4 Agility Ladder Workouts to Torch Calories

Want a full-body cardio workout that will get your heart pumping, takes less than 10 minutes, and requires minimal equipment? Look no further than speed ladder circuits. With a simple ladder - or roll of tape - these four agility ladder workouts, courtesy of coach Rafique “Flex” Cabral from Trooper Fitness in Manhattan, can help you torch calories while boosting your endurance. 

What is an Agility Ladder?

Agility ladders are most commonly used in athletic training to improve speed, agility, and coordination. Sort of like hopscotch for adults, but way more intense. 

What are the Benefits of Agility Ladder Drills?

Agility ladder training is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) using short burst exercises that emphasize precision and quickness while keeping your heart rate up. As you fatigue, you train your body to be more agile and responsive in the process. 

Because speed ladder drills require quick movements, balance, and concentration, they are also great for sharpening mental focus as well as strengthening joints and ligaments. 

HIIT training is also a great way to maximize calorie burn for fat loss

How to Make Your Own Agility Ladder at Home

If you don’t want to shell out $15 to $30 to add one to your home gym arsenal, you can easily create your own with a roll of tape or chalk and an open space.

Measure out two strips of tape the length of the ladder (15 ft each) and place them parallel on the ground, ~20 inches apart. Then evenly space out each rung with one piece of cross tape every 15 inches, making 12 rungs total. 

4 Full-Body Agility Ladder Workouts

The four workouts below are designed to maximize calorie burn and train your total body in less than 10 minutes using only your bodyweight.

Each circuit begins with a power move that will produce force and aid hinge and squat movement patterns. Followed by movements that allow you to work on coordination, balance, and conditioning. 

Try these as individual workouts, rip through all four circuits in sequence, or mix them up.

Workout 1

  • 3 Rounds
  • 15 seconds rest between sets
  1. Squat Jump x 30 seconds 
  2. 2 in, 2 out  x 45 seconds  
  3. Lateral high knees x 45 seconds 

How to Do This Circuit 

  1. No ladder needed. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and jump, tucking your knees into your chest and landing with both feet on the ground. 
  2. Standing behind the agility ladder, step into the top square with your right foot followed by your left foot. Quickly move your right foot to the right so it lands outside of the square; the left foot should follow thereafter. Repeat this pattern all the way down the ladder. Switch your lead foot on the return trek up the ladder.  
  3. Turn to the side so that your right side is facing the start of the ladder. Perform high knees down the ladder, tapping each foot into every rung once. Switch to your left side on the way back. 

Workout 2

  • 3 Rounds
  • 15 seconds rest between sets
  1. Cross tuck jump x 30 seconds 
  2. Shuffle x 45 seconds  
  3. Skier x 45 seconds  

How to Do This Circuit 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then crisscross your feet twice (right over left, back to start, left over right, back to start), and then jump vertically as high as possible while trying to bring your knees to your chest.
  2. Start on one side of the ladder. One foot at a time, step into the rung, to the opposite outside and then inside the adjacent rung, working your way up the ladder. On the way back, switch up your leading leg. 
  3. Start on one side of the ladder. Move both feet at the same time jumping across the ladder placing one foot in the rung and one foot outside the ladder. Jump back across to the other side alternating feet in the rungs and moving up the ladder.

Workout 3

  • 4 Rounds 
  • 15 seconds rest between sets
  1. Lateral bound* 30 seconds  
  2. High knees x 45 seconds

How to Do This Circuit 

  1. Begin in a squat position and then push off one foot and land on the other, moving laterally. Aim to repeat the movement without stopping each time you land. Get as much distance from side to side. Only one foot should touch the floor at a time once the set begins. 
  2. Start facing one end of the ladder. Alternate high knees, tapping the balls of your feet into each rung and moving up the ladder. 

Workout 4

  • 3 Rounds
  • 15 seconds rest between sets
  1. Jumping split lunge x 30 seconds 
  2. Salsa step (agility ladder) x 45 seconds

How to Do This Circuit 

  1. Jump into a split lunge alternating legs for the full time. 
  2. Begin by standing at the side of the ladder, step one foot into the rung crossing your outside leg behind the other. Then step out of the rung to meet your other foot outside the ladder. Switch feet and repeat moving up the rungs. 

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