World Music Workout Playlist

When I was at the gym this morning, I realized that my most effective workout playlist is travel-themed and samples music from various cultures, so I thought I would share it with you all!

I’m not sure if the songs are just more motivating, or if they remind me why I’m putting in so much effort (Machu Picchu, I haven’t forgotten you!). But one thing is for sure – it really helps me work up a sweat!

I tend to do my cardio on the elliptical, so my notes are related to a 30-minute workout on that equipment. If I’m feeling particularly lazy, I’ll just fit in this 30-minute elliptical workout and call it a day, but today I had plenty of energy, so I had my 25-minute personal training session (which focuses on strength training) and then completed the cardio workout below.

  1. Yoshida Brothers – Inside the Sun Remix

    Great to get warmed up and into the groove! I like to keep the resistance at medium (5-6) and the incline low (1-2), and just relax/loosen up while matching my steps to the beat.
  2. African Herbsman – Bob Marley (Remixed By Sen Dog Of Cypress Hill)
    I like to turn up the resistance (10-11) and slow it down a bit for a long hard climb (incline around 8-10). At the end of the song I’ll drop the resistance to 5 for about 30 seconds of recovery.
  3. Jai Ho – A. R. Rahman (from Slumdog Millionaire)
    Time to up the speed and resistance again. Here I like to make it a little tougher (resistance 8-10, incline 5-6), because the song is great at keeping you going when you feel like you’re exhausted. Right when you’re feeling like quitting, it splits into the beat-heavy dance section and you get a second wind.
  4. Hips Don’t Lie / Bamboo – Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean (from FIFA World Cup 2006)

    Now for a little recovery. I like to turn the resistance down (5-6) and the incline up (8-10) and just go along with the beat.
  5. Indian Fever – David Starfire
    This next song helps you to work up to the next song, so I like to take it a little easy here. I put the resistance up (8-10) and the incline down (2-4) and just zone out to the beat.
  6. River Deep, Mountain High – Glee Cast Version
    Almost done, so just gotta push through this final high intensity song. I like to keep the resistance low (5-6) and incline flat for one last sprint. It might not be “world music” to someone in the US, but it is a fantastically motivating workout song!
  7. Barcelona Sunsets – Armik
    This is a great cool down song, because it is very relaxing and chill after the last song. Here I just turn the resistance down (3-4) and relax my legs, straighten my posture, and take some deep breaths.

Do you have any other suggestions for world-inspired workout music?

Categories: Entertainment

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. Nice! Thank you, I’m always looking for more workout tracks. I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with Alors on Danse by Stromae – an Afro-Belgian DJ singing in French ( The tracks pace is good for that point in your workout when you transition from a warm up walk to a jog.

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I checked it out and I do like the steady beat, it seems like it would be good to zone out for a few minutes with this track 🙂 I want to get back into running now that it’s warming up a bit (though I’m a bit nervous, I haven’t gone for a run since I broke my foot last year, I’ve been sticking to low impact cardio). I’ll have to start thinking about a playlist for that!

  2. These songs will definitely get you pumped up…I love Jai Ho!

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