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11 Best Agility Ladder Drills to Burn Calories Fast


Boost your fitness with our top 11 agility ladder drills designed to enhance speed, improve coordination, and torch calories quickly!

Are you looking for a fun and effective way to burn calories and stay in shape? Look no further than agility ladder drills! These drills are a great way to improve your speed, coordination, and cardiovascular health, all while burning calories and having fun.

Agility ladder drills aren’t just for the elite athlete. Ladder exercises can be the perfect way to get started with athletic style training, even for the non-athlete.

Plus, a speed and agility ladder workout is a great way to get your heart pumping (and calories melting).

The agility ladder, also known as a speed ladder, improves three key fitness factors—speed, agility, and quickness—in addition to strengthening your joints, ligaments, and tendons.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 11 agility ladder drills to help you achieve your fitness goals quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re a beginner or an elite athlete, these drills are sure to challenge your speed, agility, and coordination.

Let’s explore the benefits of agility ladder training and my favorite agility ladder exercises!

An agility ladder workout is great for so many reasons. Yes, your heart rate gets up there and you’re going to burn calories, but there’s so much more to it than that.

Ladder drills will mix up your workout and keep you interested even when you’re in a fitness rut.

Here are just some of the benefits of speed ladder training.

Improves Speed, Agility, and Quickness

Whether you’re a pro athlete or an exercise newbie, agility ladder drills are the perfect form of cross-training because they help improve your speed, agility, and quickness.

Speed: your ability to move with fast feet in one direction as quickly as possible
Agility: your coordination—your ability to accelerate, decelerate, and handle a change of direction
Quickness: your ability to use fast footwork to react or switch positions quickly

These three factors not only improve your athletic performance in other sports and activities but can help you boost your fitness level for virtually any type of workout you do. You’ll see the benefit in it all the way from strength training to cardio workouts or your yoga practice.

Enhances Balance and Flexibility

Agility ladder drills require coordinated and controlled footwork that helps improve balance and lower body flexibility. Balance is a critical component in sports, and also in regular daily life.

These agility ladder exercises footwork drills and lateral movement to help athletes develop and maintain it great balance, but they can benefit non-athletes too.

In fact, improving your balance may help reduce the risk of falls and injuries. It’s a win, win!

Increases Cardiovascular Fitness

exercise. These drills help burn calories and build endurance, leading to overall fitness and healthy body composition.

Because agility ladder drills require so much precision, foot speed, and focus, they can elevate your heart rate in a short amount of time. Getting your heart rate up through cardiovascular exercise is a great way to keep your heart healthy and young.

The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio per week; agility ladder exercises can certainly be a part of that!

You can also check out my top 9 picks for the best cardio workouts for weight loss. No running included!

Agility Ladder Drills Burn Tons Of Calories

Because speed ladder drills are a great form of cardio, they also burn mega calories! They are considered a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This means they do what I always preach is the best method to attack your fat: accomplish more in less time!

By going “all-out” in short bursts of intense effort and then taking a brief pause, you typically blast fat and burn more calories than you would be doing most lower-intensity, steady-state cardio activities.

There are many different types of workouts that fall into this HIIT category. You can see a few of my favorites in my list of 7 total body exercises that burn fat and build muscle.

Keeps You Mentally Sharp

Stay young with a workout that will keep you on your toes and thinking fast! These agility ladder drills require you to focus and concentrate, connecting your brain to your body.

This type of improved coordination not only benefits your daily life, but keeps your mind young.

Many people deal with increased brain fog symptoms as they age, and regular exercise can help.

Speed ladder drills are so powerful they could even prevent Alzheimer’s. Studies show that Alzheimer’s patients who participate in exercise programs including balance and coordination components retain more muscle strength and control than patients who do not.

Plus, from the moment you put your foot into the first ladder exercise, your brain will be focused and your training session will speed by.

It’s FUN!

We all get bored sometimes with our workout. If you feel like you’re in a rut and sick of slogging away on the treadmill one more time, try this ladder workout instead!

It’s an amazing feeling to perform athlete-style speed and agility training. Step into the first phase of becoming more athletic and agile with a ladder drill – I promise your body can do it. You can do ladder exercises outside, in the garage, or in the basement.

It’s something different, and it’s just plain fun. Your kids will have a blast with it too!

Looking for other fun workouts to mix up your exercise routine? Give these a try:

If you’re ready to reap the benefits of agility ladder drills, the first step is setting up your ladder properly. Then, you’ll be ready to start your training drills!

Following the steps below will help you get the most out of your bodyweight workout:

Step 1: Select the Right Ladder

The size of your ladder will depend on your training goals, workout space, and personal preference. A standard agility ladder is 10 yards long and 20 inches wide, but you can find ladders in different sizes and materials.

Choose a ladder that suits your needs and budget.

Step 2: Find a Suitable Location

You’ll need a flat surface to set up your ladder. Look for a space that is free from obstacles, such as furniture or equipment, and has enough room for you to move comfortably around the ladder.

If you’re training indoors, a gym or a spacious room will be ideal. If you prefer to train outdoors, a flat grassy field or a track will work well.

Step 3: Set Up Your Ladder

Unroll your ladder on the ground and make sure it lies flat. Use cones or other markers to indicate the starting and ending points of your cone drills.

Make sure the ladder is straight and the markers are in the correct position before you start your workout.

Step 4: Warm Up and Stretch

Before you start your agility ladder workout, it’s important to warm up and stretch your muscles. This will help prevent injury and prepare your body for the workout ahead.

Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up with jogging in place, jumping jacks, or skipping before starting your drills. After warming up, do some dynamic stretches to increase mobility and flexibility, such as leg swings, arm circles, or walking lunges.

Now that you’ve set up your agility ladder, you’re ready to begin your drills and take your fitness to the next level!

Agility ladder drills are a fun and effective way to improve your agility and burn serious calories. You can get started with agility ladder workouts using my full video workout or individual exercises below.

Follow the instructions for an amazing ladder workout that will keep those quick feet moving!

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”Xndxfdc2″ upload-date=”2017-10-25T17:37:07.000Z” name=”Agility ladder workout” description=”This agility ladder workout will have your heart pumping, calories burning and your mind entertained. Agility ladders are not only a great way to kill that cardio workout, but they’re also FUN!”]

Agility Ladder Workout Instructions

Put together, these 11 agility ladder drills make up one kick-butt workout.

This workout is considered a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout because it requires you to expend all-out effort for short bursts of time and then rest.


Perform each drill two times in a row.
Move down the ladder, shuffle back to the beginning of the ladder again and do it one more time.
Do that for each of the 11 ladder drills.
Take a rest to catch your breath and then repeat all 11 again!

Watch the videos for a demonstration of each move and read the description of each drill to learn how to do each move.

1. Single Foot In Each Square Ladder Exercise

Place one foot in each square, alternating. Be sure to pick up your feet and move from the first box through the full length of the ladder.

The higher you can pick your knees up while running through the ladder, the more efficient and effective this exercise will be.

2. Two Feet In Each Square Ladder Exercise

Place two feet in each square before moving onto the next. You want to stay on the balls of your feet and move your feet quickly for this agility ladder drill.

Similar to the single leg in each square, the extra challenge to this move is to also pick up your knees. Think high knees down the ladder. This will push your heart rate further and uses a bigger range of motion.

3. Lateral Stepping Ladder Exercise

Stand lateral in to the agility ladder with your right foot ready to lead. Start going down the agility ladder by placing two feet in each square. Stay on the balls of the feet and as you move laterally. You want to keep your toes and hips facing forward the entire time until you reach the end of the ladder.

Do this same thing on the other side, leading with the left foot and moving in the opposite direction.

Facing laterally and sprinting down the ladder forces us to move in a different plane of motion and challenges our minds as well.

4. Jumping Jack Feet Ladder Exercise

Jump two feet together inside a square, then jump out while moving down the ladder. Just as you would do regular jumping jacks, continue to use your arms in an overhead position to increase the heart rate.

Stay on the balls of the feet as you jack them out and in down the entire ladder.

5. In In Out Out Ladder Exercise

Begin by placing the right foot in the square and then the left foot. Then you will step outside of the ladder with the right foot, then the left, leaving both feet on the outside of the ladder.

You will follow the pattern of in in, out out, leading with the same foot as you go down the entire ladder.

Once you come back, the challenge is to start with the opposite foot, making sure you are evening out your body and not always choosing the more dominant foot to lead.

6. Lateral Carioca Ladder Exercise

Start by standing on the left side of the ladder, allowing your left foot to be the leading leg. Step sideways with your lead foot (left) into the first square, then cross-step your opposite foot over the lead foot as you move to the second box.

You will grapevine down the entire ladder with the “non-leading” foot either stepping in front or behind the lead leg.

Continue to move laterally across the ladder while focusing on quick footwork and stable hip movement. Repeat this pattern on the other side.

7. Cross-Overs Ladder Exercise

This is one of our favorite agility ladder drills. Begin by starting on one side of the ladder (doesn’t matter which side because you will do both sides), but for our sake, we are going to start on the right side.

Take a lateral step into the first square with the left foot, then immediately follow with the right foot.

Then you will step laterally to the left side of the ladder with the left foot. The right foot will then lead into the second box.

The left foot will meet the right in the second square, then take a step to the outside of the ladder on the right with the right foot. Continue down the entire ladder focusing on quickness and agility.

The pattern will always be two feet into the square, one foot on the outside, but each time you will lead with the opposite leg.

8. Icky Shuffle Ladder Exercise

This is one of our favorite agility ladder drills. Begin by starting on one side of the ladder (doesn’t matter which side because you will do both sides), but for our sake, we are going to start on the right side.

Take a lateral step into the first square with the left foot, then immediately follow with the right foot.

Then you will step laterally to the left side of the ladder with the left foot. The right foot will then lead into the second box.

The left foot will meet the right in the second square, then take a step to the outside of the ladder on the right with the right foot. Continue down the entire ladder focusing on quickness and agility.

The pattern will always be two feet into the square, one foot on the outside, but each time you will lead with the opposite leg.

9. Single Foot Hops Ladder Exercise

Begin by standing on the left foot. Hop through the ladder on the left foot the entire way down the ladder.

Once you reach the end of the ladder and you make your way back to the starting position, you will stand on the right foot and complete the same pattern on the opposite foot.

10. Side Shuffle Speed Ladder Exercise

Start on the right side of the ladder. The right foot will always step inside each square and the left, outside foot will always be on the outside of the ladder.

Begin by leading with the inside foot stepping into the first square. The opposite foot (left) will step on the outside of the ladder following in the footsteps.

You will repeat this pattern all the way down the ladder. Once returning to the start position, start on the opposite side of the ladder leading with the opposite foot.

The key to quickness is staying light on the balls of your feet and a soft bend through the knees the entire way down the ladder.

11. Walking Push-ups Ladder Exercise

This is a full-body agility drill. Start in a high plank position, shoulders stacked directly over the wrists and legs long behind you. Walk the lead arm into the first square of the ladder, squeeze your core and drop down to the bottom of a push-up.

When you come to the top of the push-up you will walk your hands into the next two squares.

Move laterally down the agility ladder, doing a push-up in each square. Make sure you take this one slow at first so you can get your form right.

Repeat on both sides of the ladder switching the leading arm. Walking push-ups are a good way to incorporate strength movements with the agility ladder.

Ready to get started with an agility workout? First, you need a ladder. There are several different options if you want to do agility ladder drills right.

You can choose a ladder that is a roll-out mat, one with plastic slats, or simply draw your own with chalk.

Ladders will range in price according to which variety you choose, but as you can see from the video above, I like the roll-out kind.

They stay in place and in my opinion are better quality.

If you want to make your own agility ladder using chalk or duct tape, create boxes that are roughly 16 x 13, and make the whole ladder roughly 15 ft long.

Of course, if the dimensions of the squares aren’t precisely the same as the ones you’d buy online, it’s not a huge deal. Just get outdoors and move those feet to the end of the ladder!

Give just one of these ladder exercises a try as part of your next workout. Don’t expect to be an expert the first time, just have fun and repeat!

Agility ladder drills are a fun and effective way to enhance your fitness journey. They not only help you burn calories but also improve your speed, balance, and coordination.

By incorporating these drills into your regular training routine, you can achieve optimal results and take your athleticism to the next level.

Remember, it’s important to challenge yourself but also listen to your body and avoid over-exertion.

So grab your agility ladder, put on your sneakers, and get ready to take your first step towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. Happy training!

What are agility ladder drills?

Agility ladder drills are exercises that involve moving quickly and efficiently through a series of rungs or steps on an agility ladder. These drills are designed to improve speed, agility, coordination, and overall fitness.

Are agility ladders a good workout?

The agility ladder can provide you with a killer cardio workout. Just keep in mind that proper form is the priority, not how hard you push yourself! If your form starts to falter then it’s time to take a break and come back fresh for another go around later on.

How many calories do agility ladder drills burn?

Agility ladder drills are very similar to high-intensity interval training in terms of calorie burn. Ladder exercises will burn anywhere from 300-to 900 calories in one hour.Be aware that calorie burn is entirely dependent on several factors like age, weight, and fitness level.For example, certain ladder drills burn more calories because the footwork is more intricate while other drills are more straightforward. Calorie burn during agility work also varies based on the intensity of the drills.You might complete one set of a drill at a warmup exertion level and then move on to another, more intense set.

How do I improve my agility ladder exercises?

Practice makes perfect! The only way to get better at anything is by practicing often and in different ways so that you can find what works best for your body.

What does the agility ladder improve?

Agility ladders are an easy way to get started on your fitness journey. Ladder exercises will help strengthen joints, ligaments, and tendons as well as improve agility and quickness while also increasing your brainpower.Speed training and agility ladder drills help improve brain-to-muscle connection. Ladder drills also improve the ability to pivot which is an important factor for balance especially as we age.  

How long should an agility ladder be?

Agility ladders come in different lengths, with their main difference being the number of rungs. Some have 8, some 11 or 12, and others 15.The more rungs an agility ladder has the smaller its spacing will be.In general agility ladder rungs are typically spaced 18 inches apart and create boxes that are 20 inches wide. The length of the ladder doesn’t matter as long as it works for you and you’re having fun!

Can you make your own agility ladder?

Yes, an agility ladder is easy to DIY. You can use a rope or jump rope to create an agility ladder – be careful not to trip, and focus on high knees!Or use a long piece of material that’s at least two feet longer than the desired length for the ladders, and three short pieces about 12 inches in length. Another technique to make your own regulation agility ladder is to use a roll of duct tape and some free paint-stirring sticks.

Can anyone do agility ladder drills?

Yes, agility ladder drills can be modified to suit any fitness level. Beginners can start with basic drills and gradually progress to more advanced ones as they become more comfortable and skilled. It’s important to work at your own pace and listen to your body to prevent injury.

How often should I incorporate agility ladder drills into my workout routine?

The frequency of agility ladder drills depends on your fitness goals and overall training program. However, it is recommended to include them in your routine at least 2-3 times per week to see noticeable improvements in speed, agility, and coordination.

Can agility ladder drills be done indoors?

Yes, agility ladder drills can be done indoors as long as you have enough space to lay out the ladder and perform the movements safely. Make sure the area is clear of any obstacles and provides enough room for your footwork without the risk of tripping or falling.

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