Spinning songs will make or break your group fitness class. Sure, the exercises, motivational cues, tempo and overall vibe are important, but it’s mission critical to get the music right, or you risk losing return Group X participants. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some great chart-topping hits in 2017, but in the meantime, it’s always fun to toss in a few throwback spinning songs to get the class jamming.
Whether it’s a popular song from 2016 or one from the 80s, it’s always a good idea to think about your audience when choosing songs. After a few classes under your belt, you’ll know whether they prefer Top 40s, rock, instrumental or one of the many other genres out there. Once you know their faves, you’ll want to continue to offer a mix of songs, with a special emphasis on their preferred genres.
I teach evening weekday spinning classes, mostly to professionals at the end of their workday (our gym is right outside a couple corporate buildings). There’s certainly a mix of interests in the class, leaning towards a love of classic rock and the Top 40 pop music.
Here are their favorite spinning songs that they ask for again and again.
- Livin’ on a Prayer, By Bon Jovi — I think this is generally folks’ all-time favorite spinning song!
- You Shook Me All Night Long, By AC/DC — this is another major crowd pleaser in my class.
- Bad Reputation, By Joan Jett — great for sprint/quick feet songs.
- Born to Run, By Bruce Springsteen — this one makes me feel like I’m spinning in a movie.
- Come as You Are, By Nirvana — good for a climb with heavy resistance.
- Communication Breakdown, By Led Zeppelin — this song is a little over two minutes. It’s great when you need to fit a quickie sprint at the end of the class.
- P.Y.T., By Michael Jackson — pretty much any Michael Jackson will do. He gets you in a such a good mood.
- Draw The Line, By Aerosmith — this one doesn’t have a whole lot of vocals, so I like to use for my warm-up when I know I’m going to be doing a LOT of talking.
- Emotions, By Mariah Carey — I LOVE this song. Not everyone does, but worth a try in your next spinning class.
- Heartbreaker, By Pat Benatar — tempo is fast, and lyrics are addicting.
- I Like the Way You Move, By Outkast — I’m not sure if this really counts as a “throwback”, but nothing gets you bobbing to the beat quite like Outkast.
- Livin’ La Vida Loca, By Ricky Martin — this is the kind of song that will surprise your participants, but with an open mind it’s super fun to use for spinning.
- Lose Yourself, By Eminem — another one of those spinning songs on the border of a “throwback”, but I’ve had participants specifically ask for this song before.
- Only Wanna Be With You, By Hootie & The Blowfish — The pace for this is moderate, but it’s a fun song if people know it.
- Pour Some Sugar on Me, By Def Leppard — I was obsessed with this song last year, so I know I overplayed it in my spinning classes, but I promise it’s so good!
- Push It, By Salt-N-Pepa — if you want a change-up from the classic rock, this is a fun throwback for you.
- Survivor, By Destiny’s Child — this is a special one because you can tap into the lyrics for motivation.
I’ve heard other instructors suggest Madonna and Whitney Houston, but I haven’t found the perfect spinning song by either of them to get the group fitness studio rocking. If you have other spinning song suggestions, please send them my way!
For more workout song suggestions, check out the workout routines and playlists page.