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
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,413,598
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 9,462,530
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,911,355

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill: Kevin Love's Turn-and-Shoot Drill Basketball Shooting Drill: Kevin Love's Turn-and-Shoot Drill Views: 1,877
SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of
Athletic Gaines: Get Faster With Weighted Sled Pushes Athletic Gaines: Get Faster With Weighted Sled Pushes
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

Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 6,060,319
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,923
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,919,916
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,852
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,390

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
6 Essential Multi-Directional Speed Drills

6 Essential Multi-Directional Speed Drills

Want to have quick feet, blazing speed and the ability to juke people out of their shoes? Good, let's get to work with some speed drills. Before we do I...

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Drills for Faster Sprints

Todd Durkin's 5 Drills for Faster Sprints

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

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

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

What Is Fast in Soccer?

What Is Fast in Soccer?

The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes

The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

3 Acceleration Drills for a Faster First Step

3 Acceleration Drills for a Faster First Step

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Sprinting Technique Errors and How to Fix Them

Sprinting Technique Errors and How to Fix Them

Supreme Speed: 6 Training Tips from Football's Fastest Man

Supreme Speed: 6 Training Tips from Football's Fastest Man

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

3 Simple Steps to Get Quick

3 Simple Steps to Get Quick

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

Run Faster and Longer

Run Faster and Longer

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

4 Speed Training Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

4 Speed Training Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

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

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

Deceleration: The Missing Link for Hockey Speed Training

Deceleration: The Missing Link for Hockey Speed Training

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

YardBarker