How to Build Your Own Agility Ladder

Written by chuck brown
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How to Build Your Own Agility Ladder
Build your own exercise ladder to practice on the ground. (ladder shadow image by Jim Mills from

Ball-related sports all demand a high level of athleticism. Quick, agile feet are practically a prerequisite for popular sports like football. Every athlete wishing to excel must constantly work to improve their athletic skills. Agility ladders are excellent for building coordination and increasing foot speed for those who are athletically gifted enough to make the cut.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring Tape
  • Marker
  • Hacksaw
  • Diagram of design
  • PVC pipe
  • PVC connectors
  • PVC glue (optional)

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  1. 1

    Select the level of difficulty you want the agility ladder to address, and the type of foot skill you want to concentrate on. Sketch out on a piece of paper the shape of the foot ladder you want to build. Draw out either a single, double, triple or quadruple-sectioned ladder.

  2. 2

    Determine the size and shape of the sections for the ladder. Plan the ladder section sizes to accommodate simple, single-step movements or more complicated multi-step foot movement sequences, depending on the level and age of the athletes who will use it, and for which sport it will be used.

    How to Build Your Own Agility Ladder
    Always stretch and warm up before fitness drills. (trying to touch toes image by Tracy Martinez from
  3. 3

    Design the step sections with various widths. Include single-step, double-step and triple-step spaces between the spaces. Lay out the sequences along the ladder and repeat them at least three or four times within a single run.

  4. 4

    Build the ladder to a challenging, substantial length. Extend it at least to 10 yards (30 feet) or more, again dependent upon the various drills you want to use it with. For instance, bear crawls (multidirectional, rapid movement on feet and hands only) should be longer than 30 feet.

    How to Build Your Own Agility Ladder
    Contact sports, like football, require explosive power. (American football field. image by Sandra Henderson from
  5. 5

    Lay out the first section on paper. Use either a straight, linear design, a square design featuring 90-degree cuts or a circular pattern. Set it up (include enough step spaces, and area between the spaces) so it has forward, backward, right, left directional usability by single and multiple users.

  6. 6

    Use 1-inch, white PVC, cut to four different 36-inch pieces, to form a square. Use the connectors and glue to build the first section of the drawn-up ladder. When completed, you should have four to six sections of PVC screwed together forming four to six 36 by 36 squares.

    How to Build Your Own Agility Ladder
    White PVC is lightweight and can be taken apart and moved or rearranged. (scissor cut white plastic pipe image by Graf_es from
  7. 7

    Wait to test it on site before gluing it together. Set up the first section on the practice field and test it with real, live drills. Make sure it has enough room in each square, but make sure it is a tight fit with little room for error. Adjust the size depending upon the live field test results before adding the remaining sections to form an agility ladder in one of the styles of Step 5.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the glue only if you want a fixed fit ladder that you do not want to change.
  • PVC will be wet and slippery for those early morning practices, so use a towel to dry it constantly.

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