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How to Spice up Your Conditioning With an Agility Ladder

Athletes do it to get faster — you can do it to become fitter.

Boredom is the killer of a good exercise routine. If you're bored by it, you won't do it. An agility ladder is just one tool you can use to spice up your conditioning. You can do the following drills in a Tabata style — four minutes in eight rounds of 20 seconds work, and 10 seconds of rest. You can also set your own intervals of work and rest for your desired workout length. For example, you can do 30 seconds of drills, followed by 30 seconds of rest for 15 minutes. You can also add in a drill between strength exercises to bump up your heart rate. It's up to you!

There are numerous drills you can do with the agility ladder. Here are a few of the basics to get you started.

Single Foot per Square

For this drill, you basically run through the ladder landing one foot in each square. You'll stay on the ball of your foot and your stride will be short as the squares are close together. So, think fast feet.

Both Feet per Square

Think of this as a double-time — but start slow. This time both feet have to touch in each square before you go to the next. So, get those knees up and pump those arms.

Turn to the Side

Both feet will land in each square for this drill as well. This time, though, you will turn to the side and lead with your right leg down the ladder on the first pass, and then lead with your left foot on the second pass back to the start position. Start slow to get your footwork down, then speed up to really challenge yourself.

Jack It Out

Start facing the ladder. Hop both feet into the first square. Jump up and bring your feet apart, landing outside the square. Jump back in together, landing in the next square. Keep your knees soft, and move as quickly as you can.

Lateral In and Out

This time stand on the side of the ladder. You'll go down leading with the right leg, then the left on the way back. Start slow, stepping into the first square with your right then your left foot. Then step back and out right foot, left foot. Step with your right into the next square, and all the way down. Then head back leading with the left. Pick up your speed, going in in, and out out all the way down and back.

Single Leg Hops

Stand on one foot and hop forward into each square — do not alternate. Then turn around and head back on the other leg.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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