Mixing Up Your Workout Music Playlist

Awesome old school tunes to mix up your workout music playlist

Use music as motivation, like pictures of yourself the way you want to be again. But psychology says there are only so many times motivational items are useful if you don’t change them frequently. Get the most mileage out of your favorite workout music, by mixing it up often. The easiest way to do so is putting together a variety of workout music playlists. SHAPE Army asked some leading fitness instructors about their personal workout music playlists. Here are some of the songs we think might be great and which categories they can fit into on your workout music playlists.

Warming up tunes.


Old School songs are great warm up tunes for your workout music playlist. Many fitness instructors recommend these golden oldies for getting warmed up and ready before a workout. 

  • Beatles – Call Me Back Again.
  • Bruce Springsteen – Downbound Train.
  • Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule.
  • Billy Joel – Uptown Girl.
  • Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely.
  • Train – Drops of Jupiter.
  • Seal – Kiss From a Rose.
  • Jewel – You Were Meant for Me.
  • Backstreet Boys – I Want it That Way.
  • Natalie Imbruglia – Torn.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Elliot Smith – Between the Bars.
  • Mariah Carey – My All.
  • Passenger – Life’s for the Living.
  • Coldplay – Sky Full of Stars.
  • Disclosure – When a Fire Starts to Burn.
  • Sia – Elastic Heart.
  • Pink – Please Don’t Leave Me.
  • Passenger – Scare Away the Dark.
  • Lana del Rey – Dark Paradise.
  • Justin Moore – If Heaven Wasn’t so Far Away.

Workout Music With Strong Beats to Keep Your Feet Moving and Heart Pumping.

When your workout goes into the red zone, you will need your workout music to pick up its beat. Here are some great old school songs that are perfect for fat burning, cardio workouts.
  • Sparkle soundtrack – Celebrate.
  • Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire.
  • Bryan Adams – Summer of ‘69
  • Carole King – I Feel the Earth Move
  • Hamilton Joe Frank & Reynolds – Fallin’ in Love.
  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger.
  • Lenny Kravitz – American Woman.
  • Van Halen – Jump.
  • KRS One – Step Into the World.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Ryan Star – Brand New Day.
  • U2 – This is Where You Can Reach Me Now.
  • Tove Lo – Got Love.
  • Crooked Fingers – Luisa’s Bones.
  • Joy Williams – Woman (Oh Mama).
  • Jordan Knight – Give it to You.
  • Pitbull – Timber.
  • Fergie, et al. – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.
  • Katy Perry – Birthday.
  • Andy Grammar – Honey, I’m Good.

Medium Speed Workout Music.


These musical throw backs are great for a medium paced workout music playlist.

  • Gordon Lightfoot – Go My Way.
  • Carole King – You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.
  • Bob Marley – No Woman, No Cry.
  • Michael Buble – Sway.
  • Neal Diamond – Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show.
  • Luke Bryan – Do I?
  • Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You.
  • Stevie Wonder – I Wish.
  • James Brown – Get Up Offa That Thing.
  • Extreme – More Than Words.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Jeremy Messersmith – A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard.
  • Kid Ink – Main Chick.
  • Beyoncé – Partition.
  • Calvin Harris – Summer.
  • Whitaker – Embers on the Wind.
  • Kylie Minogue – In Your Eyes.
  • Cold Play and Rhianna – Princess of China.
  • MAGIC! – Rude.
  • Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do.
  • Florida Georgia Line – Stay.

Cool down and yoga workouts.


When it comes time to cool down at the end of your work out, be sure that your workout music matches the change in pace with these great cool down songs – – perfect for your beginning yoga routine.

  • Old School songs.
  • Joshua Kadison – Beautiful in my eyes.
  • Sarah McLaughlin – Angel.
  • Carole King – Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
  • Aerosmith – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.
  • George Strait – You Look so God in Love.
  • Frank Sinatra – It Was a Very Good Year.
  • John Mayer – Your Body is a Wonderland.
  • Meatloaf – I’d Lie for You.
  • Chris Mann – You Were Always on my Mind.
  • Michael Buble – Home.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Alex Boye – Be Still my Soul.
  • Sarah Buxton – I Need a Hero.
  • Hobbit soundtrack – Misty Mountains.
  • Miranda Lambert – Holding on to You.
  • MAGIC! – Baby Let Your Hair Down.
  • Taylor Swift – White Horse.
  • The Band Perry – Don’t Me Be Lonely.
  • Chase Rice – Ride.
  • Billy Cunningham – Must be Doin’ Something Right.
  • Dierks Bentley – Come a Little Closer.

Rock and Hip Hop Workout Music.


Fast paced workout music with strong beats, commonly found in rock and hip hop music is a great source for cardio playlists.

  • Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack – Girl from the North Country
  • Beatles – Walk With You.
  • Three Dog Night – The Writing’s on the Wall.
  • Tina Turner – Missing You.
  • Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On.
  • Pat Benetar – Love is a Battlefield.
  • Norah Jones – Young Blood.
  • Eagles – One of These Nights.
  • Neal Diamond – Sweet Caroline.
  • Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Sia – Hostage.
  • Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
  • Krewlla – Alive.
  • Dem Slackers – Let’s Go (Bart B More).
  • Ciara – Dance Like We’re Making Love.
  • Pink – So What.
  • Coldplay – Clocks.
  • Twenty One Pilots – Tear in my Heart.
  • Lady Gaga – Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).
  • James Bay – Craving.

Strength training Workout Music.


These old school songs are great mental motivators to amp up your drive and enthusiasm while weight training. 

Related Article: “Great Workout to Make the Most of Your Body Shape.”

  • Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire.
  • John Mellencamp – Hurt So Good.
  • Meatloaf – I’d Do Anything for Love.
  • Pat Benetar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot.
  • Marty Robbins – El Paso.
  • The Pretenders – Brass in my Pocket.
  • The Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden.
  • Guns N Roses – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.
  • James Brown – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.
  • Waylon Jennings – Highwayman.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Game of Thrones Season 3 – The Rains of Castamere.
  • Fetty Wap – My Way.
  • Thomas Rhett – Get Me Some of That.
  • CHVRCHES – Leave a Trace.
  • Whitaker – Hurricane.
  • Krewella – Killin’ It.
  • Toni Braxton – You’re Makin’ Me High.
  • Etana – Better Tomorrow.
  • TNGHT – Higher Ground.
  • Ellie Goulding – Burn.

Country Music Workout Songs.


Nothing adds personality to your workout music playlists like a well placed, old school country song. Here are some great ones to mix into your workout music:

  • George Strait – The Chair.
  • Johnny Cash and June Carter – Jackson
  • Eagles – Take it Easy.
  • Brooks & Dunn – My Maria.
  • Marty Robbins – Devil Woman.
  • Waylon Jennings – Good Hearted Woman.
  • Hank Williams, Jr – Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound.
  • Don Gibson – Oh Lonesome Me.
  • Henson Cargill – Skip a Rope.
  • Earl Thomas Conley – Fire and Smoke.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Loaf – Trail of Tears.
  • Miranda Lambert – Mama’s Broken Heart.
  • Florida George Line – Sippin’ On Fire.
  • Taylor Swift – Red.
  • Dustin Lynch – Hell of a Night.
  • The Band Perry – If I Die Young
  • Chase Rice – What’ Your Name.
  • Billy Currington – Tangled Up.
  • Dierks Bentley – What Was I Thinkin’?
  • Luke Bryan – Country Girl (Shake it for Me).

Motivating and soulful Workout Music.


We all need motivation at times, and working out is certainly one of those times. Add a little soul to your workout music for some inspiration while exercising with these old school songs.

Need other sources of motivation while working out? Check out this article from SHAPE Army: “7 Reasons to Work Out with a Partner.”

  • Aretha Franklin – Respect.
  • Tina Turner – Better Be Good to Me.
  • Brooks & Dunn – Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You.
  • US Army Infantry – Motivation.
  • The Rolling Stones – Time is on my Side.
  • Guns N Roses – Sweet Child of Mine.
  • Joan Jett – You Don’t Own Me.
  • Hank Williams, Jr. – Outlaw Women.
  • Salt-n-Peppa – Push It.
  • Billy Dean – I’m in Love with You.
  • For King and Country – Fix My Eyes.
  • Our Lady Peace – Gravity.
  • Dalyn Val Bayles – Savior Redeemer of my Soul.
  • Pantatonix – Can’t Hold Us.
  • 5 Minutes of Summer – She’s Kinda Hot.
  • Thomas Rhett – Die a Happy Man.
  • Meghan Traynor – It’s All About the Bass.
  • Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running.
  • Meghan Traynor – Close Your Eyes
  • Ciara – Body Party.

Workout Music For Runners.


These workout music songs are great for adding to the iPod or listening to on your smart phone while running.

Related Article: “How to Start Running: 5K Training Plan.”

  • Chris de Burgh – Lady in Red.
  • Beatles – Let it Down.
  • Gordon Lightfoot – Talking in Your Sleep.
  • Carole King and James Taylor – You Can Close Your Eyes.
  • George Strait – Run.
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer For You.
  • Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight.
  • John Mayer – Half of My Heart.
  • Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds.
  • Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire.
  • Current and somewhat current tunes.
  • Our Lady Peace – Life.
  • Jason Derulo – Wiggle.
  • Izzy Azalea – Fancy.
  • Cash Cash – Take Me Home.
  • Fetty Wap – Again.
  • Bryson Tiller – Right my Wrongs.
  • Avicil – Long Road to Hell.
  • Rhianna and Kanye West – FourFive Seconds.
  • Toni Braxton – Breathe Again.
  • John Legend – Green Light.

Mixing Up Your Workout Music Playlist with Old School Tunes.

You may notice we didn’t stick to just current tunes in our workout music playlist– that’s because we’ve heard too often from people who’ve been around the block more than once, that nothing on a particular list is what they want to hear. When you mix it up, add a few tunes in from what you wouldn’t listen to normally. Old School Songs are a great source for this. You can always remove it later, but you might also find it amps up your routine. We hope you try a wide variety, from Frank Sinatra to the newest in club music. Music is life, let it move through you.

For more ideas, check out fitnessmagazine.com/workout/music/popular-playlists.

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