It's mid-way past your 2013 new years resolution, and let's admit, you've been jamming out to the same old songs. However, the right songs can inspire you to crank out another set or log an extra mile. Turn minor head-bopping into an intense body work out with music that moves you. Here are The 25 Best Workout Songs of 2013 (So Far).
No. 25 – “Up In The Air” 30 Seconds To Mars
Best for: Total Body Conditioning
Why: Anthemic breakdowns, intense shout-along choruses, primal screams and a driving beat: The single off of 30 Seconds To Mars’ latest makes for a great total body conditioning soundtrack.
No. 24 – “Diane Young” Vampire Weekend
Best for: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Why: Vampire Weekend’s back, and with songs that give you an intense sugar high stronger than an IV drip of Red Bull. Keep in time with the maniacal drum line or the rapid “Baby baby baby”-es and you’ll stay a step ahead through a grueling, multi-faceted trek just fine.
No. 23 – “Spa Day” Le1f
Best for: Weight training
Why: “I’m feeling totally rejuvenated:” Let Le1f rub off on you over the mesmerizing, pounding beats of this track as you push limits with your lifting. Your gym’s locker room may be less spa-like than the rowdy commode setting for Le1f’s video, but you’ll be getting “hot like in the sauna” if you give this a spin for your reps.
No. 22 - “Now Is Not The Time” Chvrches
Best for: Bikram yoga
Why: Need to keep grounded while you’re baking in Child’s Pose in a million-degree yoga studio? The cool, collected stylings of Chvrches may offer some solace as you go through the motions and heal those muscles with hot yoga.
No. 21 - “Wires” Telekinesis
Best for: Cycling
Why: The latest from solo drummer-gone-rock star Michael Benjamin Lerner makes for rocking soundtrack to any set of rolling hills your wheels encounter, be they on the bike path or fixed to the floor of your favorite spin studio.
No. 20 – “Light Out” Javelin
Best for: Hiking/All-terrain cardio
Why: Experimental electronic duo Javelin aren’t afraid to explore genres and soundscapes by the dozen, and their adventurous attitude translates to an outside-the-box (and gym) workout.
No. 19 – “Ass Quake” Flosstradamus
Best for: Crossfit
Why: The title says it all, really: Crossfit will have every muscle quaking by the end of your workout if you’re doing it right, so a little motion set to sirens and a bass-heavy beat should do the trick in helping you maximize every motion.
No. 18 - “Shut Up” Savages
Best for: Boot camp
Why: If you’re taking your boot camp session solo and without a shouting drill sergeant to keep you motivated, London’s Savages are fierce enough to keep you company—and keep you kickin’ it as you barrel through your workout.
No. 17 – “Oh Sheiit it’s X!” Thundercat
Best for: Aerobics
Why: Don’t laugh: sometimes you just gotta dance (and sweat) it out, and Thundercat’s here to help. Flying Lotus is back on the production end of this track, the first off Thundercat’s forthcoming record, Apocalypse.
No. 16 - “Binary Mind” Ra Ra Riot
Best for: Circuit training
Why: If you’ve got a full-body workout in your future, you’ll need something that brings out the best in rock and electronic to keep your stamina up—and Ra Ra Riot packages that up perfectly for you with “Binary Mind” and its addictive, punchy drum line.
No. 15 – “Now” Paramore
Best for: Kickboxing
Why: Riffs more powerful than rocket fuel? Check. Power-pop melodies? Check. Crashing cymbals and a chorus full of battle cries? You’ve got all the ammo you need to pummel your way out of a fierce kickboxing workout.
No. 14 - “Retrograde” James Blake
Best for: Vinyasa Yoga
Why: Need something other than the occasional “Ohm” or few when you’re stretching out of Downward Dog? The title track off James Blake’s latest sounds great outside of the yoga studio, but it’s exceptional for a workout that seeks to tone and sooth both your mind and body.
No. 13 - “Fantasy” MS MR
Best for: Step
Why: Anything with a driving beat you can’t help but throw your whole body into works for a step class, so throw a curve ball and give alt-pop duo MS MR a go. The rest of their debut, Secondhand Rapture, works for stomping, clapping and stepping your way through your workout.
No. 12 – “Stay 2013 Remix” Rihanna (Bass King vs. X-Vertigo)
Best for: Hatha Yoga
Why: You spend plenty of time on the mat in a seated position while you’re holding Hatha poses, so revisiting the latest take on Rihanna’s 2012 smash “Stay” hands you the perfect opportunity to get lost in her gorgeous vocals and the trance of the new beat behind her.
No. 11 - Mariah Carey feat. Miguel "Beautiful"
Best for: Pilates
Why: You can’t find a velvet-voiced duet from two more aptly suited R&B titans—or a better soundtrack for a Pilates session that’ll work those muscles in ways you never thought possible. (Kind of like Mariah’s high notes: It’s not that you’ve never worked your glutes like that before, you just weren’t sure they could do that, exactly.)
No. 10 - “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” Portugal. the Man
Best for: Weight training
Why: Portugal. the Man’s forthcoming record Evil Friends is chock full of songs that move you to the core, but none more so than its first single here. Seeing as renowned producer Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley fame) worked with the band from start to finish, this is a great fit for a weight training session that’ll give you an infectious beat to set those reps to.
No. 9 – “Started from the Bottom” Drake
Best for: Spinning
Why: Because nothing says morale-boosting like Drake’s Billboard chart-leaping, early days-heralding anthem, right? Those pedals aren’t gonna work themselves, so start from the bottom of that energy reserve, throw this single on and get speedy to the sounds of Drake’s success.
No. 8 – “We Can Roll” Bad Rabbits
Best for: Crossfit
Why: The beat’s hard, the chorus packs a punch and the pace both propels you while forcing you to zero in on the set before you—and “We Can Roll” provides exactly the kind of drive and focus you need to get through a grueling Crossfit session, no matter what kind of shape you’re in.
No. 7 - “Out Of My League” Fitz and the Tantrums
Best for: Interval training/Sprints
Why: Trippin up the treadmill? Fitz and the Tantrums will set you straight with “Out Of My League,” which perks up those short bursts and high-speed sprints with its addictive chorus and quirky crooning.
No. 6 - “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” Fergie
Best for: Abdominals
Why: This Great Gatsby soundtrack hit will keep you working it on the mat until those crunches make like 1926 and make themselves history. The pacing’s perfect for quick reps, Fergie’s voice is back and stronger than ever and you’ve got the added bonus of a frenzied breakdown to keep things interesting.
No. 5 - “Freaks” French Montana feat. Nicki Minaj
Best For: Spin/Cycling
Why: You can’t go wrong with a Chaka Demus & Pliers sample, nor can you with a hefty dose of Minaj’s fire-spitting when you’re looking to amp your energy up—especially if you’re sweating it out in the middle of a spin class. That chorus will propel you up those imaginary heels each time it comes around, so throw it on repeat if you’re feeling especially masochistic.
No. 4 – “You (Ha Ha Ha)” Charli XCX
Best for: Zumba
Why: Sick of hearing the typical Don Omar/Pitbull/Shakira shake-up in your salsa-fied Zumba workout? Throw Charli XCX on for some bhangra samples and insatiable hooks that let you capitalize on your dance floor moves while working yoru core.
No. 3 – “The Phoenix” Fall Out Boy
Best for: Tough Mudder
Why: If you’re taking on that insane, torturous and immensely gratifying obstacle course on steroids, go with an unapologetically rocking playlist—and make sure it includes “The Phoenix” or other picks from Fall Out Boy’s surging latest.
No. 2 – “Mirrors” Justin Timberlake
Best for: Cross-country/Long-distance running
Why: Can’t get “Mirrors” out of your head? Neither can we, so put JT’s smash of a single on—it clocks in at just under 9 minutes—and hit the road. The double-or-nothing length and symphonic breakdowns make for an ideal foil to the miles unfolding before you.
No. 1 – “Get Lucky” Daft Punk feat. Pharrell
Best For: Spin/Zumba/Aerobics/Crossfit/etc.
Why: It’s our top pick because it’s that good—and versatile, truly. As everyone’s fawning over the new Daft Punk, we’re putting it to the test on the treadmill, at the machines and in the dance studio—and it works in every context, in that it never fails to get you moving no matter which muscle group you’re looking to shape up.