The best genres of music for running and working out

When you’re running (or doing any cardio exercise), it’s important to find a rhythm. And there’s no easier way to find one than by listening to music. However, choose the wrong playlist and you will slow down without even realising it. No one wants to listen to a power ballad when they’re trying to do a 10K run. So, if you’re tired of the same old songs, check out this guide. Here are the best genres of music for running and working out.

Top 40 dance hit

Look at the top 40 songs in the dance chart, and you’re pretty much guaranteed the perfect running playlist. Dance music has a strong backbeat, which makes it perfect for cardio. You’ll also find that a lot of the songs have a high tempo, so they will push you to move quicker. Plus, the great thing about top 40 dance hits is that you don’t have to make your own playlist. Just put the radio on or download a top 40 playlist.


Hip-hop can be perfect for running and other forms of cardio. Choose the up-tempo tracks, and you’ll find the perfect rhythm in no time. Old-school hip-hop is better suited to exercise because the tracks were aggressive and very rhythmic. New hip-hop is hit and miss. However, there are still some turns that work perfectly. Search for hip-hop running playlists, and you will find something to suit your needs.

Heavy metal

Believe it or not, heavy metal is one of the best genres of music for exercise. The extremely high-tempo songs will push you to move faster and faster. Plus, the aggressive nature of the music will light a fire inside your soul. Be warned, though, if you get too into the music and start screaming along, you could end up giving someone the fright of their life.

Sports anthems

When a song becomes a sports anthem, it means it will live forever in the hearts and minds of fans. However, it’s not that easy to pinpoint why these songs are chosen to represent certain sports or teams. What is certain is that they are all pretty inspiring, which makes them perfect for exercise. Then, after you’ve listened to your team’s song, you’re going to be in the perfect mood to put a bet on the Euros with Fotball EM 2021.

Big band

This one might not be as obvious as the others, but it’s perfect for people that aren’t fans of modern music. Big band jazz is one of the most upbeat genres around. Popular in the first half of the 20th century, this genre of music still has a big following, and there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. You probably won’t find a dedicated big band exercise playlist, so you might have to make your own.

Gypsy jazz

Gypsy jazz is another form of jazz music that originated in France. It’s traditionally played on string instruments and without a drummer. The lack of a drummer means that the guitars have to play very rhythmically, which makes it a great alternative genre for exercise. If you’re looking for an old-school genre of music that will keep your legs moving, this is definitely one to check out. There are plenty of good playlists on Spotify and Apple Music to get you started.