Hackney Half fitness tips with personal trainer Matt Smith: The lunge

PUBLISHED: 15:52 15 March 2018

The lunge. Picture: Matt Smith

The lunge. Picture: Matt Smith


PT Matt Smith is preparing the Gazette’s running team for the Hackney Half – as well as bringing you regular fitness tips to encourage you to take on the race and help with training.


The humble lunge or big old step: a simple exercise that has the ability to highlight and correct imbalances between the glutes/hamstrings/quads.

Forward, backward or sideways – it doesn’t matter. But aim for 90 degrees in the knees and a solid foot fall, with primary contact being through the heel.

Try three sets of 10 per leg for a warm up before you go running. Try sets of 100 (no stopping, please) to help with endurance and lactate threshold. Or drop the number of repetitions and hold a weight while lunging to increase strength, which will help overall speed and help with knee issues.

Matt trains at Fitness First in Liverpool Street station. Visit or e-mail

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