Take This Speed Ladder Workout Anywhere

April 28, 2012

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Speed ladders are the perfect low-cost solution for developing the power, speed and quickness you need for your sport. Although you can find speed ladders at most sports performance centers and schools, you can also easily purchase one for an inexpensive workout you can take anywhere.

Before your speed ladder workout, remember to warm up both your upper- and lower-body muscles. One of the quickest ways to warm up both groups of muscles at the same time is a dynamic Walking Lunge/Arm Circle combo. Perform two sets for two to three minutes. Hydrate, and you're ready to go.

Push-Ups and Straight Line Sprints

  • Place two ladders side-by-side
  • Get into push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart in first ladder spaces
  • Complete Push-Up and advance to next two spaces
  • Repeat pattern until finished with ladders
  • Stand up, sprint 40 yards and backpedal to beginning of ladder

Sets/Reps: 2-4x drill with 30 seconds rest

Single-Leg Hops and Zig-Zag Sprints

  • Place two ladders side-by-side
  • Laterally hop with right foot through each space to end of ladders
  • Sprint diagonally right 10 yards, diagonally left 10 yards, right for another 10, then left another 10
  • Backpedal to start of ladder and repeat with left leg without rest

Sets/Reps: 2-4x drill each leg

Crabwalks and Cariocas

  • Place two ladders side-by-side and get into backward seated position with hands in first ladder spaces, knees bent and hips raised
  • Walk with hands and feet through each space to end of ladders (Crabwalks)
  • Stand up, hold arms out at shoulder level and move sideways, criss-crossing feet behind and in front of each other for 40 yards (Carioca)
  • Reverse Cariocas back to ladders and repeat without rest

Sets/Reps: 2-4x drill

Jumps and Sprints

  • Place two ladders side-by-side and assume athletic stance in front of ladders
  • Jump into every other space, raising hands high overhead
  • Sprint 40 yards and backpedal to start of ladder
  • Jump laterally between spaces down ladders
  • Sprint 10 yards diagonally right, 10 yards diagonally left, right for another 10, then left for another 10

Sets/Reps: 2-4x drill with 30 seconds rest

Burpees

  • Place one ladder on ground and move into push-up position with hands in first two spaces
  • Perform Push-Up, then explosively thrust feet toward hips and immediately jump upright
  • Immediately return to push-up position and repeat sequence in next ladder space
  • Repeat Burpees to end of ladder, then continue them back to beginning without rest
  • Up and down ladder equals one set

Sets/Reps: 2-4x drill with 30 seconds rest

Each speed ladder drill emphasizes a mix of power, speed, balance and agility. Add this short workout to your training to become a more explosive athlete, no matter what sport you play.

Photo:  flickr.com/photos/mirsasha

Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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