Agility Ladder Drills

Agility Ladder Drills – Martial Arts Agility & Footwork Training

In order to improve martial arts agility, many martial artists incorporate agility ladder drills into their overall training routine. Agility ladder drills help with foot speed, balance, coordination, etc. One of the best known agility ladder drills is the Ickey Shuffle.

Agility training helps martial arts students to quickly maneuver and change positions/stances. This allows martial artists to evade an attack or launch a strike at undefended area (i.e. moving laterally in order to avoid an opponent’s blow and thus being able to quickly launch an effective counter attack against an off-balance opponent). Agility ladder drills should also be part of every martial artist’s speed training routine as it helps martial artists to generate faster kicks and quicker reaction speed.

All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. For additional agility drills (i.e. agility mirror drills), please visit the main Martial Arts Agility section.

Examples of Agility Ladder Drills – with videos and/or instructions

    • Ali Shuffle – This agility ladder drill is named after Muhammad Ali, the famous boxer.
    • Carioca or Karaoke
    • Diagonal Hop – One Foot – Moving forward in and out of the ladder on one leg. Go forward with your right foot and come back on your left foot.
    • High Knees – Forward
    • Ickey Shuffle – An advanced & well-known agility ladder drill.
    • In Out – The “In Out” agility ladder drill begins with two feet in a square. The athlete will then jump and land with both feet out of the square. The athlete will jump again and land with both feet in the next square. This alternating pattern continues to the end of the ladder.
    • Lateral High Knees
    • Lateral Hop In & Out
    • Lateral In-In Out-Out
    • Lateral Two Foot Run
    • One Foot Diagonal Hop – Right and then left leg
    • One Foot Forward Hop – Right and then left leg
    • One Foot Lateral Hop – Right and then left leg
    • River Dance – The river dance agility ladder drill uses a cadence of in, behind and out.
    • Rotations
    • Single Leg Diagonal Hop – Moving forward in and out of the ladder on one leg.
    • Single Leg Forward Hop
    • Skiers
    • Two Foot Diagonal Hop
    • Two Foot Forward Hop
    • Two Foot Forward Run
    • Two Foot Lateral Hop
    • Two Foot Lateral Run

Instructional Videos for Agility Ladder Drills