The Best Exercise Music Playlist and Workout

exercise music

A few years ago I had just finished seeing a long day of patients at Harmony Pilates & Physical Therapy, and I was spent.  I had planned on staying an extra thirty minutes to workout but I had lost my mojo.  The studio was empty, I didn’t have anywhere else to be and I physically felt fine – I was just completely unmotivated to do anything.  Knowing I had no excuse not to workout, I figured I’d put on my favorite dance and exercise music and just make myself move.  I decided to do squats for a full song, then arm work for another song, etc…The next thing I know, thirty minutes are over, I have no idea what I just did and I’m sweating like a beast!  Mission accomplished.

Sometimes it can be really hard to motivate to workout.  One of the things that seems to hold me back sometimes is just deciding what to actually do for my workout.  I don’t want to have a big plan and I don’t want to count repetitions or constantly find weights and put others back.  I just want to “go” until the time is over.  This “Let The Music Move You Workout” is PERFECT for those times!

The basis of the workout is simply to burn out a muscle group by working it during an entire song.  You know there is an end in sight, but instead of obsessing over counting reps or what “should” come next in your routine, you are focused on music that motivates you and just getting through that song!  The next thing you know, another awesome song is on and it’s time to move again.  The beauty is that you are strengthening through your toning moves, and getting the cardio benefit of increased heart rate and blood flow.  Maybe you dance a little, maybe you get your groove on a little – it’s all good as long as you are moving!

When I do this exercise music workout, I don’t have much of a plan except to work every muscle group in some way (legs, arms and abdominals).  I try to do that muscle group through the entire song so that I really fatigue those muscle fibers and help them get stronger and leaner longterm.  For example, the first song I usually do squats.  I’ll start with regular squats, then add pulses and holds.  If the song isn’t over, I’ll go to single leg squats, or a wall sit, or plie squats, or some barre exercises at my desk chair.  Basically, anything that keeps my legs moving in the same way.  I follow the same guideline for arms and abs, and throw in some extra cardio for good measure.

plie squats
plie squats

I’ve given you my current favorite playlist for this Let The Music Move You Workout, and some general guidelines on what I try to incorporate when I do the workout.  Be creative!  If you are a ballerina, throw in your favorite moves and do one specifically for a song.  Same if you are a Crossfit lover –  you can do burpees for an entire song if you want.  Or create a killer yoga workout by doing sun salutations for one song, then holding Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and then Warrior 3 on each side for an entire song (now that would be an awesome balance and concentration workout!).

As with any workout, listen to your body and work to the level that’s right for you.  You don’t have to do these moves fast or go as hard as you can – the purpose is simply to get past the workout “blahs” and get into your body while having fun.  Stop if you have pain and take breaks whenever you need.

Your guideline for the Let The Music Move You Workout with this specific playlist:

Let The Music Move You Playlist

Let The Music Move You Workout

Bailando – LEGS (squats, single leg squats, plie’s, sumo squats – add pulses or holds for more of a workout)

Scream – CARDIO (20 seconds of squat jumps, 10 second break. Switch it up with burpees, jumping lunges, jumping jacks, jogging in place, high knees, etc…)

Maps – ARMS (push-ups on knees or in full plank or just against a wall or table, tricep dips, arm lifts with small hand weights, bicep curls, etc…)

Roar – ABDOMINALS (I do my Pilates abdominal series a few times, but you can also do crunches, bicycle crunches, reverse leg lifts, etc…)

The Monster – LEGS

Let It Rock – CARDIO

Turn Me On – ARMS

I Lived – ADOMINALS (planks!)

Bitter Sweet Symphony – cool down, rest, stretch and congratulate yourself!

This entire workout is about 36 minutes long, and you can see you go through two rounds of legs, cardio, arms and abs.  Switch it up however you need to or change the music, and don’t worry about reps or constantly checking a mirror – this workout is just meant to get you moving and to have some fun while you do it!

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