Speed ladders are a great way to improve footwork and agility, which are two important factors for playing basketball. Effective footwork allows you to be quicker on the court. Agility training incorporates balance, coordination, speed, strength, and endurance so it is vitally necessary to compete as a basketball player. Here are nine simple but useful speed ladders drills.
1. High Knees (two contacts per square)– Run through the ladder with your knees coming up as high as possible. Use your arms as well and don’t run with your arms hanging at your side. Make sure both feet make contact with every rung of the ladder.
2. High Knees (one contact per square)– Same concept except you are only placing one foot in each rung. This drill should be quicker than the first one.
3. Lateral High Knees– Instead of facing forward towards the ladder, face laterally to the side. Lead with whichever foot is in front and run through the ladder. This is a great drill for balance and mobility because it is a bit awkward running laterally.
4. Ickey Shuffle– Three step process: in, out, and up. Start with one foot in the rung and the other foot to the side outside the rung. Transfer the foot inside the rung to the outside and the foot outside the rung to the inside. Don’t make contact with the foot that is now inside, instead step up to the next rung with the foot that is inside the rung. Do this in a skipping motion where you are focused on speed and quickness, not height.
5. In and Out Shuffle– Similar to the Ickey Shuffle, except both feet are going to touch outside of the rung and then you move onto the next rung of the ladder.
6. In and Outs– Start with both feet in the first rung. Hop with both feet outside the rung. Continue with both feet in the next rung and repeat with both feet out. Continue down the ladder.
7. Ali Shuffle– One foot starts inside the rung and one foot starts outside the rung with your body facing laterally towards the ladder. As you hop the foot that is inside the rung to the outside, transfer the other foot into the next rung of the ladder. Continue this all the way down the ladder. Both feet should make contact in every rung but not at the same time. You are alternating the feet into every rung and moving down the ladder like a boxer in the ring.
8. Forward Hops– Simply hop forward with both feet into every rung as quickly as possible.
9. Lateral Hops– Same concept but this time go laterally.