated in the video below can support performance in football, soccer, lacrosse, and almost any sport that demands complete control over footwork and lower body placement on the field. It’s not easy to stay focused on the game while maintaining perfect foot placement, but with a few workout sessions per week dedicated to intense ladder drill training, control and coordination will noticeably improve. And after a few months of speed and agility drills like these, balance and foot movement will become second nature.
Drills that rely on the agility ladder attack coordination on two levels: First, they build strength in the quads, hips, and core, especially if the drills are supported by the use of the Kbands, which add extra resistance and build muscle strength fast. Second, ladder drills reinforce the connection between the brain and the feet. They sharpen reflexes, improve balance, and help athletes stay in motion and in control while they respond to light speed changes on the field.
In the video below, the Kbands trainers will use the agility ladder and the Kbands resistance bands (both available for purchase through Kbands Training.com) to demonstrate a set of four different speed and agility drills. Coaches and athletes can work these drills into their training programs while they look for ways to elevate control and coordination.
Before beginning these drills, athletes should lay the ladder flat on the ground and attach the straps of the Kbands to the upper legs with the label to the front and the metal rings on the outside of the straps. Once the resistance bands are clipped into place, the drills can begin.
Ladder Drills for Speed and Agility: Drill 1
The first of these ladder drills will be the simplest. Athletes should begin at one end of the agility ladder and simply run down the entire length, placing one foot between each rung. Once they reach the end of the ladder, athletes should stop, turn around and run back down the ladder in the other direction. Remember, the speed of the turn is not important. What matters most for this drill is the speed of the run down the ladder and the run back. Notice how the runner in the video stays focused on the straight run aspects of the drill, keeping his arms in motion and his body moving at top speed.
Ladder Drills for Speed and Agility: Drill 2
The second of these speed and agility drills is slightly more complex. If necessary, athletes can practice this drill first by walking through it slowly. The drill begins with the athlete standing on the right side of the ladder. He moves his outer foot behind the other foot and places it into the ladder, between the rungs. Then he moves the front foot all the way across the ladder and plants it on the left side. Then he lifts up the foot inside the ladder and places it on the outside of the ladder, on the left, between the second two rungs.
He repeats this move as he makes his way down the length of the ladder, always bringing the outer foot behind the inner one and into the ladder, and never letting the inner foot land inside the ladder at all. Like the last drill, this one should take the athlete all the way down in one direction and all the way back in the other at top speed. During the entire run, the athlete’s hips and shoulders should stay square with the line of the ladder.
Ladder Drills for Speed and Agility: Drill 3
The third of the ladder drills in this set involves a simple set of hops. The athlete begins with the right foot planted between the first two rungs and the left foot outside of the ladder on the left side. The feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart in order to provide the athlete with a stable base. When ready, the athlete will hop and land with his left foot between the second two rungs and his right foot planted outside the ladder on the right side. He repeats this move all the way down the ladder and then back again.
Ladder Drills for Speed and Agility: Drill 4
The final round of ladder drills will begin with the right foot planted outside the ladder on the right side and the left foot raised in the air. When ready, the athlete will bring the left foot down between the rungs and compete a quick, light-speed stutter step—left, right, left—inside the rungs, ending with the left foot planted outside the ladder on the left side and the right foot suspended in the air. As with the other drills, the athlete will complete this move all the way down the length of the ladder and back in the other direction.
Ladder Drills: Final Notes
This entire set of ladder drills should be completed twice with the Kbands in place and then twice more after the resistance bands have been unclipped from the straps. Athletes should take advantage of the temporary neurological sensation of extreme lightness that takes place just after the bands are removed, and should focus fully on controlled, coordinated footwork as long as the feeling lasts. Both athletes and coaches should keep in mind that this set of exercises will be more effective if the shoulders and hips stay aligned with the ladder and the arms stay involved.
For more information about how Kbands resistance and suspension training equipment can support the development of speed, agility, and strength, visit the training tab above. This section offers plenty of agility drills like this one and targeted workouts that can improve every aspect of performance in football, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, and a wide range of other sports. In the meantime, explore the site for purchasing information, general health and fitness tips, and access to the Kbands trainers. Feel free to leave comments and questions or contact the Kbands staff directly for specific details.
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