15 Best Old School Hip-Hop Workout Songs

When it comes to workout music, nothing beats old school hip-hop. And by "old school," I mean late-70s through early 90s. That was a time of vigorous energy, hip-hop bravado and crew battles -- topics conducive to propulsive tunes.

Below, I've compiled a list of old school hip-hop songs perfect for a workout session.

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MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This


You haven't fully lived until you've flexed your pubococcygeus muscles to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This."

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C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make U Sweat (Everybody Dance)


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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Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two


"It Takes Two" is a timeless old-school hip-hop hit that gets everybody moving and grooving. It's suitable for both gym sessions and block parties.

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Black Sheep - The Choice is Yours


Before it became known as the unofficial anthem of Kia hamsters, Black Sheep's hit single was a party favorite. 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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A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario Remix (Ft. Busta Rhymes)


Usually known for their mellow jazzed-tinged tunes, Tribe sped up the beat, threw in a verse from Busta Rhymes and made a real kick-ass track.

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Onyx - Slam


No old school hip-hop workout playlist is complete without Onyx's biggest hit ever. This one gets your adrenaline pumping, so bump it when you're ready to go faster on the treadmill.

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Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill a Man


Admittedly insane-in-the-membrane MCs swap ideas on how to improve world peace. Nyat.

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Wu-Tang - Protect Ya Neck


In case you forgot, the mighty Wu Tang Clan has been bringing da ruckus to gyms since the days of George H. W. Bush. You best protect ya neck, son.

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Salt-N-Pepa - Push It


As a kid, I thought this song was about pushing carts. It was only in my teens that I finally put salt and pepper together. This hot and vicious anthem is perfect for both the gym and the bedroom.

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Luke - I Wanna Rock


A super high BPM joint that will definitely help you burn a few calories. Just try keeping up with the beat and you'll be working up sweat in no time.

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Young MC - Bust a Move


At the gym, in your living room or on the dance floor: just "Bust a Move."

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House of Pain - Jump Around


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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Afrika Bambaataa - Planet Rock


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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LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out


Ah, the ring walk fave of every professional boxer in the 90s. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" is indeed the soundtrack to a punching session. Besides, seeing LL's pecs will make anyone hit the gym for their own long overdue workout session. The sepia music video of a hooded up LL and a microphone in the boxing ring is a thing of beauty

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N.W.A. - "Straight Outta Compton'"


"Straight Outta Compton'" is an audacious hit song from N.W.A.'s best days. It still resonates today, especially with the frustrations of the young, black and persecuted.