Homemade Agility Ladder
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of rdesai
The agility ladder is one of the most common and effective tools for developing speed, coordination and quickness in athletes. Plus, the agility ladder can be made at home in minutes and for minimal cost.
Agility ladders are thin ladders, consisting of two side rails with rungs running between them, that are placed on the ground. A variety of drills can be run with an agility ladder and its use is appropriate for individuals of any age or skill level.
Most agility ladders are 10 yards long and come in 5 yard sections. It is not uncommon to find that multiple sections can be joined to create ladders longer than 10 yards. Rungs are typically spaced 18 inches apart, creating boxes that are 20 inches wide. Side rails and rungs should be no more than 2 inches wide.
Agility ladders can be created from a variety of materials and for little cost. A measuring tape and chalk, paint or tape are all that's needed for a ladder used on a flat surface. If you're creating the ladder for use on grass, turf or other non-flat surface, rope, fabric, wood or other thin materials can be used. A knife, blade or saw will be needed to cut the materials to the needed dimensions.
Determine the length of the side rails using the measuring tape. Draw out the first side rail to the desired dimension using chalk, paint or tape. Place the second side rail that is equal in length parallel to first with 20 inches between them. Every 18 inches, use the chalk, paint, or tape to draw out the rungs between the two side rails.
Determine the length of the side rails using the measuring tape. Cut two portions of rope, fabric or other material to the desired length. Create rungs by cutting multiple portions of the same or different material into strips at least 22 inches long. Affix the rungs to both side rails. Rope or fabric rungs can be knotted around the side rail. If using wood, plastic or other material, cut two slits, weave the side rung through the two slits and slide the rung into proper position. The side rails should be 20 inches apart, allowing at least 1 inch of rung to affix to the side rail at each end.
Spacing between the rungs might need to be adjusted if the ladder is to be used by very short or very tall individuals. Bright or contrasting colors will help individuals see the ladder more easily. Creating or placing ladders in various formations can result in new and more complex drills and exercises.
Thelma Gomez is an expert in fitness and exercise who has advised professional athletes and celebrities. She draws on her experience to write articles for print and online publications and peer-reviewed journals. Gomez holds a Master of Science in Education degree in exercise physiology from the University of Miami.