Yoga For Hikers: Reduce Those Aches And Pains

Yoga For Hiking

Yoga is indispensable for hikers!

Hiking is fun, challenging and full of adventure but it can be tough on your body if you don’t prepare properly and take the time to recover after. And that’s where yoga comes in!


Hikers require excellent strength, balance and stamina and yoga can help to train all three of these skills. 

  • Strength—The muscles you need to prepare for a hike are also those you need to take the time to stretch out after. Primarily, the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, neck, core, mid and lower back.
  • Balance—Similarly with balance, hikers need good stability in the ankles, knees, hips and core and these are the areas we also need to pay attention to after your hike. 
  • Stamina—In yoga, hikers can learn to improve their stamina by practicing deep, nasal breathing and building muscular endurance. We do this by holding poses for several breaths and repeating this over time. 


These are the three areas that you need to focus on if you want to stay pain-free out on the trails.

  • Prepare—Activate and strengthen key muscles groups immediately pre-hike and in preparation for your hiking trip. 
  • Restore—Directly after you come back from your hike, release tension in the muscles that you have been working hard.
  • Rejuvenate—Relax your body and mind at the end of the day so that you get the best sleep possible and always feel rejuvenated.


Here are 6 poses you can practice on the morning of your hike and in the weeks leading up to your trip. This will ensure that you are prepared and conditioned properly so that you don’t suffer from pain, stiffness and avoidable injury.

Yoga for Hikers: Chair Pose


Chair pose activates and strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads, hips, glutes, back and shoulders.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Inhale, lift your arms up by your ears—palms face each other. Exhale, bend your knees and sit back in Chair pose. Engage your lower abs to support your lower back. Shift your weight back into the centre of your heels and drop your hips. Check that both knees point straight ahead and that you can still see your toes.

Hold the pose for 5 breaths, in and out through your nose.

Yoga for Hikers: High Lunge


High Lunge activates and strengthens the feet, ankles, legs, glutes, hips, back, shoulders and arms.

Take a deep breath in. Exhale, step your right foot back towards the back of your mat. Inhale, bring your arms up by our ears. Exhale, drop your hips and try to bring your front thigh parallel to the mat. Check that your front knee is directly above your front ankle and in line with your second toe. Relax your shoulders and press back through your heel. Contract your abs and pelvic floor to stabilise your hips.

Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths on each side.

Yoga For Hikers: Warrior 3


Warrior 3 activates and strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, hips, core and shoulders.

From High Lunge. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, lean forward, bring your palms together at your chest and lift your back foot up to hip height. You can keep your standing leg slightly bent. When you have your balance, reach both arms back by your sides. Press back through your heel.

Hold the pose still for 5 deep breaths on each side, in and out through your nose.

Yoga For Hikers: Plank


Plank activates and strengthens the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, back, core, hips, glutes and legs.

Drop down onto all fours. Walk your hands forward, tuck your toes and lift up into Plank. Spread your fingers wide and press your hands evenly into the mat. Check that your shoulders are directly over your wrists and your feet are hip-width apart. Try to create a straight line all the way from your heels up to the back of your head. Engage your core and press back through your heels to straighten your legs.

Try to the hold the pose still for 1 minute.

Yoga For Hikers: Side Plank


Side Plank activates and strengthens the hands, wrists, shoulders, serratus anterior, chest, abs, obliques, back, glutes, hips, legs, ankles and feet.

Shift your weight onto your right hand and come to the outside edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of the right and flex both feet. Bring your left hand to your hip. Make sure that your right wrist is directly below your right shoulder to keep your shoulder safe. If you feel confident, you can straighten your left arm up to the sky.

Try to the hold the pose still for 1 minute on each side.


Locust pose activates and strengthens the posterior chain—the neck, back (rhomboids, trapezius, lats and erector spinae), glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Lie face down on the mat with your feet hip-width apart and your arms resting by your sides, palms facing down. Lift your chest, hands and arms off the mat. Interlace your fingers behind your back. Then lift your legs and press back through the balls of your feet. Draw your shoulders back, lengthen your neck and look down at the mat. Squeeze your glutes to support your lower back.

Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.

Bring your hands underneath your shoulders and push back to Child’s pose for a few breaths.


If you are a Y15 member, you can access the Hiking Course today—a 15-video program designed to help you PREPARE, RESTORE and REJUVENATE for pain-free hiking trips for many many years to come!

And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for?! Sign up for your FREE 14-Day Trial today!


In April 2023, I experienced something truly breathtaking. I flew to Antigua, Guatemala to do the Acatenango hike. It was tough! It took us 3.5 hours to climb from 2600m to 3976m on soft, slippy, ashy earth to a cabin where we spent the night.

From the relative safety of Acatenango, we watched Fuego erupt every 10-15 minutes during the night. It was one of the most amazing things I’d ever seen.

The hardest part was the cold! It goes down to -5℃ in the night but I don’t know the exact temperature when we were there. No amount of ice baths could prepare me for that!

The descent was also very challenging but we made it back to basecamp the following morning in just over an hour and a half.

If you have the opportunity, I would really recommend this hike. It has all the necessary ingredients for a proper adventure! And trust me, you’ll be happy that you have access to your Yoga For Hikers videos to ease those post-climb aches and pains!

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