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Best Ladder Drills For Soccer

Best Ladder Drills For Soccer

What are ladder drills and how do they concern soccer players? This question is often common amongst soccer enthusiasts who aren’t too knowledgeable about the sport and the nature of the training soccer players go through to become better.

Ladder drills can also be called speed ladder drills or agility ladder drills and they are forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that demand brief bursts of energy and short periods of rest.

Soccer players usually need full-body workouts to boost their strength and endurance levels. Ladder drills are capable of accomplishing this purpose and more.

The best part of ladder drills is that they are easy to practice—although they are often exhausting. Ladder drills can be practiced both indoors and outdoors.

Even though ladder drills are practically safe to engage in, it is advisable to consult your physician before engaging in them, especially if you already have underlying health conditions.

Professional soccer players are required to train regularly to enhance their performance on the pitch. However, what is even more important is that they train properly using the right equipment.

To optimize the effectiveness and result of ladder drills, it is advisable to follow the guidance of a professional and certified fitness trainer. Never go beyond what your body can handle to avoid putting yourself at risk of a possible breakdown.

Ladder drills should be selected based on individual needs, abilities, and preferences. In this article, you will understand what ladder drills are and how to do them like a professional.

Young soccer player is practicing with ladder

Things to look out for when purchasing an agility ladder

An agility ladder is simply a modest foldable piece of equipment that looks like a ladder. It is used by athletes like soccer players and footballers during training sessions to increase their coordination, speed, and agility.

The ladder is usually placed on the ground and is adaptable for numerous exercises and drills. It is made with flexible materials which makes them adequately safe for use.

Ideally, you can head to a shop (physical or online) and purchase any ladder. However, your frustration will start when you try to use it and discover that it is not suitable for the drill you intended.

There are many similar-looking brands of agility ladders out there. Thus, getting a suitable ladder for your training can often be a hassle, particularly if you don’t have the right information and guidance.

Check if the agility ladder is durable enough by keenly observing the kind of material used in manufacturing it. The rungs should be made from heavy-duty plastic.

The number of rungs in a ladder can range from 8 to 15 and the ladder can measure from 6 to 32 feet, although the most common sizes in the market are 15’ and 30’. The number of rungs in a ladder is what usually determines how long it will be.

Ladders with smaller spacing usually have a higher number of rungs and these ladders are mostly recommended for professional soccer players and experienced athletes.

Soccer players are practicing with ladder

It should be light enough so it can be carried with ease in a convenient carrying case. To get the best result from this piece of training equipment, make sure you purchase the complete fitness kit that contains cones, a resistance parachute, and stakes or pegs inside the storage bag.

Your agility ladder must be suitable for any weather condition or surface and should be durable enough to resist wear and tear.

Finally, check its return policy to know its guarantee and when to return it in case things don’t turn out as planned.

Best ladder drills for soccer

Agility is crucial to soccer players for two major reasons. Firstly, the body takes a shorter period to react or readjust during an event. Secondly, agile players think faster and play better than their counterparts during tournaments.

Consistently practicing different ladder drills using the right tools or equipment will set you apart from other soccer players in terms of performance. Your ability to run fast and easily switch directions while in motion is a crucial skill to possess as a soccer player.

Having fast feet in soccer can determine the trajectory of your career and can also determine how impactful your presence on the soccer pitch will be.

One good thing about ladder drills is that you can start as a beginner and progress from there. In other words, there is a suitable drill for everyone.

We dug deep to get you some of the best ladder drills for soccer players. These drills are guaranteed to enhance your coordination and balance, raise your heart rate, and adequately improve your performance and speed.

Young soccer player is focusing on the ladder drills

Beginner’s agility ladder drills

The ladder drills we will discuss below can be used to start your ladder drill journey if you are new to soccer drills involving agility ladders. Read carefully and follow the steps diligently to optimize the effect of these workouts.

1. Back foot from the side ladder drill

If you are just starting your journey into the use of ladder drills, this one is for you. It requires you to do the following:

  • Secure the drill ladder in place on the soccer pitch
  • Start by facing the drill ladder from the side while standing erect
  • Step into the first space on the ladder from the top using your left foot
  • While moving your left foot back to remove it from the space, simultaneously move your right foot forward to introduce it to the same space you just removed your left foot from
  • Do this same procedure for all spaces on the ladder from top to bottom at a reasonable speed
  • Keep going for 3 to 5 reps or until you get tired

Speed plays a crucial role when performing this drill. The faster you perform it, the more effective it would be for your body.

2. Hopscotch ladder drill

This drill resembles Hopscotch, a children’s game in which participants are required to toss an object (like a stone or coin) into a ladder figure sketched on the ground. To retrieve the object from wherever it lands on the figure, participants are expected to hop through the squares of the ladder.

In this case, there is a little twist to it. You are required to alternate your jumping movements from two feet to one foot as you descend the ladder.

Here is how it is done:

  • Set up your drill ladder on the ground
  • Facing one end of the ladder, hop into the first space of the ladder with two feet
  • Progress by hopping into the next space with just one foot while the other foot stays suspended above the ground
  • When landing on both feet, make sure that you land with your toes and with the flat of your foot when landing in one rung
  • Repeat this movement until you get to the other end of the ladder

To make this drill balanced, if you landed only on your left foot the first time you moved through the ladder, repeat the drill using only your right foot on the single-foot spaces of the ladder.

Two-feet hopscotch

There is another variation of the hopscotch which is also used by athletes to improve their hip and foot speed as well as lower body coordination. It is called the two-feet hopscotch ladder drill.

As its name suggests, it is done from start to finish using both feet. The technique employed here also increases ankle elasticity. The steps for this drill are as follows;

  • Starting from one end of the ladder, the athlete stands with their feet straddling the rungs
  • They make their first jump into the first of the ladder rungs and the next one outside the rungs
  • This alternating movement continues to the end of the ladder

The important point to note here is that the athlete will have to jump and land on their toes throughout the entire drill. Also, they have to keep their hips square and reduce their ground contact time in every hop.

Agility Ladder Hop Scotch Drill

3. One-leg bunny hop drill

This drill doesn’t look difficult, but it is very effective for speed and agility. Below is a step-by-step process of how it is done:

  • Face one end of the ladder from either the top or bottom
  • Keep one of your feet suspended backward in the air while you remain standing on just one foot
  • Start bunny hopping with that single foot through the ladder with the other foot suspended in the air
  • Use that same leg through the length of the ladder
  • When you get to the end of the ladder, switch to the other leg and repeat the same process

This drill is common and often used in training young soccer players. It helps to strengthen the legs and improve stamina and balance.

agility ladder single leg bunny hops

4. Two steps in each hole drill

The two steps in each hole drill are an improvement from the one step in each hole drill which is less difficult. You can perform this drill by:

  • Standing at one end of the ladder
  • Take your right foot into the first space of the ladder followed by your left foot in the same space
  • Keep repeating the same movement until you get to the end of the ladder
  • You can go as many times as you can

Make sure both feet are properly placed on each space of the ladder and not on the rungs. You can increase your speed while repeating this drill.

Two Step Ladder Drill

Advanced agility ladder drills

The agility ladder drills we listed below were designed to improve soccer players’ quickness, balance, and coordination. Although challenging, they are very effective, especially when done consistently.

1. Tip-toe balancing drill

This drill doesn’t only focus on the overall balance of the body, it also focuses on the proper development of a soccer player’s footwork.

The major aim of this drill is to change directions quickly and maintain your balance while striding on your toe’s tips. For safety reasons, this drill should be done on grass floors and not on concrete or granite surfaces.

Here is how it is done:

  • After arranging the ladder on the ground, stand facing it from either the top or bottom
  • Try standing on the tips of your toes
  • Jump from one rung of the ladder to another making sure that you land with the tip of your toe every time

Maintaining your balance should remain paramount the first few times trying out this drill. Speed can be introduced later. When you become used to this drill, you can complete it without looking at your feet.

Long Jump Warm Up Agility Ladder Drills

2. Lateral toe-tap ladder drill with a ball

This ladder drill is used by soccer players to learn how to effectively control balls. If they can effectively control the ball through the tight corners of the ladder, they would maneuver through defenders on the pitch without much difficulty.

Below is how this drill is done:

  • Stand with the soccer ball inside the first square of the ladder
  • When the trainer blows the whistle or gives a signal, you are to tap the top of the ball with your right foot, then your left foot, and your right foot again
  • Then, use your left foot to roll the ball into the next square
  • Repeat the tap and roll movements down the ladder until you get to the end
  • Alternate the lead foot at the end of the ladder and continue. Alternating the foot helps both feet maintain ball control and balance

Natural back and forth arm movements can be practiced when performing this drill to create strength and balance. Players must also ensure that their body is over the ball while performing this drill.

Ladder & ball toe taps and sole roll

3. Ladder and cone drill

This drill is unique because it requires the use of an agility ladder and training cones. It is among the best agility ladder drills for soccer players because it enhances balance, boosts vertical sprints, and improves coordination.

It is great at improving soccer players’ fitness because it jacks up the heart’s pulse rate. Below is a detailed process of how this drill is done.

  • After securing the ladder in place, arrange 6 cones vertically at one end of the ladder so that it appears as if the ladder is longer
  • Make sure the cones are arranged one foot apart from each other
  • Jump through the square gaps on the ladder and make sure you land on a separate foot each time you jump. For example, if you jumped and landed on your left foot the first time, in the next jump into the next square of the ladder you should land with your right. You can alter your movement pattern depending on your training requirement
  • When you get to the end of the ladder, run in a zig-zag pattern through the spaces separating the cones you arranged
  • Run back to the top of the ladder and repeat the same movements after maneuvering through the cones

Speed shouldn’t be the priority at the beginning of this drill. Speed can only be introduced after you might have mastered your steps.

Fencing Training Agility Drills Ladder Hurdles Cones Exercises

Best speed and agility training ladders

Finding the right ladder suitable for your agility ladder drills might seem easy but in the real sense, you have to look out for a couple of things such as the materials they are made with, the number of rungs present, portability, and adjustability.

If you are just getting started with ladder drills, here is our selection of some of the best training ladders that should be at the top of your list when shopping for ladders.

1. Best for outdoor training: Pro agility and speed training set

Pro Agility Ladder and Cones - 15 ft Fixed-Rung Speed Ladder with 12 Disc Cones for Soccer, Football, Sports, Exercise, Workout, Footwork Training - Includes 4 Stakes, Heavy Duty Carry Bag (Yellow)
  • THE ULTIMATE AGILITY TRAINING SET – The only speed and agility training equipment set that...
  • UNMATCHED QUALITY – Thick, durable rungs, riveted straps and flexible cones. Our...
  • PERFECTLY SPACED RUNGS – Most agility ladders are made with thin plastic "adjustable" rungs that...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the main problems that soccer players complain about the most with ladders is that they have to keep adjusting them all the time which kind of takes the steam away from the training.

This agility training ladder doesn’t need further adjusting while being used for training, except in situations where adjusting them is mandatory. They stay locked and firm after being adjusted even when stepped on severally—which is inevitable.

It is made from high-quality premium materials which makes it highly resistant to wear and tear.

That is not all, it has thick and durable rungs, riveted straps, and 4 metal ground anchors which allow you to set it up once and enjoy it throughout your training without having to constantly adjust it after every rep.

Pro Agility Ladder and Cones - 15 ft Fixed-Rung Speed Ladder with 12 Disc Cones for Soccer, Football, Sports, Exercise, Workout, Footwork Training - Includes 4 Stakes, Heavy Duty Carry Bag (Yellow)

What we love most about this ladder training set is that it comes with a 15 ft. agility ladder, 12-speed training cones, and a carrying bag. With these, there is no ladder drill that you cannot pull off.

Other standout features are the tangle-free straps and the adequate spacing between the rungs. If this training set is properly utilized, it can help strengthen tendons, ligaments, and joints while reducing your chances of getting injured on the soccer pitch.

The only miscommunication we noticed is that the product advert says it comes with 2 agility drill eBooks. However, you have to send them an email to get those books because they are not included in the box.

Apart from that miscommunication, this is one of the best ladder drill sets you will find out there.


  • Comes with a suitable heavy-duty zipper carrying bag
  • Includes a 15 ft. ladder with tangle-free straps
  • Can be anchored to the ground
  • You will get 12-speed training cones
  • The ladder has fixed rungs eliminating the need for constant adjustment


  • The durability remains questionable depending on usage

2. Best ladder drill set for professionals: Ladder training set by Juvale

Juvale Agility Ladder Workout Equipment with 6 Speed Training Cones and Resistance Parachute, Footwork Skills Drill Gear for Football and Soccer (20 Ft)
  • Game-Changer: Whether its football, soccer, basketball, or hockey, our speed ladder agility ladder...
  • Build Explosiveness: The resistance parachute simulates a sled workout, helping to increase leg...
  • Compact and Versatile: This football training equipment set is ideal for beginners and experts alike...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This agility ladder seems like a steal because it comes with other training equipment like a resistance parachute and 6 Disc cones. With this added training apparatus, you are sure of a full-body workout at the end of the day.

This agility ladder is suitable for both outdoor and indoor training because the distance between its rungs is adjustable to suit any training scenario as well as different age categories. It also comes with steel stakes to keep the ladder in place when it is being used outdoors.

Agility Ladder Speed Training Equipment with 6 Disc Cones, Resistance Parachute for Football, Workout, Footwork

It is an agility ladder that isn’t just suitable for soccer players alone, players of other sports like rugby, tennis, basketball, track athletes, etc. prefer using this agility ladder because of its flexibility and adjustability.

The entire length of this ladder is approximately 20 feet. The accompanying cones have a diameter of 7 inches which makes them perfect for rigorous drills.


  • The 20-ft. ladder allows for longer drills
  • Comes with a drag parachute for speed training
  • You will get cones and a carrying bag
  • Can be anchored to the ground with 4 steel stakes


  • The ladder seems hard to adjust
  • Durability is questionable

3. Best solo ladder for all age categories: Yes4All Ultimate Agility Ladder

Yes4All Speed Agility Ladder Training Equipment for Soccer, Sports, Footwork & Fitness Feet Exercise - Included Carry Bag
  • BUILDING UP SPEED FOR ANY SPORT: Agility ladder and hurdles are great for a variety of sports,...
  • BOOST FOOTWORK FOR VARIOUS TRAINING LEVEL: Exercise ladder is designed with 8, 12, and 20 rungs;...
  • DURABLE FOR LONG TERM USE: Fitness agility ladder features a durable nylon construction and sturdy...

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes this agility ladder unique is its compatibility with soccer players of all age groups. It can make a perfect gift for your kids on their birthday.

It is made using nylon and durable plastic rungs, making it suitable for the rigorous training that comes with playing soccer. It comes in a variety of 8 rungs measuring 11 feet, 12 rungs measuring 15 feet, and 20 rungs measuring 25 feet fully adjustable designs for different exercises, age groups, and skill sets.

It can be used for both indoor and outdoor drills, although outdoors is preferable for intense workouts.

Yes4All Agility Ladder Speed Training Equipment - Speed Ladder for Kids and Adults with Carry Bag - 8 Rungs Yellow

The spaces between its nylon strapped rungs can be easily adjusted up to 15 inches to make it suitable for all your workout demands. This agility ladder is also portable and light enough to be stashed in its carry bag and moved around without stress.

If you intend improving on your speed, footwork, coordination, lateral quickness, and agility while still maintaining balance and control, this agility training ladder should be just right for you.


  • Made from high-quality, fully adjustable material
  • Suitable for multiple soccer drills
  • Has 3 major sizes
  • Portable and can be rolled up after use


  • The ladder tangles easily


Working on your footwork, speed, and agility clearly shows that you are ready to go big as a soccer player. Players who engage in agility ladder drills during training are usually very quick and coordinated on the field.

It is important to integrate more agility ladder drills into soccer training because, not only do they improve players’ footwork, agility, and speed, but they also ensure that players stay in great fit and form.

Using the right agility ladders will help you to reach your goal faster. While it is often important to pay attention to the brand behind the product you want to purchase, the flexibility and durability of such products should always be at the top of your consideration.

For a comprehensive ladder drill workout, we strongly recommend that you go for products that come as a kit. Some ladder drills make use of cones and having the entire kit can save you a lot of stress.