Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
10 Workout Cover Songs
When compiling a workout playlist, one is often trying to strike a balance between what’s fresh and what’s familiar. On the former front, you want songs that sound new enough to inspire movement. At the same time, you also need tunes that you know and love.
Since cover songs embody both criteria—by casting old favorites in a new light—they provide an easy way to liven up a mix in a jiffy. We’ve compiled a few recent favorites, starting with an updated take on a Pat Benatar classic and closing out with a blessing of the rains down in Africa. In between, you’ll hear Ryan Adams deliver a ragged version of a Tegan and Sara favorite, Cher tackling an ABBA tune from the Mamma Mia sequel and Q-Tip and Demi Lovato reworking a duet originally recorded by Elton John and Kiki Dee.
Whether you listen out of curiosity or love, most of the tunes below should be the musical equivalent of comfort food—feeling instantly familiar even in a new guise. So, survey the lot and see what you think. Then, when the outdoors beckon, grab your favorites and go.
To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routines.