21 Movie Soundtracks That Make For Killer Workout Music

Everyone needs that special something to get into workout mode, whether it's simply a playlist, the TV at the gym, or even the company of a workout buddy to help get to the finish line.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers flex their arms during a handshake
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers flex their arms during a handshake

20th Century Fox

But those who are looking for a truly epic gym sesh might want to try out utilizing movie soundtracks and scores that might inspire them to take their workout to the next level.

Diane Lane sings into a microphone
Diane Lane sings into a microphone

Universal Pictures

With this in mind, I've assembled 21 of the best movie soundtracks that double as incredible gym music, whether you're going HAM on that treadmill or pumping that iron like there's no tomorrow.

A dancing man gives a double thumbs-up
A dancing man gives a double thumbs-up

DVV Entertainment

1.Rocky (1976)

Sylvester Stallone beats up frozen meat in a slaughterhouse

Obviously, let's come out of the gate with the most inspiring workout music of all time: Bill Conti's iconic score for Rocky. The blaring horns of "Gonna Fly Now" helped get the song to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977, and the song's building to the full orchestral finale will definitely inspire you to turn that jog into a sprint.

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2.The Warriors (1979)

A street gang is followed by a vandalized car in Coney Island

Barry De Vorzon's soundtrack for The Warriors is so awesome on so many levels, transforming rhythmic synth music into something that's as anxious as it is dancey, which certainly may motivate you to pick up your pace. Add in the kick-ass needle drops from throughout the movie itself and you've got a well-rounded soundtrack that'll put you in the worn-out shoes of the titular on-the-run street gang.

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3.Robocop (1987)

Robocop holds up a large futuristic pistol

Longtime Paul Verhoeven collaborator, Basil Poledouris, composed the rousing and epic orchestral score for Robocop, the dystopian action flick with more than a handful of "cheering while throwing your fist to the sky" moments. Though one might not automatically assume Robocop would have a necessarily stirring soundtrack, the film's main title theme feels like a rollercoaster that will get your blood pumping while you get your pump on.

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4.Speed (1994)

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock stare with concern as Sandra drives a bus

I mean, come on, the name of the movie is Speed! All jokes aside, Mark Mancina's bombastic, strings-heavy soundtrack was created for the sole service of setting the tone for nonstop action and thrills, which incidentally makes it a perfect backdrop for those looking to physically push themselves to their new "personal best" on any given day.

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5.Batman (1989)

Batman stares near multiple television monitors featuring the Joker

Danny Elfman's beloved score for Batman has been a part of pop culture history for more than 30 years for good reason: there's a classical, almost Gothic type of brooding atmosphere surrounding every note but is orchestrated in such a way that it feels absolutely exhilarating. With the score looking to make a big splash once again in the upcoming Flash movie, I'd say there's no time better than the present to add this bad boy to your workout mix.

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6.The Guest (2014)

Dan Stevens holds a revolver in a bright red room

Steve Moore of Zombi renown assembled the synthy, moody score for Adam Wingard's incredible action-thriller, which additionally employs various obscure music tracks from across multiple genres to great effect. You may not think it would work as accompaniment for exercise, but both the musical cues and song curation create a hypnotic mood that's almost perfect for taking your mind elsewhere while you push your body to the limit.

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7.Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Linda Hamilton holds an assault rifle in a barren desert

If you're looking to hit the barbells and weight machines, you can't go wrong with the soundtrack for Terminator 2, which includes legendary "dun-dun dun duh-dun" musical sting and much more to motivate you toward getting into Sarah Connor-esque shape. But if the score itself doesn't inspire you, the additional music from the soundtrack, such as Guns 'N Roses' "You Could Be Mine" and George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone," are fun enough to make your gym time fly by.

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8.Wonder Woman (2017)

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman holds her shield in a World War I Trench

Certainly one of the more fairly recognizable soundtracks from the DCEU, Rupert Gregson-Williams' score for Wonder Woman is undeniably dope, blending the loud wave of war drums with the stirring siren of a wailing guitar to a unique effect. As such, it's no surprise that the soundtrack for Wonder Woman makes for great workout music, especially if you're running a track, taking on a hill, or trying to tough through that last set of reps.

Warner Bros. / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

9.Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Uma Thurman in a yellow and black jumpsuit holds a samurai sword near a number of assailants

RZA's soundtrack for Kill Bill: Volume 1 has a little something for everyone, from old-school ballads to suspenseful orchestral samples. But the soundtrack also offers a number of songs that'll get your blood pumping while you're in the gym, most notable of which would probably be Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity," which punctuates stinging guitar work with funky horns and a hip-hop drum beat.

Miramax Films / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

10.Tron: Legacy (2010)

Garrett Hedlund speeds in an arena on a lightcycle

Tron: Legacy may not be the most memorable franchise film of all time, but it certainly has one of the coolest soundtracks out there, courtesy of Daft Punk. Evoking the likes of Tangerine Dream and The Matrix composer Don Davis, the synth-driven score for Tron: Legacy feels as all-encompassing as a traditional orchestral score but its cyberpunk edge should give you that push needed to run faster and jump higher on your next workout.

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11.John Wick (2014)

12.Predator (1987)

Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a massive gun in a jungle

Alan Silvestri's score for Predator is simply excellent all-around, blending a brooding war movie score with a sweeping, grand orchestral sound befitting the likes of JAWS. But the score is likely to compel you to reach new heights in the gym, especially if you're hoping to get fit like the musclebound mercenaries in the aforementioned action-horror hybrid.

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13.Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Two pirates have a swordfight in an old barn

We all know the score from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as Klaus Badelt's strings are like a sensory explosion to which you can't help but rock your head. But the complete score for Curse of the Black Pearl rarely has a lull, making for a stirring and riveting musical experience that'll effortlessly inspire you to go beast mode on your next workout.

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14.The Lost Boys (1987)

A group of bloody and backlit vampires stare at someone at night

There aren't a lot of horror film soundtracks that will make you want to go hard at the gym, but The Lost Boys does just that, as its atmospheric rock-heavy soundtrack is an exercise fiend's dream. Particularly, the two tracks written for the film, "Cry Little Sister" and "I Still Believe," are more than enough to double as great music to run to (or, in some creepier cases, from).

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15.Mortal Kombat (2021)

Scorpion shoots a spiked chain out of his sleeve in a frozen room

The 2021 adaptation of Mortal Kombat was fairly divisive among hardcore fans of the game, but almost everyone could agree the one thing the film got right (outside of the fatalities) was its stellar soundtrack. Featuring a contemporary remix of the iconic Mortal Kombat theme from the 1995 film, this soundtrack not only did the film well, but is a legitimately great workout playlist that can help set the tone for a go-for-broke exercise day, especially if you get some one-on-one time with a punching bag.

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16.Ford v. Ferrari (2019)

Matt Damon walks past a vintage race car

It shouldn't be hard to believe that the soundtrack for Ford v. Ferrari from Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders has some really exciting compositions that double as solid workout music, especially for those in the race sequences. But not only is it true, but it's somewhat of an understatement as the music is as inspirational as it is rousing, which is perfect for underdogs pushing themselves to their limits who could probably take a cue from this underdog story.

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17.Streets of Fire (1984)

Two tired siblings stand alongside gun-toting citizens

This '80s cult classic about biker gangs, soldiers-for-hire, and rock 'n' roll might not be your first choice for workout inspiration, but there is no denying that the soundtrack from Ry Cooder and producer Jimmy Iovine will have you dancing like hell. In fact, I'd wager anyone on an exercise bike will have no choice but to pick up the pace when "Nowhere Fast" and "Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young" hit their eardrums.

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18.Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Dennis Dun and Kurt Russell stand with a gun in a dirty basement

John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's soundtrack for Big Trouble in Little China is surprisingly groovy and expectedly fun, as is the film in many ways. However, whether you're familiar with this classic action-comedy or not, this kick-ass score is the kind of music that will ready you for whatever challenge awaits you in the gym, from the next leg of a long run or wall-to-wall barbell lunges.

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19.RRR (2022)

20.Planet Terror (2007)

Two women and a bloody man stand near a jail cell door

Even though Grindhouse may have bombed at the box office, Robert Rodriguez's soundtrack for Planet Terror has banger after banger, ranging from cool yet creepy synth jams to groovy, saxophone-driven rock tunes. Not only are these tracks good enough to listen to on their own, but they are also excellent choices to rock out to during your workout, especially if you're the kind of person who works up a sweat via dance.

Photo 12 / Alamy / The Weinstein Company

21.Dredd (2012)

Judge Dredd holds a large futuristic handgun to the camera

Employing an electronic score built on a foundation of industrial influences, Paul Leonard-Morgan's score for this ultraviolent 2012 sci-fi action film jumps between a brooding digital symphony and experimental synth-rock. However, these conflicting vibes make for a one-of-a-kind sound that will have your pulse pounding even before you work up a sweat.

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