By Coach Kennedy

Barbell bench press, barbell squat, barbell deadlift, barbell bent over row, barbell hip thrusts:  we’ve all heard of these very important, KEY fundamental movements in exercise and I’m sure we’ve all performed them at some time or another. I’m a big believer that fitness tools, if applied with purpose, not circus, are a great way to add variety and fun to one’s programming. Why does this matter? Adherence, that’s why. When programming is designed with purpose, AND at the same time is made to be fun, people stick to it longer. Longer means results… results equal happy clients… happy clients equals renewals and referrals, and so on and so on!

With that said, in reference to tools, let me point out that the typical barbell can be used for far more than just your fundamental movements.  In fact, if you get creative, you can perform complete programs, if you were so inclined, that ONLY used a barbell. Think about it…the movements I mentioned above are all very static movements, important but nevertheless static.

This brings me to the Movement of the Month: Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press.

This exercise is a great example of taking a barbell and using it with movement in an upright position, not on your back, not just bent over, but actually using it in a very functional way, if you will. Life and sport happen this way, therefore it’s a great idea to consider how an exercise transfers to life and sport when designing programs. Do they serve a purpose? Do they help your client achieve their goal?

As for the benefits of the Barbell Single Arm Lateral Lunge to Press, they’re endless!

Let’s begin with mobility, which is required in order to perform the lateral lunge correctly.

This leads into deceleration. As you begin to come down into the lunge your quadriceps need to be able to slow you down, decelerate you with control. And, the faster you come down into the lunge, the greater the ability to decelerate. It’s called eccentric strength.

Power is a combination of strength and speed. You’re required to move with some speed, from when you hit the ground, in order to come back up into your starting position. It’s like you’re exploding once your lead leg hits the ground. There is also some direction change, which requires agility.

In addition, let’s consider the muscular coordination required from “toes to fingertips” in order to perform this integrated movement. This coordination is intra (within each muscle) and inter (with other muscles creating the movement). All in all, a very effective, dynamic, integrated, multi-planar movement using a good old-fashioned barbell in a very NEW way.

And lastly, as I said before, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see being done with barbells. Which means clients enjoy it, they think it’s cool and they always come back for more!

Exercise Execution:

Begin by standing with feet hip- to-shoulder width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders in their set position (elevate, retract and depress) and the barbell set up with your landmine placed in your right hand. Take a lateral lunge to your right, maintain a tall spine. As soon as you complete the lateral lunge, reverse your movement back to the starting position while simultaneously pressing the barbell. Repeat for the allotted time or repetitions then change sides.

Watch the video for an exercise demonstration.

Exercise Protocol:  

Generally performed for 30 seconds per side or can be measured in repetitions, 6-12 per side depending on your goals. Apply exercise based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Contact

Special thanks to Rich Wigmore and Taylor Rawson, cofounders of RT Health Company, for allowing me to use there space for all of my videos and mentorships.


Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing his true felt passion for mentoring trainers and coaches, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy).

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