I love agility ladders. I love them because they constantly challenge my clients to think as quickly as their feet move, and those who complain about being completely uncoordinated find themselves just as foot loose as Moose himself after adding it to their training once or twice a week. Adding speed and agility to training doesn’t just help during the game though. IKEA on a Sunday? You should see how fast I can dart through the unpredictable paths of furniture hungry masses. For real.

You know what I also love? HIIT. What is HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training is a type of workout that is extremely short and high effective. According to the American Council on Exercise, HIIT is a cardiorespiratory training technique that alternates brief speed and recovery intervals to increase the overall intensity of a workout. This technique can increase both aerobic and anaerobic capacity and also burn fat. There isn’t really a specific formula for duration, but can be as short as 30 seconds or as long as 5 minutes. The key is to work hard during the work period.

So what happened the day I decided to combine my favorite training tool and HIIT? Mind blown. No. Entire body blown. I present to you, the exquisite pleasure of Agility Ladder HIIT.

 

The Formula

Each drill lasts 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform the six drills 3 times each for a total of 18 rounds. (30:10:18) I use my GYMBOSS timer, but there are some great interval timer apps like Impetus to help keep time.

 

The Drills

High Knees

Starting at the beginning of the ladder, perform high knees as each rung is hit with both feet. When the end of the ladder is reached, turn around and repeat in the opposite direction to return to start.

Lateral Plank Walk

In a plank position, start at the beginning of the ladder. Walk your right hand and foot to the next rung, followed by the left. Repeat until the end of the ladder is reached, then return to start in the opposite direction.

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Forward Load N’ Explode

This one is a fun explosive drill. At the beginning of the ladder, quick feet through the first rung and land on the left side of the ladder with the left foot. Loading the left leg, quickly jump laterally onto the right foot on the right side of the ladder. Repeat the sequence for each rung until the end is reached, then turn around and repeat in the opposite direction to return to start.

One-Foot Drop Squat Hops

Ode to ankle strength and stabilization! Starting on the left foot, hop forward two rungs. In the second rung, drop into a single leg squat as low as you can go while staying balanced over the left ankle. Repeat the sequence until the end of the ladder, then switch to the right leg to return to start.

Lateral In N’ Outs

Standing parallel to the ladder, start with the right foot immediately following it with the left into the first rung. Quickly step back out with both feet just on the outside of the ladder. Advance to the next rung to the right. Repeat the sequence until the end of the ladder is reached, then repeat in the opposite direction to return to start.

Lateral Push Ups

Using the same technique as the lateral plank walk, add a push up each time the hands meet in the same rung. Easy peasy.

 

Pro Tips

- Use your whole body to perform the drill: swing your arms and drive the actions with both your hips and legs.

- Look up! Train as if you were training for your sport, so don’t be caught looking at your feet when you could be focusing your eyes on what is happening around you.

- Form over speed: do a run through once or twice at a slower pace to get the rhythm and form right. Speed in these drills won’t benefit you if you are running through them like a wacky waving inflatable tube man. Once you’ve gotten a handle on technique, go for speed.

Posted
AuthorLizelle Din
CategoriesTraining

In college, a group of friends and I took a road trip from Illinois to California with activities like surfing, hiking and bungee jumping in the agenda once we got there. Along the way we stopped in Salt Lake City to take obligatory pictures of standing on the salty lake. On the way back to the car, I sprained my ankle pretty badly by rolling it in the gravel parking lot. Lame, right? Out of all the things we did on the trip, that was how I injured myself? That embarrassing moment has plagued my sports career ever since and have had to keep up with ankle strengthening every time I think about playing. If I could sprain my ankle just WALKING, then I surely could sprain it again skating/running/playing dodgeball/WALKING.

With that being said, creating ankle strength and speed at the same time can be a daunting task. If 1-footed balance exercises are already in your weekly program, I am very proud of you. But if you are ready for the next level, try this 1-foot lateral zig zag hop drill to put that ankle strength in movement. This drill is advanced level, so if you know your ankles are still weak or recovering from injury, do not attempt this drill.

1-Foot Lateral Zig Zag Hop

Start on your left foot with your left leg slightly bent at the ankle and knee. You will want to perform this drill from a slightly athletic position rather than standing straight up. From the outside of the ladder closest to you, hop into the first rung then forward on the other side of the ladder farthest from you. You will then jump backwards into the 2nd rung and back on the outside. Repeat the movement all the way to the end on the same foot and then execute the drill on your right foot coming back to the start. This drill is killer so you will only want to do the drill once or twice on both legs until you have built up the strength to complete 3 to 5 times.

ADOTW Pro Tips

- Use your whole body to perform the drill: swing your arms and drive the actions with both your hips and legs.

- Look up! Train as if you were training for your sport, so don’t be caught looking at your feet when you could be focusing your eyes on what is happening around you.

- Form over speed: do a run through once or twice at a slower pace to get the rhythm and form right. Speed in these drills won’t benefit you if you are running through them like a wacky waving inflatable tube man. Once you’ve gotten a handle on technique, go for speed.

Posted
AuthorLizelle Din

Are we having fun with burpees yet? I know I’m … not. This week’s ADOTW involves a burpee-like move and adds agility to all the already awesome goodness. Think of it as an ode to my hometown footwork fame plus a crossfit addict’s need to add plyos to EVERYTHING.

Figure 8 Up-Downs

Set 2 cones a few feet apart, just wider than shoulder width apart. Starting in the middle of the cones, shuffle around them in a figure 8 motion. When you return to the start, pause, place your hands on the ground in front of your feet while bending your knees. Next, jump back into a plank position with your neck and spine in a neutral position and immediately jump your feet back to your hands. Stand up, adding a vertical jump at the end, then repeat the figure 8 motion in the opposite direction. Do 10 to 12 reps or see how many you can do in 1 minute.

Pro Tips

- Use your whole body to perform the drill: swing your arms and drive the actions with both your hips and legs.

- When jumping back into a plank, you shouldn’t look like you are trying to do the worm on the way back. Concentrate on keeping your body as flat as a board as you push back up. Since this is a full body move that means your arms and core are doing work too.

- Look up! Train as if you were training for your sport, so don’t be caught looking at your feet when you could be focusing your eyes on what is happening around you.

- Form over speed: do a run through once or twice at a slower pace to get the rhythm and form right. Speed in these drills won’t benefit you if you are running through them like a wacky waving inflatable tube man. Once you’ve gotten a handle on technique, go for speed.


Posted
AuthorLizelle Din

If you were up last night into the wee hours finalizing your picks, might as well kick off  the tournament with this 45 minute basketball-themed workout! Grab a medicine ball (bouncy or non-bouncy works—just remember not to slam the ball down right under your face if using a bouncy one) and let these power and agility moves help you step up your game. Remember to do a dynamic warm-up and a proper cool down and stretch as well. For each set, each exercise is 1 minute, followed by 3 minutes of agility with 1 minute of rest in between each set.

 (click above to view larger image)

(click above to view larger image)

THE MARCH MADNESS WORKOUT

SET #1: SOUTH

Around the World w/Medicine Ball (MB)

Stand in an athletic position with legs shoulder width apart and knees bent. Engaging your core, move the MB in a circular motion with your arms fully extended. Switch directions halfway.

Forward/Backward Lunges w/MB

Holding the MB out in front of you, step forward into a lunge with your knee directly over your ankle and your other knee low to the ground. Step backwards immediately into a backwards lunge and switch sides halfway.

MB Push Ups

With one hand on the ground and the other on top of the MB, execute a push up in proper form, then roll the MB to the other hand, making sure to keep it directly under your shoulder.

MB Thrusters w/Hop

In a wide stance, hold the MB between your legs with both hands. Then driving with your hips, swing the MB above your head and end with your feet together. Hop your feet back out into the wide stance and repeat the movement.

Slider Plank Run and Side Shuffles

With sliders (towels, frisbees or tupperware lids … whatever slides) under your hands and down in a plank position, push your way down the room to the end. At the end, pick up your sliders and shuffle sideways to the start position. Make sure to alternate sides every time you come back.

SET #2: WEST

Bus Drivers w/MB

In an athletic position, hold the MB out in front of you and pretend you are holding the wheel of a car. Rotate the MB from left to right as if you were swerving on the road to avoid the potholes that winter loves to grant us every year.

Around the World Lunges w/MB

Holding the MB out in front of you and with your right leg lunge forward, then lateral, then back. Switch your left leg starting with a backwards lunge, then lateral , then forward. Repeat.

Glute Bridge w/MB Tricep Extensions

On your back and your ankles just within reach, raise your hips as high as possible and squeeze your glutes to keep them there. (You can do this on one leg to challenge yourself, switch legs halfway.) With your hips raised, hold the MB above your head and with your elbows kept in, lower the MB behind your head and raise back up. Repeat.

Vertical Jump Burpees

Just like a burpee, start by getting down in a plank position and jumping your feet back and under. Then, instead of a traditional vertical jump at the top, do a one-legged jump as you would if you were doing a lay-up!

Agility Ladder Lateral Double Hops and Backwards In-Outs

Start a few feet away from the ladder. Loading on your outside leg, hop laterally just to the outside of the ladder, then quickly hop inside and back out on the same foot. Then hop laterally back  to the starting position, but advancing forward a little to make your way down the ladder. Repeat on the other leg when you start over.

Instead of jogging back to the start, still facing forward, hop your feet in and out of each ladder step, but going backwards. Look over your shoulder as you do so.

SET #3: EAST

MB Wood Chops

Starting in an athletic position and the MB at your right hip, use your hips to thrust to the left and end with the MB at your left shoulder. Bring the MB back down to the start and repeat. Remember to drive from your hips and the movement stays with them, no twist from your back! Switch sides halfway.

Fire Hydrants

Down on all fours, rotate your hip so that your knee is raised from the ground to hip level, keeping your hips level to the ground. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glute before you lower back down. Switch sides halfway.

Decline MB Push Ups w/Abductions

With your feet planted firmly on the MB, execute a push up. At the top of your push up, take one foot of the MB and extend out to the side and back. Repeat the sequence and switch sides half way.

Sideways Overhead Slam to Lateral Hop

With the MB, start the movement from your left hip. Pull the MB overhead and slam down to the ground on your right side. Then, hop with both feet laterally to position yourself in front of where your ball landed. Pick it up, then repeat the movement in the opposite direction. Use your core to power the slam to the ground.

Sprints and Cariocas

Good ol’ sprints. Sprint down to the end of the room. On your way back, carioca. Make sure to switch sides each time you return to the start.

SET #4: MIDWEST

Figure 8 MB Pass

In an athletic position, pass the MB between your legs from one hand to the other, in a figure 8 motion.

Cross Back Lunge w/MB Rotation

Holding the MB at your chest, step your leg leg back behind you in a cross lunge. When you stand back up, bring your left knee up to your chest and raise the MB above your head but rotate slightly to your right. Repeat the movement, and switch sides halfway.

Boat Pose w/MB Side-to-Side Shoulder Press

Sitting on the floor with your feet off the ground and keeping your back straight, lean back as far as you can while keeping your core engaged. While in the boat pose, hold the MB at your left shoulder, then raise above your head and lower down to your right shoulder. Repeat.

2 Broad Jumps to Pedal Backs

Loading your legs, bound forward while landing softly and keeping your knees bent. After the 2 jumps, pedal back quickly to the starting position and repeat.

Cone Drill 5-10-5 and Suicides

Set up 3 cones 5 feet apart. Starting at the middle cone, run and touch the left cone, then run and touch the right cone and run back to the middle cone. Repeat, except switch directions and run to the right cone. (1 minute 30 seconds.)

Set up 5 cones 5 feet apart. Starting at the first cone, run and touch the 2nd cone and pedal back to the first. Repeat for the 3rd, 4th and 5th cone. (1 minute 30 seconds.)

SET #5: CHAMPIONSHIPS

Squat to MB Overhead Press

Holding the MB at your chest, perform a squat then push the MB above your head when you stand up. Repeat.

Good Mornings w/MB

Holding the MB at your chest and standing on one leg, lower the MB to the ground, bending at your hips and kicking your raised leg behind you. Bring the MB back to your chest as you hinge from your hips back up to standing. Switch legs halfway.

MB Plank Hand Switches

In a plank position with your hands on the MB, take your hands off the MB to the ground and back to the MB as quickly as you can. Repeat.

MB Thrust Rotation w/Hop

Starting in an athletic position with the MB at your right hip, use your hips to thrust you to hop forward while rotating the MB forward at the same time. It will all be one swift movement. Step back to starting position. Alternate sides.

Lateral Zig-Zags / High Knees and Forward Zig-Zags / Butt Kicks

Facing sideways and moving laterally, alternate pedaling backwards and jogging fowards in a zig-zag pattern to the end of the room. Perform high knees to get you back to the starting position. (1 minute 30 seconds.)

Finally, facing forward, run side to side in a zig-zag pattern, touching the ground at each point. Perform butt kicks to get you back to the starting position. (1 minute 30 seconds.)

Feeling ready to shoot some hoops? Or at least watch? Let the madness begin!

 

Posted
AuthorLizelle Din
CategoriesTraining
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There is a scene I always think of in the Bourne Supremacy when I am running. In the beginning of the movie, Matt Damon is running on the beach and then all of a sudden, he kicks it into high gear and turns into a sprinting machine. I started running recently and am doing my best to stick to it, but I know in my heart that I will always loathe distance running. I’ve always been a sprinter and will always be a sprinter. So in my head, I am Jason Bourne-ing my runs just in case I ever need to go fight bad guys and uncover conspiracies.

This week’s drill is a one built to work both agility and speed. Adding this drill to your weekly practice can improve your footwork in multiple directions and then kick you into high gear in a forward action. Below are the steps to execute along with some tips!

Pro Tips

- Use your whole body to perform the drill: swing your arms and drive the actions with both your hips and legs.

- Look up! Train as if you were training for your sport, so don’t be caught looking at your feet when you could be focusing your eyes on what is happening around you.

- Form over speed: do a run through once or twice at a slower pace to get the rhythm and form right. Speed in these drills won’t benefit you if you are running through them like a wacky waving inflatable tube man. Once you’ve gotten a handle on technique, go for speed.

Weave N’ Sprint

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You will need 10 cones. Set the first 5 cones about a foot apart, then the other five 50 yards away in a straight line in the same manner. Start at one end and while facing forward the entire drill, weave quickly through the first 5 cones then sprint to the end of the last cone set. Turn around and repeat from the other side so that you end where you began. That is 1 rep. Repeat this drill 6 to 8 times total.

Got it? Good. Let's go Jason Bourne-ing.

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Posted
AuthorLizelle Din