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The Ultimate Agility Boosting Workout

Hop off the treadmill and get your cardio in while building strength, agility, and quickness.

Jump to the Routine
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Shirtless man doing cardio.
Jay Sullivan
Shirtless man doing cardio.
Jay Sullivan

Cardio doesn’t have to be a synonym for “lame treadmill run.” To keep things fresh, grab an agility ladder, secure a few feet of space, and blast through these speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) circuits that will torch calories while improving coordination and flexibility.

“This work combines power and SAQ drills that will condition your aerobic system without taking away from your strength gains,” says trainer Flex Cabral, N.A.S.M. – C.P.T, co-owner of Trooper Fitness in New York City. “The first exercise in each circuit is a power movement. These exercises will help develop force production and reinforce strong movement through your hinging and squat patterns. The secondary and tertiary exercises are ladder drills that will train speed, agility, quickness, and coordination while also improving your anaerobic conditioning.”

Run through all four circuits (see below) on your cardio day after a dynamic warmup, or work in certain drills after you’ve completed your workout. Stay in a low athletic stance during each agility ladder drill. Getting used to the footwork will take practice. Start slow and add speed as your footwork improves.

Agility Ladder Drills ‘Cheat Sheet’:

  • Ickey Shuffle

agility_shuffle
M+F Magazine

  • Salsa Step

agility_salsa
M+F Magazine

Watch creator of this workout, Flex Cabral, take on his own workout, while also testing out new Isopure Infusions >>

Routine

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Circuit 1: 3 Rounds

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 10

60 Day Revolution – Squat Jump

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
30 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
Execute a body-weight squat and then jump up as explosively as possible. Aim for max height and to extend your body as much as possible as you reach the apex of the jump.
Exercise 2 of 10

Agility Ladder

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
Beginning behind the ladder, step into first square with right foot then left foot. Step right foot to right, landing outside the square, followed by stepping left foot outside to the left. Repeat down ladder; switch lead foot on return trip.
Exercise 3 of 10

High Knees

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
How to
Perform moving laterally. As you move along the ladder, focus on moving knees past your hips as you drive the opposing arm up. Switch leading leg on return trip.

Circuit 2: 3 Rounds

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 4 of 10

Cross Tuck Jump

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
30 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
How to
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then quickly crisscross your feet two times (right over left, back to start, left over right, back to start) and then jump as high as possible while trying to bring your knees to your chest.
Exercise 5 of 10

Ickey Shuffle

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
How to
Stand to the right of the ladder. Step inside with your left foot, then your right foot, then step just outside of the ladder with the left foot. Push off of the left foot, repeating the same foot pattern in the other direction then move up the ladder.
Exercise 6 of 10

Skier

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
Start to the left of ladder with right foot in the first box. Swing your arms back and propel yourself upward and diagonally, so your left foot lands in the next back; Continue going back and forth diagonally alternating leading leg.

Circuit 3: 4 Rounds

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 10

Lateral Bound

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
30 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
In a squat position, jump off one foot and land on the other, moving laterally; jump back and forth. Try and get as much distance from side to side. Only one leg should touch the floor at a time.
Exercise 8 of 10

High Knees

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
How to
As you move up the ladder, focus on moving the knees past your hips as you drive the opposing arm up while landing one or both feet inside of each square.

Circuit 4: 3 Rounds

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 9 of 10

Plyo Split Lunge

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
30 sec. (each leg)
Rest
15 sec.
How to
Get into a lunge position (right leg forward, left leg back, knee just off the ground). Jump into the air switching your leg position (left leg forward, right back) mid-air and landing softly as you return to the initial start stance.
Exercise 10 of 10

Salsa Step

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
45 sec.
Rest
15 sec.
How to
Let the outside leg lead the movement by crossing it over in front of the other; see 'cheat sheet' above
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