Sporting Equipment | Ladder Drills For Speed And Agility
There are all kinds of sporting equipment out there that can help with speed and agility, but some can be much more efficient than others. When combining sports equipment like Kbands and speed ladders athletes will notice a difference quickly in their abilities to accelerate as well as change direction. Kbands will increase the strength in the hips, glutes, and core to effectively change direction rapidly; while the speed ladder will help increase foot speed as well as neurological efficiency.With these two packaged together they pack a powerful punch.
Ladder Warm-Up and Preparation
To get fast and be ready for this drill athletes must warm up properly. Refer to our dynamic warm-ups listed on the site, as well as some static stretching techniques. When the body is properly warmed up then training can begin. Spread the speed ladder out across the floor and be sure that it is stretched. Each ladder square should lay parallel and equally spread. When completing speed ladder drills often times athletes will hit the speed ladder with their feet. If training outside, athletes can nail the edges of the ladder down to provide a sturdy foundation. If they are inside they must be careful not to get tangled up and fall.
Speed Drills | Ladder Fast Feet
The four exercises depicted in the video are a great start to any speed training. The speed drills can be completed several times a week to enhance footwork and body control. The first plyometric exercise is the High Knee Step Through. Each athlete should be sure to step one foot in each of the holes moving straight ahead rapidly. Be sure to get the knees up and drive the arms with good “L’s.” Knee height is important here because we want to develop the hip flexors. These muscles play a major role in running speed and we can easily target them with the leg resistance bands. The best way to improve speed during the high knee sequence is to move the arms faster. Athletes will often forget the power of an arm swing. The faster athletes arms move, the faster their feet move.
Lateral High Knee Sequence
After the athlete finishes the High Knee Step Through, he or she will then move into the Lateral High Knee sequence. During this portion each athlete will move sideways through the ladder stepping each foot in each of the holes. With the lateral high knee, athletes must work to drive their knees high and move their arms with powerful L’s and little to no wasted side-to-side movement. Sport specific movements require just as much lateral quickness as they do linear quickness. This portion will help with athlete’s side-to-side speed and acceleration.
In-Out’s | Glute Strength
The third portion of the sequence is the In-Out. Each athlete will approach the speed ladder and begin with a hop into the first box. Next the athlete will jump to the second box but instead of leaving the feet together he or she will then spread them apart outside of the second box. Next the athlete will jump to the third box bringing the feet back to the middle position. Then on to the forth box the athlete will again spread the feet outside of the box and continue the pattern. During the In-Out sequence athletes will feel a major difference in the exercise with and without the leg resistance bands on. Every movement out will be resisted and add muscle fiber stimulation to the glutes. This sequence of events will improve leg strength and give results in a shorter amount of time.
Icky Shuffle | Speed Drills | Ways to Get Fast
To finish the speed drill sequence athletes must move through the Icky Shuffle. The Icky Shuffle can be very challenging. Athletes must start slow, build momentum, and then accelerate to improve their speed and footwork. To begin the Icky Shuffle athletes must start on one side of the speed ladder. Next each athlete will take one step into the speed ladder followed immediately by the other foot. The other foot will come into the box next to the first foot. Next, the first foot will then move outside of the box on the opposite side from where the athlete started. The athlete will then lift the second foot and shift the weight onto the first foot leaning outside of the box. The athlete will then shift his or her weight back towards the box landing back on the second foot. The athlete will then take the first foot and put it back inside the box again reaching outside of the box with the second foot as quickly as possible. This process is continuous. A written description of the Icky Shuffle can be a nightmare, so it is suggested that if athletes are not quite getting this drill they watch the video above several times until they understand the movements.
Leg Resistance Bands | Speed Ladder Sets
For optimal results athletes will begin with resisted reps. Move through this sequence of speed ladder exercises for 2 sets. After completing these 2 resisted sets all the way through, the athletes then can unclip their resistance bands for 2 additional un-resisted sets. This entire rep sequence is considered one complete set. Athletes should complete this speed ladder set 3 to 4 times before moving on to other plyometric drills. Athletes must consciously remind themselves to move their feet faster with every single rep. When the leg resistance bands are taken off athletes will feel a featherlike feeling. The athletes must attack the speed drill with everything they have. Their movements will be increased naturally due to muscle recruitment. Training with these faster feet will enable the body to be more explosive and run faster.