One way many people are coping with self-isolation is creating and sticking to a routine, and in a lot of cases that includes regular workouts. Since heading to the gym isn't possible these days — and in some cities it may not even be possible to head outside for a morning walk or run — it's up to you to keep yourself motivated. And that's not always easy, but as exercise enthusiasts and experts alike will tell you, music can make a difference. By curating your fitness playlist songs (with a little help from those in the know) you could find yourself more inspired than ever to tackle your next sweat session.
No matter your current preferred form of fitness (virtual workouts, an improvised yoga flow, a ride on your indoor bike, etc) music can help you escape from your day and sink deeper into your routine. “I am not always motivated, as no human is 24/7, but music for me is a driving force and I think that if people are finding it hard to work out from home they should just put on some of their favorite tracks and it will help motivate them to move their bodies, even if just having an at-home dance party,” says Erica Hood, trainer and founder of HoodFit.
And Micah Golden-Grant, founder of GOLDENfitness believes that music and working out are equally capable of affecting your emotional state. “Working out for me has always been about freedom: From stress, from insecurity, from noise," he explains. "Music has been similar in its ability to spark emotion, represent memories and nostalgia, and to allow for release, reflection, escape, or focus. So combining music and exercise has become a pretty powerful soul food with the ability to say, ‘Everything is going to be okay’.”
Of course, musical selection is extremely personal, but if you're looking for a few tracks that are guaranteed to get your heart pumping, booty shaking, and goals absolutely crushed, the experts have a few suggestions. Ahead, find some favorites from top personal trainers and fitness pros that you should download before your next workout.
“Genetics” by Nicole Scherzinger and Meghan Trainor
Celebrity trainer Paolo Mascitti might be a bit biased, but for him, client/friend Nicole Scherzinger's latest song is one to add now. “To me it is the ultimate workout song right now, from the lyrics to the music," he says. "It's just one of those songs that, as soon as you hear it, it makes you want to break into a sweat.”
“One More Time” by Daft Punk
According to Mascitti, this house music classic isn't just great for dancing at the club — it's great for getting through an intense workout. “This is the song that you have to listen to when you need that extra bit to push through and finish that challenging workout,” he says.
“I Am Here” by Pink
“I love reminding the students in my class to stay strong with Pink's amazing lyrics,” says celebrity trainer and fitness expert Lacey Stone, who's been offering Zoom classes and virtual training sessions.
“Rhythm Is A Dancer” by Breathe Carolina and Dropgun
“I love this song because sometimes you gotta just dance your pain away and keep your passion alive," adds Stone. "That's what we all need to do during this crazy time!”
“Bodak Yellow (Forgotten Modern Remix)” by Forgotten Modern
Hood, who created a special Spotify playlist for anyone (but especially those who tune into her YouTube workouts) loves this remix of the song that put Cardi B on the map. “It's got Cardi B energy that instantly turns you into boss babe beast mode and makes you want to put in work while the remix gives you a great back beat tempo to turn up and do some cardio,” she says.
“Say So (Jax Jones Midnight Snack Remix)” by Doja Cat
Hood also turns to this recent hit when she needs to push through dance-inspired workouts. “I love Doja's voice remixed with a steady back beat that drops in and out with some serious bass which matches my dance fitness style and is perfect for the toning portion in my class,” she explains.
“Drive (Solardo Remix)” by Black Coffee & David Guetta
“The title of the song speaks for itself," says obé instructor Mary Wolff. "It's upbeat with a lot of depth. I feel super driven listening to this (pun intended) and usually throw it on when I'm running hills.”
“Burning” by Bob Sinclair
Wolff also counts on this joy-inducing track to get her going. "You can run, dance, jump, and lift to this song and it will instantly put you in a good mood," she says. And that's motivation enough sometimes!”
“Wrong Side of The Tracks” by Strung Out
“This song was playing in a car full of my friends in high school on our way to what is still one of my favorite surf days ever," shares Golden-Grant. "It always finds its way onto my workout playlists because of its representation of this kind of peace and simplicity. There's a line that says, ‘But tonight I've got the moon and the stars. Got a song in my head, and a pocket full of nothing,’ that says it all.”
“A Milli” by Lil Wayne
“It's less about the lyrics more about the vibe of 'don't mess with me' that gives 'A Milli' it's place on top for me personally," says Mandee Miller, who's currently teaching virtual classes with One Down Dog. That includes her infamous "Butt" class, for which she always curates custom playlists.
"Hate Me Now" by Nas featuring Puff Daddy
“The lyrics 'cause I won't stop now' really motivate me to push harder in a workout such as jumping rope or metabolic conditioning classes heavy with cardio mixed with strength elements," says Miller. "It's a timeless track that will forever be on my list of top hits.”
"Hold On" by Little Dragon
One Down Dog's lead teacher and brand experience manager Cindy Godell shares that this electronic song is a favorite of the studio's staff. “Sit in your feelings while dancing it out with this song off of Little Dragon's new album,” she says.
"We Got Love" by Teyana Taylor
Godell adds that the message of this song is part of what makes it so great to work out to. "Love is the new money: Self love, partner love, friend love — all good things to move and sweat to,” she says.