The 100 Best Workout Songs from the '90s


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  126 comments   :  1,468,250 Views

I have a theory about music and it's this: Whatever music you listened to and loved the most during your high school and college years will always be your favorite music of all time. So for myself, all the other early-30-somethings, and everyone else who believes some of the best music ever has already been created, I am thrilled to share the mother of all '90s music lists.
But this isn't just any list. While it includes some of the best '90s songs you can think of, these are the 100 most upbeat dance, pop, rap and rock tracks for exercising. I shared the list with members of, America's largest online community of dieters and exercisers, and got them to vote on their favorites so we could name the absolute BEST workout songs from the '90s. (Can you guess which took the No. 1 spot?) Based on your votes, we have created a 60-minute continuous cardio remix playlist of the top 15 songs! You can get the playlist on iTunes for $9.99, or at for just $8.99!

Go ahead and burn yourself a mix CD for your walkman—I mean update your iPod or mp3 player—with these "made in the '90s" tunes next time you work out. You won't be disappointed!

The No. 1 Workout Song from the '90s:
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
-- Good Vibrations (1991)

No. 2: Madonna— Vogue (1990)
No. 3: Will Smith— Gettin' Jiggy Wit It (1998)
No. 4: Cher—Believe (1998)
No. 5: C+C Music Factory— Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1991)
No. 6: Nirvana— Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
No. 7: Reel 2 Reel— I Like to Move It (1994)
No. 8: Britney Spears—You Drive Me Crazy (1999)
No. 9: Vanilla Ice— Ice Ice Baby (1990)
No. 10: The Verve— Bittersweet Symphony (1996)
No. 11: Tag Team—Whoomp! (There It Is) (1993)
No. 12: MC Hammer— U Can't Touch This (1990)
No. 13: Snap!—The Power (1990)
No. 14: Aqua—Barbie Girl (1997)
No. 15: Michael Jackson—Black or White (1991)

SparkPeople: Best of 90's Workout Mix (60-Min Non-Stop Mix @ 132 BPM) - Yes Fitness Music

Download SparkPeople's 132-BPM 60-minute continuous cardio remix of the 15 most popular workout songs of the 1990s on iTunes for $9.99, or at for just $8.99!

Here's the rest of the list (in alphabetic order). Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at
2 Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman—California Love (1996)
311—All Mixed Up (1995)
69 Boyz—Tootsee Roll (1994)
Ace of Base—Don’t Turn Around (1993)
Ace of Base—The Sign (1993)
Alanis Morissette— You Oughta Know (1995)
Alice in Chains— Man in the Box (1990)
Backstreet Boys—Backstreet’s Back (1997)
Barenaked Ladies— One Week (1998)
Basement Jaxx—Red Alert (1999)
Beastie Boys— Intergalactic (1999)
Better Than Ezra—Desperately Wanting (1996)
Black Crowes— Hard to Handle (1991)
Blackstreet— No Diggity (1996)
Blind Melon—No Rain (1992)
Blur— Song 2 (1997)
The Cardigans— Lovefool (1996)
Chumbawamba—Tubthumping (1997)
Counting Crows— Mr. Jones (1993)
Daft Punk— Around the World (1996)
Daft Punk—Da Funk (1996)
Deee-Lite— Groove Is In the Heart (1990)
Deep Blue Something— Breakfast at Tiffany's (1995)
Depeche Mode— Enjoy the Silence (1990)
Destiny's Child—Jumpin' Jumpin' (1999)
DJ Miko—What’s Up (1994)
EMF—Unbelievable (1990)
Eiffel 65—Blue (Da Ba Dee) (1999)
Eminem— My Name Is (1999)
Eve 6— Inside Out (1998)
Everclear— Father of Mine (1997)
Fatboy Slim—The Rockafeller Skank (1998)
Foo Fighters— Everlong (1997)
Groove Armada—I See You Baby (1999)
Haddaway— What Is Love (1993)
Hanson— MMMBop (1997)
House of Pain— Jump Around (1992)
Janet Jackson—Together Again (1998)
Kriss Kross— Jump (1992) 
La Bouche—Be My Lover (1995)
La Bouche—Sweet Dreams (1994)
Lauryn Hill— Doo Wop (That Thing) (1998)
Len—Steal My Sunshine (1999)
Lit—My Own Worst Enemy (1999)
Londonbeat—I’ve Been Thinking About You (1991)
Lou Bega—Mambo No. 5 (1999)
Low Fidelity Allstars—Battleflag (1997)
Madonna—Ray of Light (1998)
Marc Anthony—I Need to Know (1999)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones— The Impression That I Get (1997)
Moby—Bodyrock (1999)
Montell Jordan— This Is How We Do It (1995)
Naughty by Nature— O.P.P. (1991)
New Radicals— You Get What You Give (1998)
No Doubt— Spiderwebs (1995)
No Mercy—Where Do You Go (1996)
The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Mase and Puff Daddy— Mo Money Mo Problems (1997)
*NSYNC— Tearin' Up My Heart (1998)
The Offspring—Come Out and Play (1994)
Presidents of the United States of America—Lump (1995)
Quad City DJ’s—C’mon ‘N Ride It (The Train) (1995)
Quad City DJ's— Space Jam (1996)
Rage Against the Machine—Bulls on Parade (1996)
Red Hot Chili Peppers—Give It Away (1991)
Red Hot Chili Peppers—Suck My Kiss (1991)
Real McCoy—Automatic Lover (1995)
Ricky Martin— Livin' la Vida Loca (1999)
Right Said Fred— I'm Too Sexy (1992)
Robyn—Show Me Love (1997)
Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue— Whatta Man (1993)
Santana ft. Rob Thomas—Smooth (1999)
Scatman John—Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) (1995)
Semisonic— Closing Time (1998)
Sir Mix-A-Lot— Baby Got Back (1992)
Smashing Pumpkins— Bullet With Butterfly Wings (1995)
Smash Mouth—Walkin' On the Sun (1997)
Spice Girls— Wannabe (1997)
Spin Doctors— Two Princes (1993)
Sugar Ray— Fly (1997)
Third Eye Blind— Semi-Charmed Life (1997)
Vengaboys—Boom Boom (1998)
The Wallflowers—One Headlight (1997)
Weezer— Buddy Holly (1994)
Will Smith—Miami (1998)
Will Smith—Wild Wild West (1999)
Special thanks to SparkPeople's Editorial Assistant Melinda Hershey who had way too much fun doing the research for this post.

Looking for more? You may also like our 100 most motivating workout songs of all-time.

Are any of your '90s favorites missing from this list? Share them below!

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  • 76
    I'm obviously not from that era in music. I have heard of one song and about 3 artists. I like 60s and country and gospel. I do think the idea of big band era sounds interesting, too. - 11/29/2012   11:56:05 AM
  • 75
    Please don't make us wait much longer for 50's, 60's, and 70's. and where's the Country music on any of this? LOTS of good choices there. Or maybe put together a Country list, and include several decades. - 11/29/2012   11:40:10 AM
    Thanks for the list and the memories! - 11/29/2012   6:52:32 AM
  • 73
    great list of songs.. - 11/29/2012   5:34:44 AM
  • 72
    90s music was horrible. There are maybe 3 or 4 songs on this list I like, and I can't imagine working out to them, they don't have the right beat. - 11/29/2012   2:20:53 AM
  • 71
    Uh, "Semi-Charmed Life" is about doing drugs. o_o - 11/28/2012   12:48:46 PM
  • 70
    Wow ... This list reminds me of when my workout still had it going on in the music department... step aerobics for hours every week ... of course "Finally! (It had Happened to Me)" in the aerobics remix was the main musical motivator back then ... and Victoria Johnson's "Attitude" was the reference book of choice ... - 11/28/2012   11:45:43 AM
  • 69
    Yay, Hanson! All-time favorite band. - 11/28/2012   10:00:40 AM
  • 68
    Haha. Talk about blasts from the past!

    I have to respectfully disagree with the rankings, though. As far as WORKOUT music? C+C Music Factory should be #1. - 11/28/2012   9:33:46 AM
  • 67
    I am too old for this list :-))).
    I would like to se a list from 70's and 80's when the music was really good. (lol) - 11/28/2012   9:00:09 AM
  • 66
    If you have an iPhone, there is a free app I love called Songza. It lets you choose a playlist of music based on your mood or your activity (including exercise). One section has playlists from decades; they have tons of good 90s playlists, and other decades if your "favorite music of all time" happens to be from an earlier time period. - 11/28/2012   8:53:31 AM
  • 65
    I am in my fifties and I know a lot of these songs from my kids but my playlist is really a mix of decades. But this is a fun list of songs. How far Mark Wahlberg has come. - 11/28/2012   6:34:08 AM
    love all of these songs! - 11/15/2012   10:59:19 AM
    No Cake? The Distance is a permanent fixture on my running playlist. - 6/5/2012   6:52:33 PM
    I listened to every one of those songs back in the day! What a trip down memory lane! wow, lol. - 5/24/2012   11:54:26 AM
  • 61
    LOL I looked through the list twice, and obviously that was a decade when I was way too busy to listen to music. The only song I recognize is the Hanson one, because one of my daughters played it constantly. Talk about a lost decade... - 3/26/2012   8:48:09 AM
  • 60
    I've had Whoomp! There It Is on my workout mix for years now, everyone always laughs at me when they see it. I don't care, it always gets me excited! - 3/15/2012   8:59:18 PM
  • 59
    Thanks, I will be adding some of these to my list!!! - 3/4/2012   1:08:58 AM
  • 58
    Some of them I know and most of them I don't know but will have to try them out. I think I listened to more country music in the 90's. - 3/3/2012   10:52:01 PM
    This just made my day!!! I'm SO gonna make a new playlist now! - 3/3/2012   10:16:16 PM
  • 56
    I thought that I would see a couple from 2Unlimited for workout songs. I wonder if the Mango song is in there. (Don't remember the name of it, but it was from a skit from SNL) - 3/3/2012   12:30:10 PM
  • 55
    60s, maybe? Or back to Buddy Holly. (Now I'm showing my age!) - 3/2/2012   2:44:42 PM
    Thanks for this list. I forgot a lot of these songs. For R&B/pop, I was also thinking motownphilly-boyz ii men, emotion--mariah carey, someday--mariah carey, keep on movin--soul to soul, back to life--soul to soul, back and forth--aaliyah, gypsy woman--crystal waters. No, no, no part 2--destiny child, another night--real mccoy - 3/2/2012   4:29:03 AM
  • 53
    Really enjoyed reading the list. Only surprise was that "Hot Stepper" didn't make it! =) - 3/1/2012   3:47:57 PM
  • 52
    I'd love to see a Country music list. Most of the songs I have on my iPod are Country, 80's, 90's, and beyond! - 3/1/2012   2:41:00 PM
    George Clinton - Atomic Dog
    McFadden & Whitehead - Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
    James Brown - The Big Payback (try it and see)
    Baha Men - Who Let The Dogs Out
    The Beach Boys - Wipe Out
    Michael Jackson - Shake Your Body Down
    Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up (Extended Version)
    Tony Toni Tone - Feels Good
    Shalamar - Uptown Festival
    Yarbrough & Peoples - Don't Stop The Music
    Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
    The Whispers - And The Beat Goes On
    And the list goes on - Not all 90's but then again neither am I - 3/1/2012   1:01:05 PM
  • 50
    I'm a 90s kid, so for me this time of music will always be better than any other to me. First thing that came to mind when you said 90s was Backstreet's Back. So glad it was on there. Great list! Time to make a playlist. - 3/1/2012   12:29:04 PM
  • 49
    GREAT list coach nicole! i have many of these on various playlists but i think its time to make an all 90's one! - 3/1/2012   12:09:39 PM
  • 48
    Please do one for the 50--60s! Hooray for you! - 3/1/2012   11:35:40 AM
  • 47
    What a list! I'd say that I enjoyed about 75% of those songs when they were popular. :) As has already been mentioned, I'd love to see an 80s list, too! - 3/1/2012   11:08:59 AM
  • 46
    I already have some of these songs. I just didn't realize that they would be considered "workout" songs also. That is a great idea though, to create your own workout CD or playlist on your smart phone, mp3, or computer/iPad. - 3/1/2012   8:55:48 AM
    Somebody raided all my mixed tapes from high school........Seriously, though, there are some great memories attached to those songs and I will definitely be getting them in the near future. I just hope there's no trip down memory lane to the point that I forget to do my workout!!!!!! - 3/1/2012   8:42:19 AM
    I so agree! Although I am a true Country Fan now I still can't enough of the music I listened to in High School and College - John Denver, Barry Manilow, Karen Carptenter. Always smile when I hear those old songs. And - I LOVE listening to music when I am out running. I carry an extra battery with me in case my current battery dies. - 3/1/2012   8:33:17 AM
  • 43
    Hey, Nicole! This is a GREAT list.
    I, too, would like to see a list of songs from the '70s and '80s. Also, the "big band" era. They so knew how to dance in the 30s, 40s and 50s!
    - 3/1/2012   8:16:28 AM
  • DAINS859
    How about a song list for us 'older' folks, with some 70's (even early 80's)? I am so bad at creating my own lists. That's probably why my ipod is so boring!!!!! - 3/1/2012   8:07:14 AM
  • MIRANDA2112
    Superb selection! Got to save this for future reference - 3/1/2012   7:45:17 AM
  • EKS225
    I had to save this list! I will definetly use it when I buy music next. - 3/1/2012   7:06:27 AM
  • 39
    Baby Got Back? Exercise motivational? Really? And no Bon Jovi, Metallica, White Zombie? - 3/1/2012   6:54:15 AM
  • 38
    Somebody likes Will Smith! ;) He's the only artist with 3 songs on the list! :) - 3/1/2012   2:36:05 AM
  • 37
    Glad a couple of metalheads have chimed in already. Nothing like a crushing groove to get the heart pumping, along the lines of the Scorpions' "Alien Nation" , or Sepultura's "Chaos AD" - 3/1/2012   12:40:18 AM
  • 36
    How did you get the music off of my ipod?? Hahaha - 3/1/2012   12:10:25 AM
  • 35
    Oh my gosh I LOVE THIS! I am just barely getting started on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, but all of the music you have listed is definitely going to get me started on the right foot! Not only that, but because I was so much healthier in the 90's this will definitely motivate me. :D - 2/29/2012   11:49:46 PM
  • 34
    So true about your high school days being your favorite kind of music. I graduated in 95 and I was diggin this list. But my youth soundtrack would not be complete without some Bon Jovi! How about "Keep the Faith" or Jon's solo hit "Blaze of Glory!" - 2/29/2012   11:30:34 PM
  • 33
    I could listen to Lump on a loop for 365 days straight. Love the list! - 2/29/2012   9:28:22 PM
  • 32
    This is a great list! I already have a lot of these on my Gym Rat playlist, but I see a few I need to add! - 2/29/2012   8:57:17 PM
  • 31
    Great music list!
    But for the taste, my taste changes over time a lot. Those music from my high school years are so over, I can't remember when I last listened to them. I mostly listen to recent music, either be it jazz, bossa nova, techno, or just some speedy music for exercise. Especially, since I run every day and listen to music, I listen to new styles I never enjoyed before. - 2/29/2012   6:03:14 PM
  • 30
    Thank you! As someone who is in her early 30s as well, I love 90s music! I actually have most of these songs already so I'm already almost there to making a fantastic workout playlist of just 90s songs. Thank you, again! - 2/29/2012   3:02:10 PM
  • 29
    Yay, Hanson! Favorite band ever. - 2/29/2012   1:26:00 PM
  • 28

  • 27
    This is a great list! You gotta love music from the 90s. I could probably come up with so much more to add, but I'll just say one: The Cranberries "Zombie." - 2/29/2012   12:58:32 PM

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