Are you sick and tired of going through the same boring and monotonous workouts week in and week out, without ever really noticing any improvements to your physique, or your athletic performance in general? If so, it might be time to switch things up and try something new.
One of the best things about working out nowadays, is simply the fact that there are now so many different gadgets and gizmos out there which are designed to offer you something new and unique. One simple, yet highly effective piece of kit utilized by personal trainers, coaches, athletes and fitness enthusiasts allover the globe is an agility ladder, and it is this piece of kit which we’ll be looking at today.
You might be wondering what the heck an agility ladder is, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Basically, an agility ladder is an affordable piece of kit which can be rolled out onto any flat surface, whereby it will take the shape of a ladder. Basically, you will then run, step, or jump in and out of each “rung”.
But what makes agility ladder training so beneficial? Here’s an in-depth look at 5 awesome benefits of agility ladder training.
Improves Your Footwork
There’s a reason why professional athletes and sportsmen and women often incorporate agility ladder training into their routines, and one key reason is that it improves your footwork.
With agility ladder training, you can perform drills which often require you to step in and out of each rung of the ladder as fast as possible, without touching the edges or the rungs themselves. Performing these drills over and over not only makes you quicker on your feet, it will also make you lighter on your feet too.
You can tweak these drills so that you’re facing a different direction, hopping between rungs, and much more besides.
NFL football players often utilize agility ladder drills as part of their workouts as they need to be fast, light, and explosive on their feet. Boxers and MMA fighters do as well, for those very same reasons. Boxing for example, relies heavily on good footwork, and agility ladder training helps to build exactly that.
Sticking with one of the more basic, yet equally as important benefits, another key reason to perform agility ladder training is down to the fact that it has been found to burn so many calories.
One of the main reasons why people exercise and workout on a regular basis is either to burn fat, or maintain their weight and ensure that they don’t gain any extra weight. Rather than relying on treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes, and other generic pieces of cardio equipment, though, why not try an agility ladder?
Agility ladder training is great because the drills that you perform will burn heaps of calories and will serve as a great form of cardio, making them great for the heart and cardiovascular system.
Most agility ladder drills are considered as being high intensity drills which means that they will burn vast amounts of calories in a relatively short amount of time. By the time you’ve gone through and agility ladder workout you’ll find yourself gasping for breath and drenched in sweat.
Needless to say, if you are looking to shift a few stubborn pounds of body fat, agility ladders are ideal.
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Another of the main benefits behind agility ladder training is the fact that it functions as a hugely effective plyometric workout.
Agility ladder training is fantastic as it enables you to perform explosive movements at a much faster and more intense pace, with far less risk to the user than other plyometric movements.
Exercises such as box jumps or hang cleans for example, may be beneficial plyometric movements, but they are far riskier and can pose a greater risk of injury.
Performing plyometric movements with an agility ladder provides similar benefits with far, far less risk of injury.
Improve Your Agility and Balance
Okay, you could argue that this has already been covered when talking about how agility ladders improve footwork, but there’s more to balance and agility than good footwork alone.
Agility ladder training is perfect for people who wish to improve their balance, their agility, and their coordination, making it ideal for people involved in a whole variety of different sports and sporting disciplines.
When you “run” between each rung, the idea is for you to be light on your feet and to run between each one with your feet barely touching the ground.
Performing agility ladder drills on a regular basis will work wonders for your balance and agility and there are many carryovers into numerous sports and sporting disciplines as a result of that.
Great for warming up
Before you take part in any workout or sporting event or activity, you should always, always spend several minutes warming up before you get stuck in.
Warming up before exercise is essential as it increases your heart rate and core body temperature, it helps to loosen up stiff muscle fibers, it loosens up the joints, and it helps to increase your reaction times and boost mental clarity.
Ladder drills performed as part of a warm up routine are ideal as they can provide all of the aforementioned benefits and a whole lot besides, all in a matter of minutes.
Agility ladder drills will help to elongate muscle fibers and increase muscle elasticity, which will reduce your risk of injury, while also improving circulation, raising core body temperature, and getting your heart pumping.
The great thing about agility ladder training is that you don’t need to perform each drill with a high intensity at a rapid pace. You can perform them as slowly and as controlled as you like. If you simply want to use them to increase your heartrate, you can, or if you wish to use them to work on optimal landing mechanics, you can as well.
One thing that is for certain is that agility ladder training is perfect for anybody looking to warm up before physical exertion.