An agility ladder, also known as a speed ladder, is a piece of sports training equipment that can be used to perform a variety of speed and agility drills. Typical agility ladder drills need quick footwork and athletic mobility, which raise your heart rate, improve balance and coordination, and improve speed and agility. Anyone can use agility ladders, from fitness enthusiasts to expert athletes; they are equally beneficial for all.
Agility Ladders - Great but Not Perfect
As good as they are, agility ladders do not offer a complete training package. If you are training for agility, you’d inevitably need to have great reaction time and the ability to stay composed and make the right decision under pressure. In the simplest words, agility ladders train you with the physical aspect of agility and speed and do not focus on the cognitive aspect, which is as important to be a good athlete as the physical one.
Other than that, you cannot measure your exact performance stats with agility ladders. The best you can do is time the duration to complete the workout but nothing more than that. If you are training for competitive sports, you need to know every possible performance stat to improve in the areas you are not doing well in.
Make Your Agility Ladder Better - Blazepod Light Pods
Based on the above points, an agility ladder can be made into a perfect sports and fitness training accessory if we can do three things:
- Find a way to record the stats.
- Incorporate cognitive training in agility ladder drills.
- Incorporate reaction time training in agility ladder drills.
There is a single way to accomplish all three of these, and that is the use of Blazepod Light pods.
What are Blazepod Light Pods?
Blazepod light pods are illuminated pods that have a tactile surface that lights up in eight different colors and responds to your touch. They can aid and track your workout and generate and record insightful data about it in their smartphone app.
How Can Blazepod Light Pods Make Agility Ladders Better?
You can use Blazepod light pods with your speed ladder drills, utilize one of the many built-in drills, or define your own ones. The concept here is to introduce an element of surprise in the training process so that you have to decide and take immediate reaction in response to the actions of the pods, which is a light coming up. The time you take between the light coming up and you touching the pod is recorded and will give you an accurate measure of your performance.
Here are some workout examples to elaborate on that.
Agility Ladder Speed Drills
Traditionally, speed drills for agility ladders are formulated to build muscle strength and endurance. Here are two examples of introducing the element of cognitive training to that.
Linear Speed Drill
This is an awesome agility ladder workout for beginners but can be used by experts too. The goal is to help the athlete get used to quickly deciding while under full physical exertion and fast muscle activity.
- Place an agility ladder on the ground with up to 6 cones on either side. Place Blazepod Light Pods on the cones and set them to light up at random.
- You have to move across the ladder as quickly as possible, but not by running straight through it. Put one foot in the box ahead of you, then the other in the same box, carry on to the end of the ladder, and then back to the start.
- The added twist is that you have to tap the pod that lights up without slowing down or stopping.
- Go back and forth 10-15 times before you take a rest and do another round.
This drill does need a lot of physical effort, but the added benefit is that at the end of the drill, you can go to the Blazepod app and see how good your reaction time is under physical pressure. This turns the simple sports ladder into something that trains your muscles and mind at the same time.
This drill is meant for improving balance and balance and coordination, but the use of Blazepods will introduce decision-making to this training ladder drill.
- Set up the ladder and cones as you did in the previous drill. The pods are to be set to light up in different colors this time.
- You have to hop forward on one leg through the boxes of the ladder. Your goal is to tap only the pods that light up red and not the others.
- Go forward and backward 10-15 times before you rest and go again.
What this drill does is help you practice decision-making when things are happening fast, and you are under stress. At the end of the drill, you can see how many times you tapped the right color in the app and how long you took to make the decision and execute it.
Agility Ladder Footwork Drills
Training ladders are also used for footwork drills which are especially helpful for players competing in basketball and soccer where proper footwork is necessary for players. What’s often overlooked in footwork ladder drills is that soccer and basketball players have to maintain excellent reaction times and make quick decisions while maintaining proper footwork. That’s where Blazepod Light Pods can help. Here are a couple of drills as an example. You can devise your own ones too.
This is a drill for improved footwork, enhanced balance and coordination that can be done with just a workout ladder and cones. Adding Blazepod Light Pods will make it a great way to improve reaction time along with balance, coordination, and footwork.
- Set up the agility ladder on the ground with cones on one side and Blazepod Light pods on the cones, set to the pods to light up at random. Stand on one side of the ladder, facing the cones.
- Start the drill by shuffling laterally through the ladder boxes. You have to tap the pod that lights up while maintaining proper footwork.
- Continue the workout until you have tapped 20 lights, then rest and repeat.
At the end of the workout, see the data in the Blazepod app to monitor your performance and improvement over time.
This is a ladder workout drill that focuses on footwork and staying low and is great for basketball players in particular. It needs the player to maintain proper footwork while making quick decisions.
- Set up the training ladder on the ground and place blazepod light pods on the ground on either side of the ladder, 1 foot from it.
- Stand at one end of the ladder to start, place the right foot into the first rung, and the left foot to the left of it, outside the ladder. Next, place the left foot inside and the right out. Do this as fast as possible.
- The pods will be set to light up in different colors, and you only have to tap one specific color throughout the drill while maintaining proper footwork.
After the workout, check the app to see how many of the taps you got right.