The ultimate workout playlist, according to a recent study
The promise of warmer weather (somewhere) on the horizon has given new vigor to what were once half-hearted New Year's resolutions to get fit. We all know exercise can be a bore and sticking to a workout regimen requires the patience and devotion of a patron saint. Yes, studies constantly tout the mental, physical and emotional benefits of hitting the treadmill, but what ultimately gets us through a workout is a stellar playlist.
- With your arms staying straight out and hands behind the head, target your tummy. Move around on the medicine ball to cover all areas of the big middle muscles in your body.
- Step class props are a fantastic resource for building a better behind. Try repeating squats both on the floor and on the step, and if your form is correct, you will be sore the next day--in a good way!
- Lunges and squats done in either a instructor-led class or on your own will lead you to sleek and strong lower body.
- Whatever you do, do it differently. Punching a gym clock is great, but you'll see results faster if you switch up your regimen. Try ten minutes on the newest elliptical machine and then run on a treadmill for another twenty minutes.
- A gym is full of equipment that can aid you in getting the body you want. Take advantage of the machine weights, like the one in this photo, and strengthen your chest and shoulders.
- A medicine ball is an incredibly useful tool at the gym. It's good for a lot of things, but incorporate it into your abdominal training to really feel the burn.
- Weight loss and a lean look are the result of lots of cardiovascular exercises. A stationary bike, stairmaster, or elliptical machine will get your heart pumping.
- Use a cable cord to implement resistance training into your routine and get the triceps and biceps that rival Sofia Vergara's.
- Running is a fantastic way to burn calories and shed extra pounds. Utilize your gym's treadmill to change the grade and speed of your workout.
- Strengthen your upper back and work your quadriceps and glute muscles all at the same time. Find a sturdy bench at the gym and do three reps of fifteen each slowly and steadily. Form is super important in performance.
With this is mind, researchers have been racking their brains to come up with a scientifically proven "ultimate workout music playlist." Sports psychologist Dr. Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University conducted one such study in conjunction with Spotify. Karageorghis and his team analyzed approximately 6.7 Spotify playlists containing the word "workout" in the title and in a nutshell, found that rap music is most conducive to keeping pace while running or jogging. Furthermore, "dance music is best suited to strength and weight training because it's fast, rhythmical and bass psyches people up before weight training sessions." Unsurprisingly, nostalgia also helps get you pumped: "...for maximum effect, people should use songs that remind them of their adolescence and early adulthood to make them feel youthful and fit," advises Karageorghis.
Celebrity trainer Joey Gonzalez had this to add: "During workouts, an hour-long mix of strength training and treadmill-based cardio intervals, we try to match our runs and exercises to the beat of our music. For example, timing the treadmill sprints to the chorus of a track with a great hook, or playing a slower song with bass for incline jogs, and even matching steady consistent beats for long endurance runs are all part of our strategy."
With this in mind, the researchers compiled an exercise playlist with song suggestions optimized for aerobic warm up, cardio, strength training and cool down. Throw in a few of your favorite heart-warming, upbeat oldies (you can bet we've got a playlist of those, too) and you'll be jamming through your workout without a hitch.
Check out the complete setlist below, or stream it through your Spotify player for easy listening.
Track 1: Mental preparation
Tracks 2 & 3: Stretching
Tracks 4 & 5: Aerobic warm-up
Tracks 6 & 7: Low-intensity cardio
Track 8: Moderate-intensity cardio
Tracks 9-11: High-intensity cardio
Tracks 12 & 13: Strength training
Track 14: Warm down
Now that you've got your soundtrack covered, check out the slideshow above for a comprehensive cross-training workout to accompany your tunes.
More from Elizabeth Street:
Morning Melt: A 15-Minute Treadmill Workout
The Best Arm Exercises for Women, Just In Time for Spring
Easy 5-Minute Cardio Workout
Online Exercise Classes that Bring the Gym to You