“Want to Want Me.” “Red.” “Single Ladies.” This is the stuff treadmill level seven dreams are made of. But even the best of Beyoncé can’t always do the trick when it comes to turning up the heat on your workout (though perhaps organizing a workout with your S.O. just might…). And when it comes to music on the go, we love the ease, streamlined layout and nearly endless catalog of music Spotify has to offer. So we tapped Spotify Trend Expert Shanon Cook for her best tips on having your best workout ever.
1. Go ahead, blast that pop. “Studies have shown that women like to work out in time to the beat more so than men, so pop is always a great option if you’re looking for a genre to keep you going on the treadmill (pop songs tend to have a steady beat),” offers Cook. “Current pop songs I recommend: Jess Glynne’s ‘Hold My Hand’ and Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Run Away With Me.'”
2. Trying to up your intensity? Try this. “If you’re looking to push yourself, choose songs with a slightly higher BPM (beats per minute) than what you’re comfortable with and you’ll strive to match the beat as you work out,” suggests Cook. Runner? “Try Spotify’s new running app, which detects your running pace and matches music to it. You can also tell it what your desired BPM is!” (Warning: Once you try it, you’ll reach favorite-band-just-dropped-their-summer-tour-dates levels of bliss)
3. Power up your workout with inspirational songs with lyrics. The playful verses and alluring southern drawls on Spotify’s Country Music Summer Playlist gets us raring to go like WHOA. “Lyrics are your friend, so use them to your advantage! I like to work out to songs that have a motivating message or a pump-up chorus, like Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ (guys especially like ‘Eye of The Tiger’),” offers Cook. “Another song that pushes me is Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).’ [It] helps to have songs like that at the beginning of your workout playlist to help you get your head in the game. I also like to put them right in the middle of the playlist (or the middle of my workout) because that’s when I start to feel strain and could use some help to get me over the hump.” Need some inspo just to work out, period? Try these lazy girl workouts we love.
4. Time your workout playlist properly. “It’s a good idea to match the length of the playlist to your workout,” advises Cook. “If you’re going to sweat for 60 minutes, don’t make the playlist much longer than that and include a couple of warm-down songs at the end (I love Mr Probz’ ‘Waves’ as a warm-down song).” Like your workouts short and sweet? Try these 10-minute workouts, and for your playlist’s sake, hopefully you’re not a Phish fan. Unless listening to a third of a song is your thing.
5. Listen to music when you flow. No news flash here: Meghan Trainor probably isn’t your best bet for yoga. But listening to music when you do yoga can actually be a great way to maintain focus and stay motivated. It can even help you become more in tune with your body. “A couple of songs I like to incorporate into my yoga routine are Angus and Julia Stone’s ‘Little Bird’ and Feist’s ‘Honey Honey.’ Minimalist music works best for yoga, so it doesn’t detract from your mental focus,” Cook chimes in. And we’re kind of obsessed with Spotify’s If Heaven Had a Hipster Yoga Class playlist.
6. Mix it on up. Music ADD is encouraged when it comes to supercharging your workout. “If you’re someone who gets bored easily, don’t be afraid to vary the musical genres and tempos in your playlist,” comments Cook. “For most people, getting started is the hardest part of working out, so kicking off with a highly motivational song, like Alicia Keys’ ‘Girl On Fire,’ (which also has a great warm-up tempo) helps.”
7. Let the good times roll, literally. Ever notice that when you bust into a total elliptical groove and crank up the resistance, it just happens to be when a song that reminds you of a particularly good good time pops up on shuffle? “Music is such a personal choice, and experts we’ve talked to have told us that it can help to include a song that you have a positive association with. Maybe there was a song that reminds you of an exhilarating road trip you took years ago, or a song that takes you back to a time in your life when you were particularly happy and curious about life,” says Cook. Whatever it is, add it to your workout playlist. Newbies: Gather some ideas from choices like GET FIT: The Ultimate Workout Mix on Spotify and visualize yourself front row at that concert, or, you know, hopping over a fence to sneak into lawn seats.
Share with us: What workout tune can’t you live without? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)