A man standing in a grassy field with a set of poles.

Burn with Kearns: Unveiling the Blueprint: prioritizing locomotion 50+ – Kevin Kearns

by Kevin Kearns, contributing writer on exercise and fitness

Within the functional training paradigm, encompassing eight key elements of fitness, one stands out as paramount, particularly in my humble assessment: locomotion. Reflecting on my tenure as a consultant for Tufts Medical Bariatric Surgery, I recall a pivotal lesson imparted by the lead exercise physiologist: “Move to Improve.” Regardless of surgical interventions aimed at weight loss, the imperative of movement persisted as a cornerstone for weight maintenance and the enhancement of both health span and lifespan.

From a functional training perspective, I hold a particular affinity for the agility ladder. Its allure lies in its portability, adaptability to all skill levels, and its efficacy in enhancing foot coordination and kinesthetic awareness—our sense of body positioning in space. As we mature, this kinesthetic awareness tends to diminish, necessitating proactive efforts to maintain it. Irrespective of one’s chosen fitness regimen, locomotion emerges as an indispensable component for sustaining vitality.

It’s not uncommon to witness individuals opting for early retirement only to succumb to sedentary lifestyles and subsequent health deterioration. The adage “move to improve” echoes resoundingly here. While traditional warm-up methods like treadmill or elliptical routines effectively prime muscles for exercise, they often fall short in preparing individuals for the dynamic demands of daily life.

In my practice, I prioritize functional warm-up routines utilizing the agility ladder, supplemented by boxing, Muay Thai footwork, and Filipino stick (kali) fighting techniques. Beyond merely elevating heart rates, these activities cultivate essential agility—a skill with far-reaching implications for everyday functionality. By integrating such practices into our warm-up protocols, we not only promote cardiovascular health but also equip individuals with the agility necessary to navigate life’s myriad challenges with grace and resilience.

This element or better known as “pillar “ of human movement exists everyday and needs to put into every regimen in my professional opinion. It is very simple to add 5 -10 minutes of agility work or “locomotion” to your fitness programming. Even without an agility ladder one can mimic these movements even in a hotel room while being a “road warrior “ for work. As well we should take a page from on our children and “play” more often. Whenever I run a workshop or class for children they all tend to love the agility ladder without even telling them the benefits of this element of fitness.  So my suggestion is to take some to these drills from this article in incorporate them today in your fitness regimen. 

Be Relentless – Coach Kevin Kearns


Read ALL articles by Kevin Kearns – here: BURN WITH KEARNS

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or [email protected].Author of “There’s Light In The Tunnel” How to Survive and Thrive with Depression  – “Always Picked Last“ A guide to navigating bullies on Amazon and Audible

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist.

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