The 10 best exercises to do with the speed ladder
Speed and agility are fundamental pillars of performance, both trained in Skillathletic’ Boost and Fast classes. Exercises and tools for these classes are different, but the speed ladder is among the most popular for high-intensity workouts. Rhythm, speed, and agility are some of the skills you’ll be working on with this essential but valuable tool.
But what is the speed ladder? How does it work? Why and how does it work in Skillathletic classes?
The speed ladder is nothing more than a simple horizontal ladder resting on the ground. Each of us maybe played hopscotch as a child or other games where boxes were drawn with chalks on the ground. The movements are almost the same: you must move within it according to the requests of the coach. The speed ladder allows us to improve coordination, proprioception, rhythmic ability, and balance.
It is an excellent tool for cardio and toning exercises that can be found in the Boost and Fast classes, useful to improve not only coordination but also speed. The exercises can be performed individually or combined to make the training more engaging and fun.
Let’s discover together a selection of 10 effective exercises to perform with the speed ladder.
1. IN & OUT
Start by positioning yourself at the side of the speed ladder and start moving your feet in and out of the boxes created by the ladder.
Move to the opposite side by guiding your foot closer to the speed ladder, if you are to the left of it the foot you are driving will be your right foot and so the opposite if you start from your right. Enter and exit with both feet following a rhythm and counting 4 “inside – inside – outside – outside”. Once you have reached the opposite side, restart to return to the starting position, driving with the opposite foot. Don’t you feel a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo while you’re doing it?
2. ICKEY SHUFFLE
Place yourself in front of the speed ladder, so you can see it along its entire length. The movement will be forward and diagonal: enter and exit with both feet following a rhythm and counting 3 “in – out – forward”. This exercise requires good coordination and control of the core during its performance, to maintain a correct posture of your body and be more performing during the execution.
3. ONE STEP
This exercise is great for newbies in boost and fast classes as it represents a first approach to the use of the speed ladder.
It is nothing more than a frontal run in which you must place a foot in each box of the ladder by lifting the feet just enough to overcome each stick. It is important to use the arms for the correct execution of this exercise, to give rhythm and coordination to the movement. Legs are bent and move with a slight swing back and forth.
4. TWO STEPS
Two steps is an evolution of the One Step: instead of placing only one foot in each square, in the two steps, it goes without saying that you must bring both feet in the same square before proceeding forward. The difficulty will be maintaining a good rhythm during its development and avoid making a step more or a step less.
5. SIDE STEP
Position yourself next to the speed ladder: remember that if you are on the right, the dominant side – the one which drives the movement – will be the left one.
Move sideways entering each square with both feet, trying to avoid jumping while moving. Once you have reached the opposite side, start driving again with the opposite foot. Remember to keep your torso slightly flexed forward, abdominals active and arms swinging slightly to give rhythm and coordination.
Placed next to the speed ladder, start the movement by bringing the foot closer to the ladder inside the first square and then cross the step with the opposite foot, bringing it forward.
Then move the first foot in the next square and cross again the step with the other foot but bringing it behind the starting foot. As you can see in this exercise, the twisting movement is dominant and coordination and balance are two very important factors to consider as well as the work that the entire Core must support during its execution.
7. 2 IN & 2 OUT
A simple and fun exercise to test the strength of your legs. Place yourself in front of the speed ladder and jump forward with both feet by landing inside the first square. Make another landing with both feet outside the second square and so on until all the squares have been completed. If you want to run, you need to maintain a good pace and have good stamina because these jumps will test the strength of your legs.
8. 2 IN & 2 OUT TO SQUAT
A progression of exercise 2 in & 2 out in which a squat is added when it lands with both feet outside the box. This exercise will significantly increase your caloric intake during its execution as it will increase the muscle activity required to both jump and land.
9. LATERAL PLANK WALK
Let’s get away from the classic schemes: the speed ladder can also be used by focusing on the upper body. Start from a plank position with your arms outstretched to the side of the speed ladder.
Move one hand at a time, always driving with the hand closest to the ladder, bringing both hands into each square. Move at the same time your feet to keep your body in line. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try to make them and then let’s see if you still have the same idea. This exercise will significantly activate your abdominals, arms, and legs while improving both coordination and speed.
10. LATERAL BEAR CRAWL
Start on all fours next to the speed ladder, move simultaneously hand and foot of the side closest to the speed ladder to enter the first box and then move hand and foot from the other side.
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