The Top 20 Rock Workout Songs

The Ultimate Rock Workout Mix

A young woman with smartphone in an arm band standing outdoors in the city, stretching.
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Whether exercising is something you love or loathe, the perfect workout mix can help you burn off those calories while enjoying great music at the same time. With that in mind, here are 20 energetic rock tunes that are sure to get your adrenaline flowing and your feet moving.

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Nickelback: 'Something in Your Mouth'

Lyrically, this Nickelback ode to a gold digger is pretty objectionable. Musically, the fast-paced rhythm makes this "Dark Horse" track an ideal workout song. Credit producer Mutt Lange for teaching this Canadian post-grunge band how to get their groove on.

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Audioslave: 'Show Me How to Live'

This Audioslave cut isn't intended for high-energy workouts. Instead, "Show Me How to Live" is a slow burner that keeps ratcheting up the tension, making it a track that's well-suited for long-distance runs when you need endurance, not speed. Cheering you on is Chris Cornell and his powerful pipes.

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Stone Temple Pilots: 'Sex Type Thing'

Because of the aggressive guitars and drums on this Stone Temple Pilots track, it's easy just to move to the music without even thinking about the lyrics. But this great workout song has an edge to it—singing from the perspective of a dangerous sexual predator, frontman Scott Weiland turns that aggression into a commentary on a dangerous mind.

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Saving Abel: 'New Tattoo'

Saving Abel fluctuate between relationship ballads and Southern-fried rock. "New Tattoo" is definitely in the latter category, offering a sexy story about a road-tripper, a good-looking hitchhiker, and the misadventures that follow. Subtlety isn't this band's strong suit, but they know how to get hips shaking.

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Alice in Chains: 'Dam That River'

Few bands do snarling menace better than Alice in Chains, and on "Dam That River," they locked into a particularly epic groove. Frontman Layne Staley's demented vocals intertwine with Jerry Cantrell's fuzzed-up guitar, resulting in a song that plays like a clenched fist of unbridled rage. That'll work out some tension for you.

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Rev Theory: 'Hell Yeah'

The opening track to Rev Theory's "Light It Up" sets the tone for the rest of this high-octane record. "Hell Yeah" wants to do nothing more than tear down the road with a bunch of loud guitars and lead singer Rich Luzzi's frenzied hey hey heys. The song barely stops for breath.

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Shinedown: 'Devour'

From Barry Kerch's opening martial drums, this Shinedown song builds ​and builds until the guitars explode at the start of the first verse. From there, "Devour" shows no mercy, definitely getting your heart rate up in short order. Though "Devour" is a staunch antiwar anthem, its vibrancy makes it a good tune for preparing for your next sporting event.

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Velvet Revolver: 'Slither'

At first, "Slither" doesn't seem like a good workout song, but the quiet opening quickly gives way to Slash's propulsive guitar solo and Scott Weiland's emphatic "Hey!" Moving from revved-up highs to slowed-down lows, the song gives you a burst of energy when you need to take it up a notch.

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Slipknot: 'Psychosocial'

The guitars on "All Hope Is Gone"'s lead single fly all over the place before settling into a pounding, energetic groove. Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor is a world-class screamer, which ought to get your pulse pounding in seconds flat.​

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Buckcherry: 'Crazy B****'

Buckcherry craft a particular type of workout song known semi-affectionately as stripper-rock—sexy tunes about bad girls that are full of lothario bravado. This crude, hooky number (about an unhealthy sex-not-love relationship) is absolutely not meant for kids but is a heart-pumping tune for adults.

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Saliva: 'Ladies and Gentlemen'

Saliva has a knack for writing up-tempo rock songs that sound great during sporting events. The Tennessee band's best moment is this adrenaline-fueled anthem that asks emphatically, "Do you want it? Do you need it?" If you listen to "Ladies and Gentlemen" while working out, just be careful not to start screaming along with the words if you're around other people—it might be a little embarrassing.

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Papa Roach: 'Last Resort'

Stomping and swearing, Papa Roach get your workout moving with "Last Resort," a tangled ball of rapped vocals and jagged guitars. Ironically, the song is about giving up on life, but the band's energy is so propulsive that it feels downright life-affirming. When you need to psych yourself up for a grueling workout, turn to this track.

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Nine Inch Nails: 'Head Like a Hole'

Nine Inch Nails make a lot of moody, downbeat music, but Trent Reznor has written some great uptempo material, too. "Head Like a Hole" is a song about defiance, but its danceable rhythms make it impossible to resist in the club or at the gym.

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Queens of the Stone Age: 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer'

A song that celebrates drugs, this opening cut from Queens of the Stone Age's ​"Rated R" is all scorching guitars and clanging pianos. And the lyrics ("Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol") are chanted in such a demonically rhythmic way that you'll be probably be singing along like a depraved cheerleader soon enough.

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Limp Bizkit: 'Nookie'

Even if you think Limp Bizkit are just a bunch of immature knuckleheads, how can you deny the amped-up rap-rock classic "Nookie"? Moving from steely, stripped-down verses to explosive choruses, "Nookie" is a great energy boost, especially if you want a soundtrack to your bad mood.

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AC/DC: 'Thunderstruck'

Angus Young's fleet-fingered fretwork kickstarts this AC/DC rocker off "The Razor's Edge," but it's the chanted lyrics that have made it a sports-stadium hallmark. Typical for these Aussie legends, "Thunderstruck" works well in the gym, on the track, and even in the bar with your buddies doing crazy air guitar along with Angus.

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Rage Against the Machine: 'Testify'

Tom Morello's buzzing guitar sets the tone for "Testify," and then the rest of Rage Against the Machine join in, taking the energy to a high level of intensity. Rage specialized in angry rallying cries, and "Testify" is arguably their most inspired blast of musical fury.

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Kid Rock: 'Bawitdaba'

At the height of his merger of rock and rap, Kid Rock gave us "Bawitdaba," his all-bragging, all-cocky signature track. It's impossible not to get up and move when Rock commands you to "get in the pit and try to love someone," but the earth-rattling track helps seal the deal.

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Metallica: 'Enter Sandman'

"Enter Sandman" came out all the way back in 1991, but its cultural ubiquity remains undiminished—you still hear it at huge sporting events like the Super Bowl. Part of the explanation is that Metallica crafted one of the great adrenaline-soaked rockers of all time, as the song's quiet intro leads to a menacing, inspiring barrage of guitars and drums, which sounds like a fearsome army marching into battle.​

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White Zombie: 'More Human Than Human'

Rob Zombie delivered the definitive rock workout song by merging metal, hip-hop, and industrial on this White Zombie tune. Nobody knows what any of the words mean, but the sheer energy of Zombie's rapped vocals and the shredding guitars will make you want to smash through a wall, run a marathon, become heavyweight champion of the world, and then execute 1,000 perfect slam dunks. Yeah, "More Human Than Human" is that good.