There’s nothing worse than breaking a sweat right at the moment your playlist chooses to shuffle out “A Whole New World.” Depending on your mood and your mindset, jams should either be perfectly in tune with your workout or so loud and bumping that you have no idea what your body is going through until you’ve sweated through your full routine.
In the interest of keeping your workout game high, we scoured boutique fitness studios in New York City known for the best workout songs on their mind-melting playlists. With the help of instructors from Y7 Studios, ((305)) Fitness, and Mile High Run Club, we’re put together playlists for your yoga, cardio, and long-distance run needs. (Or, you know, to play at your desk.)
A Sexy, Slow Burn Playlist for High-Energy Yoga
Good news: You don’t have have to listen to inspirational acoustic from your “Sunday Pick-Me-Up” playlist just because you’re doing yoga. With classes like Drake vs. Rihanna and Hip Hop Wednesdays, Y7 Studios uses tunes to bring some extra energy to your flow. But that doesn’t mean they’re just throwing on cardio jams that will bring down the namaste mindset in their 80-90 degree classes.
Instructor Joanna Ross-Tash tells me, “I spend a decent amount of time curating playlists to fit 60 minute yoga classes. The right song hits at the right moment with the right pose, you can feel like your dancing instead of working. The beginning and end of a class begs for wordless tunes. You need time to settle into a space and breath out those words cluttering your brain.” The playlist below moves from the light and ethereal, slowly increasing the tempo as you sink into your warm-up.
Eventually it turns to some slow burn beats. Ross-Tash explained, “You want to build the music slowly yet begin to pick up the pace. At the apex of a sequence in class, you are ready for the heavier sounds, the fastest pace.” Of course, it also features Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj’s “Feeling Myself” — a good recognizable track for the middle of class and some diva energy to channel as you flow.
Here’s the Y7 Studio playlist below:
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A Hot Playlist for A Crowd-Pleasing Dance Workout (Or a Party)
I’ve taken plenty of dance classes that include songs I last enjoyed at middle school homecoming. The studio ((305)) would never stand for anything over-played; their in-house DJ makes a solid workout feel like one of those dance parties that’s especially on point. Instructors make sure you get in your intervals and include a section of strength training, and you’ll be having so much fun you’ll forget that dropping it down is the same thing is a squat.
DJ Ardent, one of ((305))’s Master DJs, told us that he starts with a high energy song like the Chris Brown banger below to get the crowd going with a solid club beat. He keeps the flow going with high energy, catchy beats and throws in high intensity bursts. Our personal favorite is the cool down – Elle Varner’s sexy, feminine reimagining of 50 Cent’s “Birthday.”
Here’s the ((305)) playlist below (warning, it starts out LOUD!):
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A Sustained Energy Playlist For a Long-Distance Run
More than any other athlete, long-distance runners understand (and deserve, let’s be honest) a decent playlist. For runners who relish an extra shot of adrenaline, Mile High Run Club brings club vibes into their studio. Deborah Warner, Founder and Program Director, selected feel-good songs to keep you motivated plus hard-driving beats designed to get you to dig down deep – especially when hills are involved.
Here’s the Mile High Run Club playlist below:
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