PG the PT

Pauric Grimes

PG the PT – Be careful around ladders

Ladders can be dangerous

Ladders can be dangerous

One of the most common questions I’m asked as a coach is how to improve speed and power. Given how the game is played nowadays it’s no surprise everyone wants to be more mobile on the field.

On Monday I put up a clip on my Snapchat of a ladder drill I like to use now and again as part of a warm up. I posted in brackets on the clip (DO NOT OVERUSE LADDERS), which prompted a lot of the same question – “What’s wrong with ladders!?”


I’ve fallen foul of it in the past, the old “Fast feet” theory, but I’ll hold my hands up and say I was naive in thinking fast feet meant fast. To borrow a phrase from Strength and Conditioning legend Eric Cressey, “Michael Flattely has fast feet, but he doesn’t really go anywhere.”

Speed ladders will only ingrain movement that helps you perform the specific actions required for the speed ladder exercises you are doing. Making a conscious effort to transfer the movements you practice on the speed ladder to in-game situations on the field is nearly impossible, if not ill-advised.

The only time I’ve seen a Tyrone player do any sort of “Fast feet” over the past decade then it is when Sean Cavanagh smokes a man with his dummy…and you can’t teach that!

For me, ladders are useful for warming up, but not for constant use as a tool to become faster. They’re good to increase heart rate and work on motor control, beyond that they’re better left in the kit bag otherwise all you’re going to do is become better at running through a ladder.

When you look at some of the world’s fastest athletes, you see that they apply more force through the ground and cover a greater distance with each stride. They stride longer, therefore step less. In fact, you could argue they have slow feet!

Feet don’t matter. Legs matter. Therefore I’m not concerned about your feet. I’m concerned about your legs and the amount of force they can produce through the ground. You might have the fastest feet in the world, but if you can’t put power into the ground, you won’t be fast.

With that in mind then it’s time to move past the ‘Fast Feet’ mind-set and concentrate on building up leg strength through compound lifts like squats and deadlifts, and complement them with prowler pushes, sled pulls, jumps and bounds.

For more training and nutritional advice you can catch me on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by simply searching PGthePT, or go to and sign up to my email club to receive some top notch info every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

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