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What is Agility Ladder?

Updated on March 27, 2015

What is Agility Ladder?

Agility Ladder

An agility ladder is a thin ladder comprised of two side rails and rungs which are typically eighteen inches apart, creating twenty inch boxes. The side rails as well as the rungs should not exceed more than two inches in width. Agility ladders are placed flat on a floor and used as exercise equipment designed to improve mobility and speed. They are useful for a myriad of different drills, but typically the user rapidly jumps or high steps from box to box. Both simple and complex agility ladders can easily be constructed at minimal cost.


Building a Homemade Agility Ladder

Making your own agility ladder is quite simple when the desired design is intended only for floor usage. An actual ladder need not be built; just a simulation of a ladder is needed. Only a measuring tape and chalk is necessary for creating a floor based agility ladder. When creating an agility ladder on grass or some other non-flat surface, rope, wood, or any other thin material can be used to represent the boxed spaces between the rungs. There can be variations of agility ladders based on a person’s size. Vivid or contrasting colors may also be used for those who have difficulty seeing. Moreover, creating the ladders in various formations can lead to newer, more complex exercise routines. There are an endless number of drills and exercise routines that can be performed with the aid of agility ladders. However, the scope of this article shall focus on six commonly used methods.


Exercise Routines Commonly Associated with Agility Ladders

The primary objective of agility ladder based routines is to promote several various movement patterns. Through practice, the body will be able to respond quickly to these movements, consequently improving speed and overall flexibility.

It is advised that beginners start with just one or two drills until mastering them before introducing more physically demanding routines. The first and most commonly used method is to slowly travel through the ladder while placing one foot directly in the middle of each square. For this to be effective it is important to emphasize a strong high knee lift coupled with arm swinging. Do not be concerned if you can only do this routine slowly as over time your speed will increase through practice.

Another routine is to hop between the squares. While inside a square do high knee lifts using both legs. As with the first example, it is also important here to perform rapid arm movements as this works greatly to improve balance and upper body stamina.

The third example sees the agility ladder’s user as beginning by standing on the side of ladder. From this position one will take a strong leap into the first square; then take a step back with the left leg followed by the right leg. These motions should be done aggressively and slowly to fully work the leg muscles. Repeat these steps while moving laterally along the ladder until reaching its end. Rapid arm movements are also important here as that offers a more challenging workout that increases balance.

The fourth example is similar to the third only the hop into the squares is done in a backwards fashion.

The fifth example has the user with one foot inside a square while the other is outside of the device, thus straddling the agility ladder. While pivoting on the foot located inside the square turn your body so that both feet are now located within the square. Twist and turn your way down the ladder until reaching its end. This is a fantastic way to improve knee strength and overall flexibility. Lastly, step backwards into one of the ladder’s squares with one foot and then do a series of knee crunches; when completed place both feet inside the square and do more knee crunches. Continue this process until the ladder’s end is reached.



Agility ladders are ideal for anyone interested in an affordable yet effective exercise routine. They are easy to construct and equally simple to use. The aforementioned examples are simply the most commonly used routines. Over time one is free to invent his or her own routines. Agility ladders can be bought or made into many different shapes and sizes which are important for decreasing or increasing the intensity of the workout. They are perfect for anyone regardless of a person’s fitness level. Exercise gurus and beginners both use agility ladders consistently, achieving great results.

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