ACL Care Pro: Does the Agility Ladder Actually Develop Agility?

ACL Care Pro: Does the Agility Ladder Actually Develop Agility?

ACL Care Pro's mission is to help prepare athletes who’ve suffered an ACL injury to be game-ready. One tool they use along the way is ladder drills. Ladder drills help athletes develop coordination, timing, and the ability to move their feet quickly – all qualities that have clear carryover to many sports.

Ladder drills also introduce athletes to low-intensity plyometrics. Placed early in a training session, they prepare athletes for higher intensity movements. Not to mention the fact that they’re FUN – a key predictor of whether an athlete will adhere to their training plan. It’s fun to see how quickly you can move through the ladder without making a mistake.

There are a couple of limitation of ladder drills, though. Because the drills are pre-planned foot patterns, they don’t reflect the reactive component of agility, which many sports also require. In addition, although they do develop quick feet, they don’t really develop speed (the ability to move quickly from one location on the field/court to another). In this way, they’re more akin to tap dancing than speed training.

Still, ladder drills can absolutely play a role in athletes’ ACL rehab (for the reasons listed above), as long as they’re just the entry point – not the exit – to agility training. Check them out in action in the video below!

If you're recovering from an ACL injury, check out the ACL Care Pro website. If you'd like to experiment with ladder drills yourself, try the Raise Your Game Agility Ladder, available on Amazon! As an Amazon Associate, Rehabilitation Health and our health professionals/practices earn from qualifying Amazon purchases.

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