10 Best Songs To Work Out To

Posted at 5:00 AM Apr 29, 2010

By Andrea Grimes


Finding the right gym is like finding the right cocktail--it should have exactly what you want in it, leave you refreshed after you finish it and also come at the right price. Ideally, it's also something you can have several times a week with no problem. Perhaps that complicates things, but let's go with the metaphor.

You've found your gym. It's affordable, has a zillion of that one machine that you like and isn't overrun on Monday nights. The only thing left in this sweaty work-out cocktail is the right playlist, which I think I've finally whittled down to the best of the best. These are my 10 favorite songs to work out to right now--and also why they should be yours, too.

10. "Starstruck" by Lady Gaga

This is the first Lady Gaga song on the list, but it certainly won't be the last. "Starstruck" has a nice chunky, powerful beat that doesn't sound exhausting the way "Just Dance" does. Also ideal for fantasizing about pop-stardom while you're in the last minutes of a cardio hell.

9. "Bounce That" by Girl Talk

Mash-up experts Girl Talk mix all kinds of pop, rock and hip-hop samples into an energetic cornucopia of "Holy cow, I can't believe this is--Britney Spears? Smashing Pumpkins? Fleetwood Mac? Wreckx'n Effect?!" I often get so into digging the samples that I forget how long I've been jogging.

8. "Electric Feel" by MGMT

Songs about good-looking women ("Oh! Girl!") are always good ear candy when you're drenched in sweat and wearing mismatched gym socks that smell like wet butthole. I like listening to "Electric Feel" while doing a circuit work out. It makes me feel like dancing. Which brings me to ...

7. "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" by Leo Sayer

This is my current favorite disco hit, and it makes me feel like staying on the elliptical for 3-and-a-half more minutes.

6. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" - Jay-Z/Beatles mashup by DJ Danger Mouse

I am but a weak thing, but when I'm doing my 30-lb bicep curls amid the 'roided out iron-pumpers and listening to this version of "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," I am a hard-ass bitch from the streets, ya heard? BEST RAPPER ALIVE!


Paul said:

E.S. Posthumus - Unstoppable
Autumn Thunder (The music of NFL Films) - Never Relent
Adam Freeland - Mindkiller (Origin Unknown Mix)
Buckethead - Jump Man
Groove Armada - Madder
JG Thirwell - Assclamp! (If you watch the Venture Bros, it's the music that plays when Brock runs over all the henchmen in the cocoon.)
Kylie Minogue - Dancefloor
The Protomen - The Hounds
Dame Shirley Bassey - Slave to the Rhythm

That's my current playlist. Enjoy!

Josie said:

My playlist is currently...

Shine On - The Kooks
Ooh La - The Kooks
My Coco - Stellastarr*
Patient Patient - The Morning Benders
Juicebox - The Strokes
Eddie's Gun - The Kooks
A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys
Razorblade - The Strokes
Tear You Apart - She Wants Revenge
Rising Sun - Samantha Crain
Bottle It Up - Sara Barreilles

(Arranged so that the songs for warmup and cooldown are slower...pumped up songs in the middle.)

Angela in Ontario said:

I despise Ke$ha, and yet when the aerobics instructor puts on that blasted Tik Tok song, I cannot stand still. Same deal with that awful Pitbull guy's I Know You Want Me Song.

Andrea said:

Angela - I, too, find that Tik Tok song ridiculously addictive. But I'm not ready to admit it to myself while I'm on the elliptical yet.

manobon said:

YES for Viva La Vida (and the perfect "how it feels during the run" description).

I try to listen to albums, or groups of songs by the same artist for treadmill stuff: Anamanaguchi isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's good chiptune-superhero music, which is fun/dramatic to run with. Surprisingly, The Dan In Real Life is good with it's highs and lows (all by Sondre Lerche)...but if Bad Romance is playing through the gym's speakers? That wins always.

CTrees said:

This might just be because I'm a guy, but... I disagree with every single choice here.

Disregarding that, how could you leave out 'Eye of the Tiger?' Seriously dude...

Andrea said:

Man, if being a guy means not wanting to listen to Lady Gaga AND Jay-Z, I take this opportunity to thank Creation for my giner.

Merritt said:

"Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga (absolutely)
"Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus (yes)

My other go-tos include:
"Lisztomania" - Phoenix
"Dance Floor" - Apples In Stereo
"Quiet Dog" - Mos Def
"Damn, Girl" - Justin Timberlake
"Common People" - Pulp
"Rock Me Tonite" - Billy Squier (so not kidding)
"Foxes" - Celebration
"Tik Tok" - Ke$ha (I hate that this song works)
"Legendary Microwave" - UFOFU
"Misery Business" - Paramore (also shameful)
"Shark Attack" - Split Enz

The way I see it, if it makes me work out, there's no shame.

Nicki E. said:

I love this list!

CTrees said:

It's more that those so aren't my workout music choices.

Kyla said:

I never thought I would say these words, but... this actually makes me want to work out.

Java said:

I won't go into my own top 10 workout songs but I thought I'd mention "American Boy" by Estelle f/Kanye and "Too Young" by Pheonix...just because I can't not do the dorky half-dance-half-run think that takes over my body when I hear them.

Andrea said:

Java -

Those are two of my favorite songs! "Too Young" probably of all time, but "American Boy" I love as of recent. Great suggestions.

Stick said:

There needs to be some 80s harcore punk on this list....

Sarah said:

My playlist is...

1. Stay Put! - The Blood Arm
2. Evil - Interpol
3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? - JET
4. Gonna Leave You- Queens of the Stone Age
5. Don't You Evah - Spoon
6. Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
7. Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8. Wolf Like Me- TV On the Radio
9. Buttons - Sia
10. Jungle Drum - Emiliana Torrini

this one! said:

NROTB- Droplet...that song'll make you feel like you're frikkin speedy gonzales on the treadmill or stairmaster.lol please give it a listen.

virginia said:

here's mine (going a little old school):

1. I believe in a thing called love-- the darkness
2. float on-- modest mouse
3. sweet home alabama-- lynyrd skynyrd
4. won't get fooled again-- the who
5. livin' thing-- electric light orchestra
6. train in vain-- the clash
7. superstition-- stevie wonder
8. slide-- the goo goo dolls
9. evil woman-- ELO
10. crosstown traffic-- jimi hendrix
11. she moves in her own way-- kooks
12. y control-- yeah yeah yeahs
13. pinball wizard-- the who
14. waking up in vegas-- katy perry
15. take on me-- aha
16. why can't i-- liz phair
17. ain't wastin' time no more-- allman brothers
18. breakin' up-- rilo kiley
19. magic carpet ride-- steppenwolf
20. born to be wild-- steppenwolf
21. sleepyhead-- passion pit
22. second hand news-- fleetwood mac
24. baba o'riley-- the who
25. jet pilot-- son volt
26. momma's boy-- chromeo
27. blue sky-- allman bros
28. i'd run away-- the jayhawks
29. rock the casbah-- the clash
30. party in the usa-- miley cyrus (wouldn't be complete without it)

this playlist has served me very well

Horia said:

gonna use Kanye's New workout Plan on my website. check it out, btw, since you like workout songs. :)

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