Ladder/quick feet drills?

Coaches, athletes, and sport scientists:

I am new to this forum and relatively new to sprint training. I have just read Dr Yessis’ book “Explosive Running” which I found to be very informative.

However, I noticed a distinct lack of drills that use the ladder and no “quick feet” drills. There was also nothing on “tempo” drills.

Personally I do not see the point of using the ladder (except for rehab, but that is another thread…).

So I ask you, when do you use it, how often, what is the science behind using these drills, does it work?



you wont find many supporters of the agility ladder on this forum.
i can say that for sprint training i cant see too much use for it. if your training for sport other than track, then personally i see it as a good tool for improved footwork and coordination.

I support the speed agility ladders use, I find it aids in the adaptation of the proper foot postion.

Perhaps, but it also destroys proper body position…you can’t play a sport, any sport, while looking at your feet!

I agree with Xlr8, therefore I try to have them be tall, and sometimes eyes closed, or at least looking up

I’d argue that the problem is not so much body position, as forebrain activation trying to put your feet in little boxes. As we all know the fastest sprinting occurs when the athlete is in the hindbrain running relaxed, a quality which may be inhibitied through use of speed ladder.

Setting a target with a ladder causes tightness as the athlete attempts to hit the mark instead of concentrating on relaxation and frequency- allowing the foot the land where power,form, and body position dictate.

Of course, then that begs the question of why you are using a ladder at all…you can just do the movement pattern without the ladder and not worry about whether or not you actually get your feet in the little squares!

Another problem with acceleration ladders is that they lock you into a set stride pattern. In reality, the initial stride length and increase in stride length during acceleration is going to slightly fluctuate from day to day, and probably from sprint to sprint within a workout. It’s kind of like weight machines that artificially force you into a groove.

I do no have the athletes run through the ladder i have them do drills on the ladder as in side to side and forward and back, ankle hops etc.
I also do the drills once and awhile with out the ladder

I was referring more to the acceleration ladder, which is promoted by a certain sprint coach.

Regarding agility ladders, I know that Charles Poliquin has a low opinion of agility training in general. His opinion is that general agility training does not have much carry over to specific sporting movements after the age of twelve. To the degree it does help, it’s because the drills strengthen muscles that are needed for the sport movements. You will get better at the agility drills themselves, but that doesn’t mean your athletic performance will increase on the field. I think his advice is pretty sensible.

I was a translator at a sprinting workshop for non-track athletes today. The coach running it has actually painted lines in the fieldhouse, with different distances. One lane has lines about 50 cm apart, the next about 1 m, then one is 1.5m and finally there is a lane with lines that are supposed to be at the distances of the stride lengths for Ben’s 9.83 race. No comment. Enough has been said before about this stuff. Others’ opinions?