The Agility Ladder is a training inspired by the popular childhood game, hopscotch.
If you have enjoyed it back then, you can now transform the fun into fitness with speed and agility ladders.
They are the main part of many SAQ programs and optimize various sports and events.
No matter your goal, you can mix in drills varying in speed, reflex, strength, and length for more endurance.
Still, there are more versatile to see in a circuit workout.
Integrating the ladders into your fitness routine will grow your interest in them. After all, they come with certain health and fitness benefits.
What makes them so valuable are 3 key factors for fitness, namely speed, agility, and quickness.
I don’t think you necessarily have to be crazy-fit for freeskiing. So much of the sport has to do with agility and nimbleness and flexibility and other things. It’s a lot of muscle memory – it’s more like dance, in a way – it’s technique more than strength or endurance. Gus Kenworthy
British athlete - BrainyQuote.com
Agility ladders’ drills help pump your heart harder. Hence, this makes them an excellent cardio activity and your heart healthy and strong in the best way.
The CDC recommends at least 2 ½ hours of cardio with such training per week.
As a great sort of cardio, they burn a significant number of calories.
They are often classed as high-intensity interval training. They remain a better vibrant option than most lower-intensity, steady-state cardio activities.
These drills ensure you put all your attention and energy to them with quick thinking.
Your mind will, for sure, not lose its vigor. It will maintain good focus, concentration, and coordination for an improved daily life.
They also allow you to cross-train for almost any other workouts in your schedule.
A regular ladder exercise will strengthen your bone structures and promote brain health.
Training for velocity and adroitness provides enhanced performance for your next competition level.
Good footwork is required to grow muscles under rapid contractions. You will thus be promoting power over endurance. And what better than drills and mini hurdles for the job?
You need to have explosive power. So you need to have good agility to move your feet quick and be in the right place at the right time. So you have to be an overall athlete: you need to be in shape to be able to throw. Michelle CarterSpeed
American athlete - BrainyQuote.com
Ladder speed drills involve quality and form instead of overload. They do not leave you tired or out of breath, like with short rushes.
Due to this quality, they allow you resistance or endurance training later on.
Compared to distance and time, speed, as in high-speed training on footwork ladders, is on top. That too, when applying mechanics and techniques to the right lengths and drills.
If you are in the learning or warming up phase, then only should you be likely to slacken. But if you wish to become fast, increase your pace in a more active and firm performance.
As a product of training duration and intensity, conditioning turns better with the more RPMs that can be upheld by your heart.
It consists of variable aerobic and anaerobic training, well provided to fit into a sport(s).
Those training will help bring specific forms of conditioning per sport. And that will differ in duration and velocities.
Anaerobic conditioning leads to a higher heart rate. In contrast, the aerobic one allows your body to assimilate the training.
Change of direction
Being the most productive tool for coaches, it demands quickness, strength and conditioning.
Direction change also expects great efforts from your legs. These are to contract their muscles for stopping and switching directions. Then, an outburst follows to restore high velocity.
Repeating this sequence characterizes direction change. Thus, it becomes a key element in conditioning.
For stronger legs, you might need to be patient with weight and sprint training.
The latter gets even better with cone drills, which sends big tension on your leg muscles. It is so if you’re sprinting at full throttle with sharp turns on a ladder for footwork.
With mini hurdles in the drill, you are sure to engage in much leg cycle and/or turnover training.
Your heel must contour them to overcome them. This contributes to better foot contact and higher stride frequency.
As a plus, the OverSpeed bungee/cable offers resistance training. You can engage it in your current drills for better technique, besides more results.
Still, they present some prerequisites. The right time to perform them would be when starting a session after warming up. You will be needing fresh muscles for a reliable movement condition.
Begin by trying half a dozen dummy runs for each drill before moving to speed training.
Some general guidelines are set for the drills, as stated below:
- Take off from your feet balls instead of toes
- Encourage hand movements up to specific heights (shoulder to hips for men, chest to hips for women)
- Maintain your elbows always at right angles
- Stay relaxed from shoulders to hands
- Keep your head always steady
The ladder drills improve footwork and nimbleness, so sportspersons usually overwork on them. That can be in crossfit gyms, sports teams, and their eccentricity in fitness.
Such ladders can cost you around $25-30 but otherwise remain pretty simple to make by yourself.
Agility Ladder Dimensions
The standard ladder for exercise measures 15ft long and 20in wide. If you decide to make one instead of buying, you can have it ready in about 10 minutes.
You will need exactly 30ft of duct tape, 11 big paint stirring sticks, measuring tape, and a pen for markings.
P.S. Free sticks might be available at your nearest home improvement retailer.
Step 1: Laterally aligned strips
Lay out two strips parallel on the floor, such that they are one paint stick (length and depth sum) apart from each other’s centrelines.
The sticky side should be up while the strips are fixed firmly in place at each end.
Step 2: Equally spaced out rungs
Before placing the sticks on the strips, you have to mark where to land the stick ends. Subtract its depth from the width of the duct tape and divide by two.
Mark the resulting distance from the medial (facing the middle of the two) edge of each strip.
Once you placed the first stick at the start of each strip, make a series of 18-inch marks to place the following sticks. You may mark each stick at mid-width for more precision.
You may set the sticks left- or center-aligned with each mark. But the distance between them should anyway be the same.
Step 3: Completion
With the previous precise markings, you should be able to fold over the tape edges right.
Then, press on the strips to attach and fix the sticks in place. And there you have your own ladder, which you can fold or roll up for easy transport.
With different duct tapes and a scissor, you can vary the size and spacing of your workout ladder for drills. Hence you will allow yourself more different drills and performances.
Choose Your Agility Ladder
Rungs, cords, and material quality are the main criteria you would assess to keep on the exercise in the long run.
If you wish to buy one of the best workout ladders, compare them on certain features. Like durable plastic rungs, adjustable rungs, carrying bag, and many other useful ones.
GHB Pro Agility Ladder
This ladder is an example of the best agility ladders with high ratings.
With 12 durable plastic rungs, it can be at most 20 feet long. You can adjust its 17″ long rungs in the nylon straps for at most a 15″ space from each other.
The ladder comes with a carry bag to train when and where you want.
Being ideal for outdoor sports, it can help you improve your quickness. An accelerated foot strike and a higher lift frequency are also expected.
Besides, you can also use it to really torch much of your calories and lose weight.
- Durable and high-quality material
- Adjustable rung ladder
- Comes with carrying bag
- Attachable in series to form a long one (6M with 12 pins)
- Ideal for dexterity exercises
- Versatile use, for sports, training people or pets or playing
Yes4All Agility Ladder
Yes4All offers best agility ladders, excellent for a complete body and mind stimulation.
Each one will definitely enhance many of your qualities, like foot velocity, lateral quickness, nimbleness, coordination, and overall balance.
It can be used for play, fitness, athletics, or high-intensity training. Whatever the purpose, it is adjustable for the user’s safety and preferences.
- Heavy-duty ladder: The ladder is made of nylon straps to resist hard wear. It has durable plastic rungs to promote agility and quickness training.
- Wholly adjustable rung design: It is available in blue and yellow adjustable rungs on 11′, 15′, and 25′ (yellow-rung only) lengths. You can pick among flat sets of 8 rungs (1 lb), 12 rungs (1.5 lbs), and 20 rungs (2.2 lbs), all 16.5″ wide. A limit of 15″ spacing can be set between rungs to vary levels, skill sets, and exercises. What your workout needs is what this ladder fulfills.
- Carry bag: For training at any time and place you want, the ladder comes with a carry bag. This makes it easy to carry between quick pack-ups and setups. Hence, whether it is to work out, maintain balance or mobility, it is excellent for all ages.
- Improves athletic performance: Yes4All agility ladder is the one you need for positive body development. It improves balance, rapidity, coordination, motor skills, leg strength, and body control. It does so regardless of your currently engaged sport.
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- 5-year warranty
- Bisphenol A exposure6
This product may contain Bisphenol A (BPA). This carries risks of birth defects and other reproductive harm. Although not a health concern, it still needs more investigation.
Golme Pro Speed + Agility Ladder
It is a definite tool for athletes and teams. This ladder is often used to make the most of your velocity and agility performance.
- True-Fit Geometry: With such geometry, you are sure to go through a fine, consistent, yet distinct course. It also motivates you into acceleration and master complex routines. All models have been customized for individual athletes and teams. This will help build their core strength, resistance, and resilience to injury.
- 3D Rungs: The ladder holds impressive 3d rungs to last through exigent training sessions.
- Available in three sizes: It is purchasable with 6, 10, or 14 rungs. This depends on the intended drills and individual performance.
- Hassle-free: It has an instant-twist design which unfolds fast and folds back right in its carry bag. It involves ground stakes for easy anchoring or expanding before starting training drills.
- Drill matrix: Each ladder also comes with a drill matrix. This enables you to set up many custom routines as per your skill or focus.
Metal Agility Ladder – RCC
The metal one resembles the traditional foot ladder. But its metal structure ensures that it won’t wiggle out of place.
Its configuration involves 4.75-ft (57″) long sections of 3 spaces, each being 19” x 19”. The ladder is powder-coated yellow and weighs 24 pounds.
- It is light enough for transport, though being enough heavy not to budge.
- The ladder measures 19 feet long, but you can extend it with individual sections as you like.
- Available in 4 sections that slide together for easy shipping, carry, and setup.
- The frames are ½ inch tall, so it is okay to hop with sneakers or cleats.
- You can set the ladder straight forward. Or make it cross at right angles for different nimbleness patterns.
- You can train your lower and upper body (as with pushups) with it. Add slam balls and other workout accessories to boost the challenge.
- It is risk-free indoors or outdoors.
- You get the benefit of saving if you order in bulk.
Metal Agility Ladder – ProMAXima
Looking for a metal ladder for more important training goals? Seek no further than the Steel Running Agility Ladder.
Besides cross-training, it is designed for plyometric and conditioning exercises.
- Available in standard black, platinum and white frame colors
- Comes in 15ft and 20ft lengths
- The ladder spaces are each 19″ long and 18″ wide.
- The solid steel structure provides resistance to weather conditions
- It will likely not move or bunch about like fabric or plastic agility ladders
- A team of athletes can train on all at once.
Agility Ladders For Seniors
Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength. Betty Friedan
Older adults can use the same agility ladders, which youngsters use for training and play.
Their performance is likely to worsen since they react and coordinate slower. This is due to their weaker sensory functions.
According to Health Magazine, 28%-45% of elders with poor balance fall each year. In this way, they are liable to serious injury.
What they would need in their routine are exercises for the agility ladder. These will improve their balance, mobility range, coordination, and strength.
Some suggested exercises for the seniors are the Icky Shuffle and Forward Hop drills. Others include yoga and dance therapy.
Those will reduce their risk of falling, apart from improving dexterity and coordination.
The recommendation is at least 10 minutes of low-intensity training on a schedule of 3 days each of 4 weeks. This will promote a better static and dynamic equilibrium.
Instead of the best ladder, there are best ladder exercises. These can help improve nimbleness, accelerate, react quickly, and control balance.
3 body systems will be active in you. Then you can watch, feel, and position your body right throughout.
You should generally start slow till you memorize and know the flow of the steps in a learning phase. Afterward, you can increase your pace at a gradual rate and work out with confidence.
With strength-training along, you are to improve your neuromuscular abilities, like:
- Movement patterns, which you can challenge to make your body proactive during instability.
- Muscular engagement, where your leg muscles will struggle. But your chest muscles will help in the balance too.
- Dynamic balance, which bears a direct effect for a consequent reaction against gravity.
- Swiftness and reaction time, after which, you will definitely adapt to move quick.
- Side-to-side stability, necessary to prevent hip fractures if ever you fall.
Here are some practices you must get used to for working on your balance training:
- Forward, lateral, and backward direction drills allow you to improve your side-to-side stability.
- A step in the opposite way can avert a fall and regain stability. You can carry that out in backward stepping drills.
To develop your dynamic balance, MelioGuide suggests these exercises with agility ladders:
- Forward stepping
- Side or lateral stepping
- Backward stepping
- Forward crossover
- Backward crossover
Open grid or ladder
- From the bottom, start by moving from right to left to forward, then from left to right to forward.
- From either side, use alternate footsteps to enter the first square, Continue to the next one, step back out, step sideways, enter the third square, and so on.
- Facing up from the top, start by moving from right to left to backward, then from left to right to backward.
Closed grid or ladder
- Step into the first square with the right foot, then with left foot.
- Step out to the left with the left foot, and right with right foot.
- Move forth to the next square with the left foot, then with right foot.
- Keep going while leading with left foot.
N.B.: Seniors should start agility ladder exercises with 2 to 4 drills before moving on to new drills.
4 Square Agility Ladder
This type of drill is different from the straight ladders. You have no purchase options for this, so you can make one instead.
It is a simple 2×2 square grid that you can draw in tape or simulate with a tile floor.
The drill is to jump on one foot in each square to build coordination and stabilize hip strength.
You can choose to mark the ladder squares with landmarks, or use tile corners. You can thereby know exactly where to step and keep a constant hopping distance.
It is recommended to practice for 10 seconds in 2 to 6 sets.
No Tangle Agility Ladder
It is always a stress to see our accessories tangled, twisted, or knotted when stored. But with the QUICKPLAY PRO Quick-Snap Adjustable Agility Ladder, it isn’t anymore.
- No-catch rungs: unique dog-bone rung shape with beveled edges. These avoid the athlete’s feet from running into them.
- Superior visibility: Bright neon color which athletes can distinguish in any training scenario.
- Quick-snap technology: Shift rungs apart and lock them in place.
- No tangle carry system: It is super portable and stored untangled. It comes with a unique closable carrying and storage ring.
- Non-twistable paracord straps: 550lb Type III 7 strand Paracord. This side strap is favorable for not being flat.
- Train on all surfaces: Non-marking and safe for use on all surfaces from gym floors to grass.
- 2-year warranty: Provided by Quickplay to give the best customer service.
Spri Agility Ladder
The SPRI Roll-out floor ladder can, as stated, roll out well on all indoor surfaces. But it is convenient to only a few outdoor surfaces.
Its 15-foot length and 1/4″ depth give it a weight of 11lbs. Its 16″x 12.5″ feet area optimizes it for all ages and ability levels.
- Heavy-duty, durable and non-slippery recycled rubber.
- Steady and unlikely to form bunches.
- Unrolls quickly to lie flat, and rolls up to store and carry easily.
Top Agility Hurdles
Athletes use hurdles as a great tool to help them better their abilities. These imply sharp direction changes or composure during fast motion during their current sports.
If you want to find the best hurdle, know that they are many and vary mainly with 3 factors, as shown below. Also, athletes need specific ones to improve specific skills.
Each athlete or team has their own ideal height of hurdles. The standard may be 6 inches, but many brands provide access to adjustable heights.
That gives way to more dynamic drills. However, adjustability may prove to be inefficient due to unsteadiness in windy conditions.
This has its best and worst to offer. The weight renders the hurdles’ resistance to fall over, through accidental hits or wind blows.
It can still be a burden when carrying a set of 6 hurdles or larger equipment. The solution then is a carry bag or dismount/stack mechanisms included.
The essential is that the material must not hold any damage after a possible step on of trip over it.
Hurdles on sale show designs flexible to get back to form after bearing such pressure. Others, in contrast, return to the upright position.
You should well plan expected drill types and probable interactions with the hurdles. This can guide you with care when making your choice.
Speaking of that, feet with high knees more often step on than knock hurdles over.
Here are a few hurdles you can pick from:
Quickplay PRO Speed Hurdles
These hurdles come in a set of 6, adjustable between 3 different heights.
It bears a flexible, durable design and an unmatched mechanism. These ensure less step-on damage or dislodgement when blown out.
- Adjustable height for more different training drills (6″, 9″ and 12″)
- Bright green color for better detection
- Collapsable legs for quick and easy storage for travel
- Quick-release mechanism against stumbles or injuries on hitting the hurdle
- Low catch beveled rungs to avoid athletes’ feet
- Easy hands-free height alteration and locking with quick-click feature
- Suitable on all surfaces
- 2-year warranty
- Set up delays in desired height configuration
- More likely to flicker amidst strong winds and cause you to trip over
SKLZ 6-inch Ultra Durable Agility Hurdles
SKLZ agility ladder (set of 6) hurdles have a design to stay upright in windy conditions and offer a carrying bag.
They are ultra-durable with a topnotch design. They promote for swiftness, maximum power, and footwork, regardless of your sport.
- Wide base stance to keep the balance even after a foot knock
- Malleable material to sustain steps by cleats on them. It then helps retrieve their original state.
- Includes no add-on pieces for more comfortable travel, apart from carrying bag
- Available in a 6-inch high only option
- Most expensive choice in the market
Reehut 6 Inch Speed Hurdles
Reehut offers 6-inch high hurdles that are waterproof and of non-shattering PVC. This set of 5 bright orange hurdles weighs 2+ lbs for easy travel.
- Lightweight, durable, waterproof PVC material to last long
- Easy to set up and stackable to be convenient
- Fluorescent bright colors for clear visibility, besides contrasting neon colors
- Bends at a steeper angle to deal with wind
- 30-day refund
- 2-year warranty
- Likely to warp during a prolonged period in the heat
- Subnormal quantity of 5 in a set
SS Sports Hurdles For Dexterity
This sports hurdle is a light, bright yellow PVC one which comes in sets of six with 6″, 9″ and 2″ height options.
Many championship team coaches have approved it, and it is great for literally any sport.
- High-quality PVC material
- Lightweight for smooth portability
- No required assembly
- More or less affordable
- Bright to detect when training
- Protective end-caps bearing some weight
- Quite ineffective against winds
- Not flexible
Irrespective of your group size, hurdles improve skills that are valuable in any game.
So get your feet moving and a set of these hurdles laid on your next training ladders.
Top Agility Ladder Drills
There exist more than 35 varieties of ladder drills. You might have a high or low experience level. But having the ladder for a workout in your routine will have you backed.
Here are the best agility ladder workouts:
Speed Building/Ladder Speed Workout
Agility Training/Ladder Agility Workout
Agility ladders help optimize your performance during physical activities, especially sports. Knowing the process, you can try out select drills to challenge your tendencies.
Purchased or DIY, flat, or with hurdles, agility ladders have much to offer. Yet it is up to you to select your drill patterns and training scenarios.
An agility ladder workout can be excellent training. But it is not always 100% safe, especially with speed ladder drills.
So, do consult a healthcare professional or physician for a prior body evaluation. You can thus avoid potential pain or injury.
References & Citations
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Anderson, J. (2017, September 17). Agility Ladder Drills. Retrieved June 5, 2020 from Jen Reviews:
Bow, T. D. (n.d.). Agility Ladder (free and Easy). Retrieved June 15, 2020 from Instructables:
King, B. [DeepSnap]. (2014, Jun 9). 13 Speed Ladder Drills For Faster Footwork & Quickness. Retrieved June 15 16, 2020 from Youtube:
(n.d.). Agility Ladder 20-rung 25 feet long. Retrieved June 17, 2020 from Yes4All:
Giulivo, M., Lopez de Alda, M., Capri, E., Barceló, D. (2016, November 11). “Human exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds: Their role in reproductive systems, metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. A review”. Environ. Res. (Review). 151: 251–264. Retrieved June 17, 2020 from ScienceDirect:
(n.d.). PRO Speed + Agility Ladder. Retrieved June 17, 2020 from Golme:
(n.d.). METAL AGILITY LADDER. Retrieved June 19, 2020 from RaeCrowther.com:
(n.d.). Metal Agility Ladder. Retrieved June 19, 2020 from ProMAXima:
(2017, May 23). 5 EFFECTIVE AGILITY AND COORDINATION EXERCISES FOR SENIORS. Retrieved June 19, 2020 from Yes4All:
Schrift, D. (n.d.). HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE WITH LADDER DRILLS. Retrieved June 19, 2020 from Eldergym.com:
Martin, M. (2011, May 26). Dynamic Standing Balance Exercises for Elderly. Retrieved June 19, 2020 from MelioGuide.com:
Blechman, P. (2019, December 27). Best Agility Hurdles. Retrieved June 22, 2020 from BarBend:
[EfficientRunner]. (2012, Nov 7). Phase One Drill: Four Square. Retrieved June 23, 2020 from Youtube:
Andreea is a fitness enthusiast with a keen interest in nutrition. She has gone from 98Kg to 70Kg through relentless hard work and getting her nutrition right with the help of a personal trainer.
She writes articles to empower anyone to take control and not let go of their mental and physical health.