Climbing the Ladder to Fitness and Health with Ladder Workouts

Climbing the Ladder to Fitness and Health with Ladder Workouts

12th June 2018

While most of us in the construction industry use ladders to access places where we work at height, ladders are often used for different purposes – some old ladders being recycled as home décor, plant stands, clothing racks, towel racks, etc.  A ladder doesn’t have to be totally discarded just because it’s no longer fit for purpose.  Ladders can be repurposed for differing uses, as long as there is no risk of them being put to their original use (access to high spots) in the future.  We’ve come across a fitness workout dubbed the “Ladder Workout” by those striving to build and maintain a fit and healthy physique.  So, just what does a ladder workout involve?

For those thinking that fitness fans climb up and down the ladder several times, you couldn’t be further from the truth.  The ladder in this case is figurative.  A ladder workout is a technique for sports and strength training where one or more exercise are performed in an ascending and descending pattern of repetition.

This is best explained by thinking of each rung of the ladder as a set – as you ascend or descend from one step to the next, you increase or decrease the number of repetitions of that particular exercise.  The increase for each rung (or step) is usually a one repetition increase.  When you get to the stage where you can’t do another set or exercise, you work your way back down the ladder, decreasing by one repetition on each rung.

Ladder workouts will usually include a rest between sets of exercises but they types of exercises in the set vary from one particular exercise to work on a specific set of muscles to a combination of exercises for a full body workout.  The exercise sets can be comprised of push ups, pull ups, sit ups or weight exercises that involve dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells and other weights.  This means that a ladder workout is versatile and can be applied to any workout. 

A ladder workout for beginners could be as follows:  3 push ups followed by a 30 second rest.   Next set would be 4 push ups followed by a 30 second rest, then 5 push ups followed by a 30 second rest.  If that’s all that can be managed the first time, then it’s time to work your way back down with another set of 4 push ups, followed by a rest.  Down again to a set of 3 push ups followed by a 30 second rest.

As you become fitter, exercise sets can be added to include pull ups, dips and sit ups and these can be mixed and matched to suit the individual.  For instance, the first set could include one push up, two pull ups and three sit ups, followed by a 30 second rest.  The next set would involve increasing each part of the set to two push ups, three pull ups and four sit ups, and so on.  It’s always best to listen to your body and take note when it’s had enough, then work your way back down the steps.

As with all fitness training a five minute warm up should be performed before beginning on the ladder workout to prepare muscles for the hard work ahead.  Remember, even though you’re not working at height with ladder workouts, your safety should still be taken into consideration.