40 Best Hip-Hop Workout Songs

Spice up your gym routine with these hip-hop hits

We can all break the monotony of daily workouts by adding some vibrant hip-hop music to the mix. Without a doubt, music is the quickest way to shake things up and help couch potatoes spring into exercise action. I found the 40 best hip-hop workout songs to help spice up your gym routine. See if your picks match ours.

Stream this Playlist: Click "Public Playlists" and "The Workout Plan" on Spotify here.

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DMX - "Ruff Ryders' Anthem"

Scott Gries / Getty Images

DMX shut the game down with this street hit from It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. Perfect for when you're ready to show everyone at the gym how you roll. 

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C & C Music Factory - "Gonna Make You Sweat"

C and C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
Courtesy Columbia

Yes, I know this sounds like it came from an installment of VH1’s “I Love the 90’s,” but you can bet your last dollar that all the top gyms bumped this song heavily at one point.

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Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz - "Get Low"

Lil Jon "Get Low"
Courtesy TVT

To the window, to the wall, 'till the sweat drops down your... ah, well any part of your anatomy as you keep it movin’ to this strip club anthem.

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Run DMC - "King of Rock"

RUN DMC "King of Rock"
Courtesy Arista Records

"I'm the king of rock, there is none higher/Sucker MCs should call me sire" are the words that kick off the title track from Run DMC's 1985 album. No one rocks bombast like the kings from Queens.

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The Roots - "Here I Come"

The Roots "Game Theory"
Courtesy Def Jam
The Roots are known for the slick instrumental improvising at their shows, more so than making people bounce, but they have quite a few songs that could amp up a workout. "Here I Come," one of the standout songs on Game Theory, is a gym favorite for many. ("Adrenaline," featuring a sick verse from Beanie Siegel, also comes to mind.)
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Twista - "Slow Jamz" (Featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx)

Twista - "Slow Jamz"
Courtesy Atlantic
Ironically, there is nothing slow about this song. The beat remains at a fast tempo and Twista's flow will make anyone pedal faster on the stationary bike. Also good for cool-down routines. (Want an even faster mix? Try the Collipark remix for size.)
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Rob Base and D.J. EZ Rock - "It Takes Two"

Rob Base It Takes Two
Courtesy Profile
This is a super old-school classic that gets everybody up and moving.
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Pharoahe Monch - "Simon Says"

Pharoahe Monch - "Simon Says"
Courtesy Rawkus

When Pharoahe spits "Simon says, get the f*ck up" in the infectious hook, you’ll eagerly comply.

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Kanye West - "The New Workout Plan"

Kanye West "College Dropout"
Courtesy Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam

You can bet that Kanye West's "New Workout Plan" is on rotation in iPods at gyms all over the world.

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Black Sheep - "The Choice Is Yours"

Black Sheep
Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

I dare you not to pick up the workout pace to this song especially after the "engine, engine, number nine" chant.

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Wu-Tang Clan - "Protect Ya Neck"

Wu-Tang Clan - "Protect Ya Neck"
Courtesy Loud Records

A classic Wu song and a real body mover.

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T.I. - "What You Know"

Frank Mullen/WireImage
The video features the lithe MC bench pressing, but the song is about pushing weight of a different kind entirely.
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M.O.P. - "Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory)"

Mikamote / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

This is an aggressive street anthem that will make you want to get to the nearest punching bag and go wild.

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LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out"

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
Courtesy Def Jam

A lot of guys probably saw a muscular L.L. at the punching bag and decided they were long overdue in starting their own exercise programs. It was also the proverbial walk-to-the-ring song for professional boxers in the '90s.

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A Tribe Called Quest - "Scenario"

A Tribe Called Quest - "Scenario"
Courtesy Jive Records

Tribe was usually known for super mellow jazzed-out tunes. This is no exception to their smoothness, but speed up the beat, add Busta Rhymes and you’ve got a real kick-ass workout track.

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Trick Daddy - "Take It to Da House"

Trick Daddy
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

The video features Trick Daddy and Trina at a high school pep rally. The happy sample from K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes" makes for upbeat fun.

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Smif-N-Wessun - "Bucktown"

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Smif-N-Wessun (aka Cocoa Brovaz) pay respects to the "home of the original gun clappers." When people say they miss that good ol' hip-hop, this is what they're talking about. Reminisce, reminisce, yo.

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DJ UNK - "Walk It Out"

Ben Rose/WireImage
Big dance songs inevitably make for some of the best workout music. "Walk It Out" is no exception, especially the remix. As soon as you hear Andre 3000 say "I walk it out like an usher…" It's on!
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House of Pain - "Jump Around"

House of Pain
Catherine McGann/Getty Images
Can you really remember any other songs by this group anyway? This is arguably one of the hypest workout songs ever.
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The Beastie Boys - "No Sleep Till Brooklyn"

Beastie Boys
Dave Hogan/Getty Images

A BK tribute that doubles as a chest-pumping exercise for the Beasties. Gotta love that Brooklyn spirit.

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Daddy Yankee - "Gasolina"

Daddy Yankee
John Parra/WireImage
Even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, you’re going to get pumped up when the beat drops.
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Soulja Boy - "Crank That"

Soulja Boy - Crank That
Courtesy Interscope

I was working out at my fitness club when one of the employees and a club patron broke out into the "Crank That" dance in the middle of the floor. For just a second, I was tempted to jump off the treadmill and join them.

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Eminem - "Lose Yourself"

Michael Caulfield Archive/WireImage

"Lose Yourself" has the double advantage of being both inspirational and instructional. Em instructs you to "lose yourself in the moment," while the beat motivates you to move your feet. Whether you're gearing up for warm-up or cool-down, the mid-tempo pace will definitely get your body moving.

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Crime Mob - "Knuck If You Buck"

Crime Mob - "Knuck If You Buck"
Courtesy Crunk Incorporated
You're bound to move with the hard-edged crunk that's all about a good fight here.
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50 Cent - "In Da Club"

50 cent "In Da Club"
Courtesy Interscope
"In Da Club" is absolutely one of the best hip-hop workout songs, mostly because of the catchy, well-paced beat. The video features 50 training for endurance to succeed in the rap game, and many have been following suit to get in shape in their own lives.
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Kanye West - "Stronger"

Kanye West
Dave Hogan/Getty Images

A good friend of mine is a spin instructor at a gym in her area, and Kanye West's Daft Punk-inspired mega-hit is just one weapon in her arsenal. This song also kicked off a strong relationship between Yeezy and Daft Punk, and the two acts would later team up again on Yeezus.

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Onyx - "Slam"

Al Pereira / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

"Slam" is arguably Onyx's biggest song ever. It's also a perfect song for any kind of exercise.

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Mobb Deep - "Survival of the Fittest"

Mob Deep"Survival of the Fittest"
Courtesy Loud Records

Havoc's haunting loop + Prodigy's salvo of threats = Perfect warm-up music. If you like "Survival of the Fittest," you might also like: "Shook Ones Pt. II"

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Kendrick Lamar - "Backseat Freestyle"

Kendrick Lamar - Good kid, m.A.A.d city
Courtesy Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope

Hungry like a starving rookie with everything to prove, Kendrick Lamar spazzed out on this pumped up hit from his debut. Every great rapper has, at least, one of these blackout cuts where they basically go in and wild out on the beat...just because. This was K. Dot's blackout moment on his first album.

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Luke - "I Wanna Rock"

Luke I Wanna Rock

This is a super high energy, high BPM joint that will definitely burn calories. Just keeping up with the beat alone is enough to make you sweat.

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Big Daddy Kane - "Ain't No Half Steppin'"

Big Daddy Kane - "Ain't No Half Steppin'"
Courtesy Cold Chillin'

Mr. Asiatic drops "some smooth lyrics" while delivering a lesson on emceeing en route to arguably his biggest hit ever.

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Kool G Rap - "Poison"

Kool G. Rap
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kool G Rap is the goddaddy of a special brand of hardcore hip-hop. He influenced the likes of Rakim and Black Thought and Nas and anyone else who has ever married gangstarism with lyricism. And on "Poison," you can hear G Rap "making you feel the real deal."

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Cypress Hill - I Ain't Going Out Like That

Cypress Hill
David Tonge/Getty Images

The skit at the end is hilarious and almost as energy-inducing as the bassline backing the entire thing. This is Cypress Hill at their trash-talking finest.

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Big Daddy Kane - "Set It off"

Big Daddy Kane
Raymond Boyd / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

This BDK firecracker is something of a hip-hop motivational speech that will give you the boost you need to get up and get moving.

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Afrika Bambaataa - "Planet Rock"

Afrika Bambaataa "Planet Rock"
Courtesy Warner Bros. Records

Bambaataa was looking for the perfect beat. Instead, he found the magnetism of electro-rap and changed the game in the process. Not a bad deal.

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Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"

Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Courtesy Def Jam

Chuck D's fiery rhymes + the Bomb Squad's blustering beat = perfect running music.

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N.W.A. - "100 Miles and Runnin'"

N.W.A. - "100 Miles and Runnin'"
Courtesy Ruthless Records

"100 Miles and Runnin'" isn't merely a great workout song; it's also a street classic that still resonates with the frustrations of the young, black and persecuted.

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Kool Moe Dee - "I Go to Work"

Kool Moe Dee
Paul Natkin/WireImage

 Every line delivered with surgical precision. Every bar constructed with meticulous care. Every jab delivered with a deft flow. By far Kool Moe Dee's greatest work.

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Eminem - "Till I Collapse"

Kevin Kane/WireImage

"Till I Collapse" is one of Eminem's best songs. It's an excellent choice for days when you need a little motivation to get you up and running. Till the wheels come off, till the lights go out, till your legs give out, till your bones collapse.

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OutKast - "B.O.B"

OutKast - "B.O.B"
Courtesy LaFace

If this doesn’t make you move, you don’t have a pulse. The lead single off the classic Stankonia album is a sure enough gym-banger. "B.O.B" also enjoys the double honor of being named the best rap song of the 2000s.