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10 Cover Songs That Give Your Workout Favorites A Second Wind

The appeal of cover songs in your workout mix is straightforward, since they balance the familiarity of the original tunes with the freshness of new perspectives. To illustrate this point, we’ve rounded up 10 remakes that present songs you probably know in versions you may have missed. With that in mind, let’s survey some upbeat updates.

The playlist kicks off with a heavy version of Ginuwine’s “Pony” and closes out with an urgent take on INXS’ “Need You Tonight.” In between, you’ll find a pop punk version of the sing-along favorite “500 Miles,” a horn-driven approach to “Come on Eileen” and an alternate reading of “Rock the Casbah” that extends its Arabic roots. Elsewhere in the mix, you’ll find the frontman of Nine Inch Nails and frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs tackling Led Zeppelin, The Oak Ridge boys turning The White Stripes’ signature song into a country epic and a Passion Pit cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams,” which feels even more poignant in the wake of singer Dolores O’Riordan’s recent passing.

When attempting a version of a song already held in high regard, one’s up against long odds. It’s tough to improve upon a track that’s already won folks over. To that end, we’ve favored recordings that aim mainly to provide perspective (rather than improvements) highlighting angles and elements different from those showcased in the originals. At the risk of sounding glib, it’s possible that—in the course of covering a song—one is actually uncovering it. To put this theory to the test on your next run, you can find our selections below.

Far – Pony – 71 BPM

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Karen O – Immigrant Song – 120 BPM

MxPx – (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles – 134 BPM

Speedway – Genie In A Bottle – 165 BPM

Rachid Taha – Rock El Casbah – 134 BPM

The Oak Ridge Boys – Seven Nation Army – 125 BPM

Passion Pit – Dreams – 150 BPM

Sugar Ray – Abracadabra – 128 BPM

Save Ferris – Come on Eileen – 111 BPM

Cassettes Won’t Listen – Need You Tonight – 105 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routine.

Related:

A 1960s Rock Playlist To Keep You Running Through Time

10 Soundtrack Singles To Score Your Next Run

Rock Your Run: 10 Recent Songs Above 145 Beats Per Minute

Chris Lawhorn

Chris Lawhorn

Chris Lawhorn runs the workout music database Run Hundred and contributes playlists to Women's Running. He also operates the Case/Martingale record label and holds a BA in English from Ball State University. Before joining Women's Running, Chris covered workout music for Shape and Marie Claire. To find more running songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular routine.