Whether you’re looking for the best music for lifting, running, dancing, or doing yoga, here’s 10 of our faves.

By Rachael Schultz
Jun 26, 2020 @ 10:00 am
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Whether you’re headed out for a run, lifting weights, or cueing up a HIIT workout on your favorite workout app, there’s one non-negotiable: a beat-pumping, muscle-moving, energy-boosting playlist.

If you've ever gotten to the gym only to realize you forgot your headphones, you know how crucial music is in making working out less of a chore. Not only does it help keep your energy up and your pace steady (in the case of running), but research shows you actually work harder with tunes in your ears. 

One study in PLOS One reports runners perform better when they’re pounding to music — especially songs that match their cadence — compared to running to silence. And a 2019 study in Psychology of Sport & Exercise found when folks worked out to tunes, they exerted more power during sprints — and enjoyed them more (which we thought was near impossible). Meanwhile, for both weightlifting and endurance training, tuning in to high-tempo beats helps you feel like you're not working as hard, despite the fact that the music actually helps boost your burn, according to recent research.

Basically, if you’re not enveloping your brain with beats during a workout or run, you’re not getting the best workout possible. 

The key, though, is picking the right playlist to match the workout session ahead. Whether you’re lifting heavy, running far, or flowing through your daily asanas, these 10 playlists will carry your energy from warm-up to cool down.

Beast Mode by Spotify

Trust the 7.3 million followers of this playlist — Beast Mode’s got the beats to help you Hulk out. With your favorite tear-em-up tracks from Rick Ross, Young Thug, and Bassnectar, alongside lesser-known thumpers from staples like Drake and Future, your motivation won’t miss a beat with this list in your ears.

Nike Training Endurance by Nike Training Club

Looking for endless uplifting energy to carry you through long runs and rides? Nike Training Club’s got you with nearly six hours of EDM’s peppiest tracks. The list is filled with fresh remixes from the names you know and love — Calvin Harris, R3HAB, ZAYN, DENM — with seemingly endless transitions that’ll help you forget what mile you’re even on.

Whitney Simmons by Gymshark

Feel like you’re sweating alongside the Instatrainer with these tunes hand-selected by Whitney Simmons. Whether you're heading into a quick HIIT workout or our for a long run, Simmons filled this Gymshark playlist with super upbeat and feel-good pop and EDM hits that’ll carry you through to the end.

I Love My '90s Hip-Hop by Spotify

Nothing delivers that afternoon energy boost like jams from the golden era of hip-hop. Send it back with jams from Tribe, Biggy, Ice Cube, and OutKast. Your body can’t help but bop along — even if you weren’t born when the tracks first dropped. 

Cali Fire by Spotify

Feel the energy spill out your headphones with these West Coast vibes. Fresh music from Saweetie, Vince Staples, and D Smoke will keep your mind right and pace stable for a light run or long lifting session. And if you like your workout music harder, the lowkey positive beats of this list make for a great warm-up or cool down.

Yoga Girl Playlist Of The Month by Yoga Girl

Wind it down with this setlist of your favorite soothers, including Sigur Rós, Leon Bridges, and Bon Iver. Yoga girl has created a 90-minute flow to support your own vinyasa practice, and she overhauls the whole playlist once a month so your asanas always feel fresh. 

2.24 by Spotify

Dedicated to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, this powerful playlist boasts 24 songs (that's 1 hour and 34 minutes-worth) of pure soul and hype. Kanye's Champion, Chance's Eternal, Travis Scott's Highest In the Room — this list makes you feel not just the gratitude of life in your bones but also the irresistible urge to move.

¡Viva Latino! by Spotify

Feel that sunny, summer vibe with nearly 3 hours of the most hip-shaking, muscle-moving Latinx beats around. Bad Bunny, Black Eyed Peas, Daddy Yankee, Prince Royce — the gang’s all here to keep the pump strong and your body moving.

Locked In by Spotify

This playlist was made for those days where you really, really just don’t want to work out. Loaded with the hottest hits from J. Cole, JID, Drake, Kanye, DaBaby, the heavy beats of this set pour energy into your ears — and straight to your muscles until they beg you to move just to get it out. 

Best Workout Playlist 2020 by TYTAN Universal Media

If it’s less about genre and more about heavy beats, this is your playlist. Aptly named, this list is regularly updated with the best of rap, EDM, and rock tracks — the three best genres for pumping the vibes and keeping the energy up.