Do Speed Ladders work?OC Sports Performance

Answer my question is a weekly blog post. I answer questions presented by OC members and OC Sports Performance athletes in goal setting sessions or emailed to me. Have a question? Send me an email: – subject line “Answer my Question”

The question for today is “Do Speed Ladders work?


The answer depends on what your definition of work is. If your definition of work is to make someone tired, then they work. Or if you want people to attempt to move their feet fast, then yes, speed ladders work. A person that is utilizing the speed ladder in attempts to improve foot speed, or quickness, or 40 yard dash times or anything similar – then I would say, the speed ladder doesn’t increase a person’s already existing level of foot speed, quickness, etc. Training time is actually better spent elsewhere.

Here are a few links to check out that explain why Speed Ladders don’t work:…
If a person wants to get faster then we should focus our time on getting them stronger -not wasting time with the Speed Ladder

The time spent in a strength and conditioning facility is short – as coaches we should maximize that time by working on the most important things first.

For children – there are two categories –

“Pre-puberty” speed is mostly influenced by step frequency. “Post Puberty” speed is mainly a byproduct of the amount of force put into the ground. The stride frequencies of non-elite and elite sprinters are nearly identical but elite level sprinters are much more powerful into the ground than non-elite level sprinters.

The speed ladder is mostly a gimmick if it is being sold and promoted by coaches as a way to get kids “faster”. Speed Ladders look good to parents and the videos on Instagram look “impressive” but in reality – it is wasting the kids time and the parent’s money.

We do have one speed ladder in the gym –

OC has used a speed ladder about once every 6 months or so for adult classes, as it is a great warm up tool. The speed ladder brings some variance to our warm-ups. In the high school and college aged groups, OC Sports Performance, I don’t ever remember using it.

Do you have follow up questions – or would like me to dive deeper – let me know. – Subject Line “Answer my Question”

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