There is no better way to do agility training than doing plyometric or speed ladder drills. You absolutely need to build your agility if you want to be more competitive in sports and dance! To start your agility training, try out these highly effective agility ladder drill exercises that are perfect for beginners.
What is Plyometric Training for? AGILITY
You can determine how agile you are by how fast your ability is to suddenly change direction or adjust your body’s position exactly in the way that you want it to when you want it to and you can test that out by doing plyometric ladder drills and improve that with agility ladder training. The best thing about doing agility training this way is that it’s very budget-friendly, you can start doing agility exercises on your own agility ladder just by using some tape and rulers and start doing speed ladder drills, also known as plyometric ladder drills or plyometric training, right away and gain explosive power and a good mind-body connection. You don’t need fancy training implements like a medicine ball or a resistance band for these workout routines, though there are a lot of drills out there, as I said, probably more than 30 agility ladder drills exist. But you must start from the beginning if you want to get where you want to be. Training agility is more complex than other bodyweight exercise routines. Agility workout consists of training your quickness and mastery over each single leg and training your upper body and lower body to coordinate more effectively. It helps you do upper body bodyweight exercise routines too – but mostly, it helps on enhancing your lateral movement.
How Plyometric Ladder Drills Can Help In Sports
Agility is essential for doing fakes, feints, and switches in competitive sports if you’re an athlete and keeping up with fast, rhythmic dances. It is also a good supporting attribute when doing exercises that involve other workout devices like a medicine ball or a resistance band. Agility is not only about foot speed – it’s a result of many elements of physicality and lateral movement interacting and coordinating altogether in your body to achieve athletic, agile feats and you can start improving by doing agility ladder drill exercises!
How The Mind-Body Connection Works?
There are many elements that come into play when agility is concerned. Aside from foot speed; strength, balance, reflexes, lower body strength, some upper body strength, and mind-body connection or coordination also come into play when any athlete does any activities that require agility. However, training with agility exercises is not only for competitive athlete types or dancers – but agility exercises are also for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life and burn some calories! If you want to be healthier, have a better mind-body connection, have more strength in each leg, have a more dynamic balance, and move more like a ninja, then you should definitely start training your agility by doing these simple agility ladder drill exercises. Although doing agility ladder training is not the only ways to improve your agility – there are also other agility workout techniques like doing some box jump routines, speed drills or cone drills, and other plyometric drills or agility training exercises
Besides the many physical and health benefits that training agility on an agility ladder can give you, there is also the fact that agility drill exercises, unlike using a medicine ball, resistance bands, or other monotonous workout routines a fitness ladder can be the most fun drills you or your family can do – even your children will love it!
Before you begin:
These plyometric exercise training drills will give you more control over your movements and practice your footwork. There are actually a lot – probably more than 30 agility ladder drills exist out there, but here – I’ll give you the minimum to get you started. I’m sure you’re eager to begin your agility ladder training – but before you do, you must do a 10-minute warm-up first. Get your blood pumping, flex and stretch your muscles a bit, do some jumping jacks and run in place – doing these agility drill exercises, other plyometric drill routines or any other kind of workout or bodyweight exercise without doing a warm-up could cause some harm or pain to you.
If you’re done warming up, lay the ladder on the floor and stand at one of the ends – this is where your quickness and agility drill training journey begins! Note that for each drill, you must always start each repetition from the first starting point, from where you began. Every time you finish a drill moving down the ladder, go back to the start before doing the drill again. It’s alright to start slow at the beginning, get yourself acquainted with the ladder first – practice each drill slowly at first and ramp up the pace when you’re confident that you’ve got a solid grasp on what you must do.
Take note that in the illustrations, the left foot is orange while the right foot is blue.
Single Foot Plyometric Exercise
Now, for the most simple drill, we’ll start training with speed ladder drills. Do this exercise as fast as you can just like how you would do a dot drill. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can build single-leg strength using this routine:
- Raise your lead leg (which in this case should be your right leg) and put your right foot in the first square right in front of you.
- Raise your left leg and put your foot in the next square.
- Repeat this process until you’ve made it at the other end. To do this faster, hike your knees up until the level equal to your stomach (or higher if you can) with every step.
Double Foot Plyometric Exercise
Let’s ramp it up a little from here! Although this is still one of the more simple drill exercises it’s not that easy to accomplish. Instead of using one foot for each box, use two! Here’s another step-by-step guide on how to do this drill, remember to go as fast as you can in each repetition – starting slow at the beginning and ramping up the speed from there:
- Put a foot in the box in front of you, lifting each leg one after another. Start with the right.
- Move on to the next box as soon as both your feet are planted in the current box.
- Repeat this process again until you’ve made it to the end! To do this faster, instead of hiking your knees up, try instead to land on the balls of your feet as quickly as you possibly can.
Side-Steps Plyometric Training
This will be a little less simple drill exercise for building quickness. Align your right-foot side towards the Plyometric Ladder to begin this exercise. This time, instead of moving forward, you’ll be moving side-ways throughout the drill. Follow this step-by-step guide:
- Put your right foot on the first box.
- Raise your left leg and follow the lead leg up with your other foot on the same box.
- As your left leg lands on the box, put your right foot on the next box.
- Repeat until you reach the end!
“Two-in, two-out” Plyometric Drill
You’ll be doing this dot drill-like exercise sideways through the Plyometric Ladder. Think of the boxes as the “in”s and outside the space of that box, just beside it is the “out”. For this exercise, I’m assuming that you’ll be in a position where your right foot is your “leading” foot or the one that moves first.
- Jump into the starting box with both of your feet going in the box consecutively and quickly.
- Put your right foot on the “out” beside the next box.
- Follow that foot with your left foot.
- Put your right foot inside the “in”.
- Follow up your right foot with your left foot – both of your feet should be inside the box next to the starting box by this point.
- Repeat the first step with the next “out”s and “in”s until you reach the end.
Hop-Step Plyometric Ladder Drill
As the name suggests, you’ll be hopping into the boxes speedily like doing a dot drill but this time – with only a single leg. Use only one of your feet in the first repetition, and the other as the lead leg in the next repetition. This drill will be a test of dynamic balance and lower body endurance, so get ready! Follow these steps:
- On your starting point at the Plyometric Ladder, stand balanced on only one of your feet.
- Hop to the next box, staying in this balanced position.
- Repeat until you reach the end. When you’re finished with one rep, go-to starting point, and do it again with the other foot.
Lateral Hop-Step Plyometric Ladder Drill
This drill will be mostly just like the previous one, except – it’s sideways. If you think that this drill will be easy just because you were able to do the forward Hop-Step from the previous drill, you might want to think again! This drill could still prove as difficult of a test of dynamic balance just like the previous one!
- Begin again by hopping to the first box on your right foot but this time your right side should be facing where you are going.
- Hop to the next box side-ways while staying in this balanced position.
- Repeat until you reach the end. Go back to the starting point by doing it this time with your left foot. Jump sideways to your left until you reach the starting point!
Jumping Jacks Plyometric Ladder Drill
This drill would be familiar if you’ve done the “two-in, two-out” drill. However, instead of going sideways in a sort of zigzag fashion, you’ll be jumping from one box to the next with both feet planted in the first box and both feet to the sides in the next. If this sounds confusing to you, follow these steps slowly and ramp up the pace once you get it:
- Jump into the first box with both of your feet.
- Jump to the next level with each of your feet to the loft space and to the right space – the spaces outside the box, right beside it. Your feet must always land simultaneously.
- Jump into the next box with both of your feet.
- Repeat step two and then back to step one until you reach the end!
Double Foot Shuffle
This one is a lot more challenging than the last ones. If done slowly at first, it would feel somewhat like a dance. Get ready because this could be the hardest one so far. This would be like the Double-foot drill, except that with each step forward into the next box, you must first step each of your feet consecutively backward, then step forward to the next box. This could be a bit confusing, so make sure to again do it slowly at first until your feet builds muscle memory.
- Put your right foot and then your left foot, one after another into the first box.
- Do this again until the next box.
- Step backward with your right foot and then with your left to the previous box. Do it quickly and consecutively.
- Do step one to step three again until you reach the end!
There are a lot more exercises that could help you build explosive power like box jump, cone drills, other speed drills, and other agility training exercises. You don’t have to do 30 agility ladder drills, you simply have to pick the ones that work for you and keep practicing. Whatever the exercise is, if it’s a box jump, speed drills, cone drills, or any other plyometric drill or agility training exercise – you have to put your heart into it and commit to doing it regularly. Remember to do all agility training exercises slowly in the beginning; don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s normal to get confused and winded at first but keep practicing and keep improving until you get explosive power – and always remember to have fun while you’re doing all these drills!
“The ladder drill is used for increasing foot speed and coordination. Athletes should be conscious of the footwork shown in the video and work to match each step. The faster you can move your feet during ladder drill exercises the better results you will have. In this sequence, you will see 4 plyometric exercises. In each exercise be used to use your arms. A lot of times athletes will leave their arms down by their sides. Be sure to keep good L’s and get them moving. ”
It’s a great way to improve your mind-body connection to help you move and feel better in everyday life. Thanks for this very informative blog post!
I will definitely use these drills for my workout. great blog post!
Awesome! thanks for this beginner-friendly foot exercise.
Tried the exercises and it made me sweat. not to mention my leg hurts ‘coz I did not do a warm-up. lol. but you really have an awesome blog post, keep posting more of this.
Wow! you have a very nice example and detailed step-by-step instruction on how to properly do the exercises.