Nine Songs to Add to Your Exercise Playlist This Summer

Sneakers? Check. Water bottle? Check. Gym bag? Check. IPod or MP3 player? Check. But also check what’s on your exercise playlist, because what you are listening to can make or break your workout.

"Everybody turns to music during exercise for different reasons," New York disc jockey Race Taylor told

"Some want the motivation of the lyric; other people need the tempo to match the pace of their run. And some people want the pounding and blaring drums to help energize them while they are lifting weights."

Taylor, who hosts the "Afternoon Drive" show on WPLJ, recently teamed up with Marc Santa Maria, regional group fitness director at Manhattan’s Crunch, to put together a must-have playlist for your summer work-out.

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1. Song: "Viva La Vida"

Artist: Coldplay

Why it’s great: "This song is epic," Taylor said. "Everything about this song is big, and if you look at the translation, the title means 'long live life,' which is a great message."

Suggested workout: Santa Maria suggested listening to this song during rolling hills in a spin class.

2. Song: "Mercy"

Artist: Duffy

Why it’s great: "This song came out last winter and survived the spring," Taylor said. "Put this at the end of your workout when you’ve got no more fuel left and the lyrics, ‘I’m begging you for mercy,’ will speak volumes."

Suggested workout: Santa Maria said the song works for a "BLT" class, which stands for "butts-legs-thighs."

"Hit those glutes," Santa Maria said. "It’s great for half-time squats and then double-time lunges."

3. Song: "4 Minutes"

Artists: Madonna and Justin Timberlake

Why it’s great: "If there is any justification as to why this song should be on your playlist, just look at Madonna’s arms," Taylor said. "She’s 50 and can take us all down."

Suggested workout: "This song is ridiculous; I love it!" Santa Maria said. "It can be used in every single crunch class, except for yoga-based. Every hip-hop teacher has played it from using it in their warm-up to actually choreographing to it. And, it’s perfect for a spin class. Use the ‘four minutes’ theme to get up a hill or speed down a hill as your spring finale song."

4. Song: "Paralyzer"

Artist: Finger Eleven

Why it’s great: If you listen to the lyrics, it’s all about playing the field, being at a bar on a hot, sweaty night and should you walk over to a girl, buy her a beer and risk being shot down? It tells the story of how things might go down once you’ve left a hard day at the gym," Taylor said.

Suggested workout: "Any guy would want this blaring sound while trying to finish their last set of reps and add 10 pounds," he added.

5. Song: "I Would Die for You and Baby, I’m a Star"

Artist: Prince

Why it’s great: "Here’s another guy who is speaking from the fountain of youth," Taylor said. "I like the lyric, ‘Baby, I’m a star,’ because everyone wants to be a famous, even if it’s only for one other person in their life."

Suggested workout: "A classic," Santa Maria said. "Use in a cardio class, spin class or pole dancing. Dramatic and sexy routines could be had."

6. Song: "Here It Goes Again"

Artist: OK, Go

Why it’s great: "If you want to see someone performing to dirty rock-and-roll and working out, check out the video for [this song], which they completely choreographed on treadmills."

Suggested workout: "This is one of the best songs to run to," Santa Maria agreed. "It ups my energy instantly."

7. Song: "Chasing Cars"

Artist: Snow Patrol

Why it’s great: "The original has been remade with dance tempos 128 beats per minute," Taylor said.

Suggested workout: "Call me crazy, but this is one of my all-time favorite 2007 songs to run to," Santa Maria said. "Also, it’s great for a lyrical class, or to cool down to."

8. Song: "I Kissed a Girl"

Artist: Katy Perry

Why it’s great: "This one has a little bit of a novelty flare," Taylor said. "It has a real retro feel to it."

Suggested workout: "Pole dancing or hills during spin class," Santa Maria said.

9. Song: "I Run for Life"

Artist: Melissa Etheridge

Why it’s great: "She’s a cancer survivor and it has a beautiful message," Taylor said. "If you are looking for an empowerment song, this is it."

Suggested workout: "Are you kidding me? You gotta run to this," Santa Maria said. "Human race training all the way."