Build a Speed Ladder Drill Progression

September 22, 2012 | Allison Skufca

Must See Speed Videos


For most training and many  sports teams' facilities, the speed ladder has become an essential tool. The speed ladder gives coaches the ability to develop coordination, foot speed, agility and overall quickness in their athletes. Since it's so portable, the speed ladder can be used in the gym or out on the field.  But although it is a great tool to add to your program, the speed ladder shouldn't take the place of other agility drills. A good training program should have variety.

Good form is the key to speed ladder drills; they're not effective if they're performed with speed but lacking in form. Athletes are told to get the form or pattern down first, then increase speed. The drills are not meant to leave athletes fatigued, like running Shuttle Runs would. Speed ladder drills are best performed at the start of a training session after the warm-up to ensure good quality movements.

Proper Speed Ladder Form 

  • Drop the hips and bend the knees to get in a good athletic position
  • Push off from the balls of the feet, not the toes
  • Keep the elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Pump the arms forward and backward at the shoulder joint just like when running.
  • Keep the arms, shoulders and hands relaxed
  • Pick up the feet, don't drag them across the ladder
  • Keep the foot flexed up (dorsi-flexed) to ensure striking the ground with the ball of the foot

Depending on an athlete's skill level, speed ladder drills can be as basic or as complex as needed. Here is a great progression series:

Speed ladder drills can also be incorporated into sport-specific drills like receiving and passing a soccer ball, catching and dribbling a basketball, catching a football or performing a jump after going through the ladder. Here is an example of how to incorporate receiving and passing a soccer ball into a basic speed ladder drill.

Photo: Austintrx.com

Must See
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 33,259,082
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 32,485,714
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 5,881,163

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Views: 243,040
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,319
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,097
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,576,211
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,865
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,918
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,269,514
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,560

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Why Agility Is Critical for Soccer Players

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

Sprinting Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Get Faster with High-Speed Treadmill Training

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

A Linear Speed Progression for Increasing In-Game Speed

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Fine-Tuning Soccer Sprint Speed

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Six-Pack for Speed: 5 Core Exercises That Can Make You Faster

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

Feed for Speed: 5 Foods and Supplements That Make You Faster

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Soccer Players: Get Quick on the Pitch

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Building Sprint Speed for Soccer Players

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

Get Even More Out of Your Hill Sprints With These Variations

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

NFL RB Zac Stacy Works to Get Faster for the 2015 Season

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

These 5 Drills Will Increase Your Baseball-Specific Speed

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

Resisted Sprints: Use the Right Weight to Get Faster

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

Run Faster and Longer

Run Faster and Longer

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

Developing Soccer-Specific Speed

YardBarker