Best R&B Songs for Working Out

Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Usher Are Great for Getting Blood Pumping

Runner stretching in sunny rural field
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R&B might be best known as soft, grooving lovers' music, but every once in a while R&B artists release a high energy song perfect for the treadmill or a Zumba class. As artists like Usher, Beyonce and Alicia Keys have demonstrated over the years, the R&B genre is not just "blues" it has great rhythms that are perfect for burning calories.

Check out this list for some of the best R&B songs for listening to while working out at the gym, going out for a run or any other activity that requires high energy and motivation.

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"Survivor," Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child Meet Their Fans in New York
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"Survivor," by Destiny's Child is a near-perfect workout song. From the defiant lyrics to the soaring music to the strong lyrics, Destiny's Child managed to create one of the all-time best power anthems. The song drives home motivation. And, it is reflected in the lyrics: "I'm a survivor, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna stop, I'm gon work harder, I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it."

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"New Day," Alicia Keys

"New Day," a track from Keys' 2012 album, features hard-thumping hip-hop production by her husband, Swizz Beatz. The upbeat, fast-paced backing music overpowers the vocals throughout much of the song, but the positive, optimistic vibe in Keys' voice is pretty clear.

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"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," was released in 1979 when disco music was still the craze. Jackson added some funk to this track, which is part of the reason it has managed to become so legendary. The message in the title can be applied to the gym, the dance floor or just about anything.

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"Walking," Mary Mary

This song, which has spiritual overtones, features the duo Mary Mary singing about overcoming adversity. The song's lyrics are highly motivational, "Look at me, I'm trying. Every day I fall down. I make mistakes. Get back up. Try again," Mary Mary sings. "Next time that you see me I'm walking, I'm walking, I'm walking."

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"2 Reasons (Clean Version)," Trey Songz feat. T.I.

On "2 Reasons," Trey Songz is in full party mode with the rapper T.I., singing about the two reasons he's in a club: the ladies and the drinks. The song's lyrics are not as motivational as much as the beats are pumping. The thumping beat is perfect for a treadmill or lifting weights.

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"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," Beyonce

This is an upbeat dance anthem that took off after the music video's prancing and dancing landed on TV screens and computer monitors. On "Single Ladies," Beyonce addresses women in the song, but really, she is sending a message to men: "If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it," she sings.

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"100 Yard Dash," Raphael Saadiq

"100 Yard Dash," is a short-but-sweet treat from singer-musician Raphael Saadiq's 2008 album, "The Way I See It." The two-minute, 18-second ditty is about a man who is "running fast, I'm running to honey your (dash). " The song has a fun, energetic classic R&B vibe to it.

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"How You Love It," Ester Dean feat. Missy Elliott

"How You Love It," a song by Ester Dean features Missy Elliot in this booty-clapping power jam that sounds like it was custom-made to be played in a strip club. The theme is sex, the lyrics drive that point home and driving rhythm keeps the blood pumping. 

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"Tightrope," Janelle Monae

"Tightrope," the first single from Janelle Monae's 2010 album, "The ArchAndroid" is a funky soul-meets-hip-hop fast-paced number that by just listening to it brings up a person's heart rate.

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"OMG," Usher feat.

"OMG," a the single is one of the biggest songs of Usher's career. The backing music and chorus are teeming with high-energy beats. This song has the power to push a person to go out and climb a mountain.

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"Celebrate," Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks

The soundtrack for the 2012 remake of the film "Sparkle" features a duet "Celebrate" sung by the late Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, who starred in the movie as mother and daughter. The song, which was written and produced by R. Kelly, is a fun, upbeat and family-friendly song.

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"Jumpin' Jumpin'," Destiny's Child

Club hopping is the theme of "Jumpin', Jumpin'" from the days when Destiny's Child was a four-woman group. The song is an infectious tune, particularly due to the chorus, "Ladies leave your man at home. The club is full of ballers and their pockets full grew. And all you fellas leave yo girl with her friends. 'Cause it's 11:30 and the club are jumpin', jumpin'."

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"Do My Thing," Estelle feat. Janelle Monae

Estelle and Janelle Monae take the time to appreciate and celebrate diversity on "Do My Thing," a song from Estelle's second U.S. album, "All of Me." On the duet, the Estelle and Monae make it clear that they are happy being unique and that anyone who does not understand or appreciate that can get lost. The upbeat song is great for higher RPMs on an elliptical machine.

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"Sweat," Ciara feat. 2 Chainz

"Sweat" is a dance song that is practically custom-made for calorie burning. Sweat is in the title, and all throughout the lyrics: "You let me in your head, watch you learn some. Tryin' to see you sweat, watch you burn some. Let me in your head, watch you learn some. Tryin' to see you sweat, watch you burn some."

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"Scream," Usher

The sexually-charged and highly energetic dance track "Scream" is sort of similar thematically to Usher's 2008 hit "Love in This Club." In "Scream," which was co-written by Savan Kotecha and produced by Max Martin and Shellback, Usher sings, "I see you over there so hypnotic, thinkin' 'bout what I'd do to that body" and "Got no drink in my hand but I'm wasted, gettin' drunk off the thought of you naked."

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"Just Fine," Mary J. Blige

"Just Fine," which was produced by Jazze Pha and Tricky Stewart is a sunny, optimistic and upbeat song. Blige sings about how great life is, "I ain't gonna let nothin' get in my way, no matter what nobody has to say."  The song is from her album, "Growing Pains," which was released in November 2007.

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"Danger," Nikki & Rich

Nikki & Rich released the R&B/hip-hop track "Danger" in 2011, which features the rapper Hayes, formerly of Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label. The song is about a woman who is dealing with a womanizing man. The song has an addictive beat and clever lyrics that compare the man to a weapon and his various women to bullets. "Like a loaded gun, I'm not your only one, you got more in the chamber," Nikki sings. "And I smell danger."