But sometimes, all you need is the right song to give you the push you need to keep at it — whether running, biking or weight lifting. TIME is here to help with an essential workout playlist: a mix of songs that are tried-and-tested crowd favorites and some deeper cuts worth your attention from recent years and beyond.
We sorted through hundreds of tunes to select the critical picks that help us get our hearts pumping at fitness classes or while working out solo. The end result: a list of 50 of the songs that are best used for motivating you while working out — whatever the activity, from running to weight-lifting to getting in your crunches.
Others — a Ricky Martin deep cut, some Brazilian baile funk and even a K-pop track — might be new surprises for the casual listener. Turn on the music and turn up your heart rate. What Cyrus brings to everything is her signature personality and bold vocals. Her tendency to love a chanted chorus makes it easy to sing along to as well, which might help when you need that extra workout boost.
It feels like the soundtrack of the best scene in an action movie; it should certainly do the trick at a workout. Also inspiring: the sharp choreography in the music video.
Vine oozes confidence over the pop-rap beat, making it perfect for soundtracking a workout. Who knew a trampoline would be such a compelling song subject? LSD is the supergroup consisting of pop mastermind Sia, hitmaking DJ Diplo and producer-singer Labrinth ; with that DNA, their collaborative work was always destined to basically be a series of pure bangers.
Sometimes you just need a consistent beat that is exactly right for the treadmill. For an uplifting boost while putting in the gym work, look to MNEK : a sought-after pop producer, his own work is anthemic in nature, often focused on self-empowerment. Back in , this was rapper T. The elliptical may not be the club, but we can certainly pretend it is. Whitney Houston put out her own cover in , but with a limited release.
Her number-one hit off her debut album proves why. The jazzy riffs and background snaps make it fun; the lyrics and vocal inflections make it memorable. This cross-genre collaboration between rock band Linkin Park and rapper Jay-Z has stood up to the test of time as a tried-and-true workout hit.
Electronic dance duo Sofi Tukker have never been afraid to have fun with their music, taking cues from global musical cultures to make tracks that are bold and party-ready. What Ms. Spears wishes becomes our command. But what the song does most unusually is mix and match samples and styles, creating an eclectic track that keeps things interesting — all over a driving, gritty beat. Heavy drumbeats and a driving, anthemic chorus give this song its immediate pump-up power from rock show mainstays Imagine Dragons, led by their energetic frontman Dan Reynolds.
It was inescapable on the radio and in ads in for a reason, and was further boosted by a remix. Feeling good as hell! And when it switches gears halfway through to feature rapper El Alfa, it only turns it into more of an intense track. Work out at your own risk. Seven years later, the insistent buoyancy of the song holds up. British grime star Stormzy is known for charisma in his music. The track took him to number one in the U.
Naturally, that makes it a good fit for a workout or a dance party. Thanks, Rocky. Motivation, indeed. When the going gets hard, Eminem is here to take you through to the finish line — whatever the workout, whatever the challenge.
Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa. By Raisa Bruner. Get The Brief. Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now.
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