gym photo

With Coach Kennedy

Summer is in glorious full swing here in South Central Ontario and across the land. Our local markets veritably burst with healthy local fare, and friend and family activities abound! Soccer fever soars like the mercury and it’s a great time to get out and get active.

With that said, nothing helps to raise your game like dry land training to transfer those skills to the sport or activity you’re performing outdoor or indoor this summer.It’s simple, if the body is taught to react to certain stimuli with your dry land training, then when your body is called upon in a “real” life situation it will respond faster, there-by decreasing your chances of injury and improving performing movement efficiency. In short, you’ll have more fun when you don’t get injured and you will not fatigue as fast which means you’ll perform better and longer.

While I believe in all types of movement…YES, even linear movements have their benefits, we just don’t see enough multi-planar movement performed these days to help us be more functional and perform better in life and sport.After all, as humans we move in multi-planes every day. It’s simple…. you become STRONG in whatever plane you train, which helps to prevent injuries when you move unexpectedly in those various planes. We need to be able to change loads and direction and combine various joint movements to smoothly move around in multiplanes day to day, as well as when we play for fun or sport.

This leads me to the Movement of the Month, The Open Step Lunge W/ Olympic Plate Front Raise. This movement will assist you with direction changes, transitional balance, endurance and strength, and will develop better coordination (intra and inter muscular) between the lower and upper body to help you move more cohesively as one unit…just as you were meant to.

Remember to apply the exercise based on your client’s fitness level. In other words, regress and progress as required.

Exercise Execution:

Begin by standing (feet about hip width apart, soft knees, CORE braced, shoulders in their “set position”- elevated, retracted and pulled straight down) tall with an Olympic plate held with both hands in front of you.

Phase #1: In your starting position, begin by externally rotating your left hip as you raise your shoulders into flexion with the Olympic plate as you go into an open step lunge. Please also note that the right hip and foot will also externally rotate.

Phase #2: Reverse your follow-through and bring your body back into your starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Exercise Protocol:

This exercise can be done for reps or timed depending on its purpose. It is considered as a main movement in your exercise program, but if loaded lightly it can also make a great prepping one as well.

Questions? Contact Coach Kennedy at


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 sessions, and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, 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, co-founder of the CFEA (Canadian Fitness Education Alliance), and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit