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.
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.
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.
- 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.