Hiking and backpacking are great ways to get exercise while enjoying the outdoors. However, these activities can also lead to pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. Yoga can help prevent this by stretching and strengthening the muscles used in hiking and backpacking.

Here are some of the best yoga poses for hikers and backpackers.

1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles tendons while strengthening the arms, shoulders, and legs. It also helps improve circulation throughout the body.

To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the ground and your shoulders over your wrists.

Next, curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back until your body forms an inverted “V” shape. Be sure to keep your knees slightly bent throughout the pose. Hold for 5–10 breaths before returning to the start position.

2. Runner’s Lunge Pose

This pose stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, groin, and chest while strengthening the muscles of the legs and core. It also helps improve balance and coordination.

Take a large step forward with your right foot and lower your body so that your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and your left leg is extended behind you with the knee touching the ground.

Place your palms on either side of your right foot or on your hips. Hold for 5–10 breaths then repeat on the other side.

3. Triangle Pose

This pose stretches the sides of the waist, outer hips, hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendon, chest, shoulders, neck, and groin while also strengthening legs, ankles, knees, thighs, obliques, lower back muscles, and upper back muscles.

It also helps improve digestion by massaging the abdominal organs. To do this pose begin in a standing position with feet about 3½ to 4 ft apart.

Extend your right hand toward the ceiling then bend from the waist toward your right leg as you extend your right arm toward the floor next to your right foot. Keep your left hand on your left hip or reach it toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 – 10 breaths then repeat on the other side.

You can deepen the pose by placing your right elbow on the inside of your right calf and pressing it toward the floor.


Yoga is a great way to prevent pain and stiffness in the muscles used in hiking and backpacking.

These yoga poses will stretch and strengthen the muscles used in these activities while also improving circulation throughout the body.

Be sure to warm up before doing any of these poses by taking a few minutes to walk or march in place first. And always seek medical advice before starting any new exercise program.