‘That That’ to ‘Boombayah’ – K-pop songs to spice up your workout playlist

We’re going through all the heart-pounding k-pop songs that will give you strength for that extra snooze in your next workout.

Call it the product of catchy hooks or the result of uplifting and inspiring beats – there’s no denying that K-pop has taken the world by storm. And while there are several swoon-worthy ballads and breezy house numbers to keep you hooked, the hallmark of Korean pop music continues to be high-energy tracks that you can’t help but move. (Gangnam Style, anyone?). Naturally, they make great adrenaline-pumping additions to any workout playlist. We’ve curated some absolute bops – from fun electronic hits to high-energy dance floors – that’ll get you pumped for your time in the gym. Fitness has never been so fun!

Enhance your workout experience by adding these K-pop songs to your playlist

BTS’s Mic Drop featuring Steve Aoki

Leading this roundup is the biggest K-pop group in the world right now, BTS. Mic Drop is an upbeat hip hop, EDM and trap track featuring DJ Steve Aoki. It is believed to have been inspired by former US President Barack Obama’s famous drop-off-the-mic moment at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2016 and immediately peaked at No. 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100. in 2017 after its release. It also topped the US iTunes chart. The high-energy, high-paced track features the band flexing their accomplishments, with several sassy comebacks for their haters. The dance break alone will have you spending a few extra minutes on that treadmill.

Power by EXO

A positive and upbeat EDM track, Power was part of EXO’s album War and garnered millions of views on YouTube within the first week of its release. The lyrics are uplifting, encouraging listeners to let go of the fear and go for it, and the steady, energizing beats support that. The track is reminiscent of old school electronic music but continues to champion modern dance music sensibilities. At concerts, it’s always the song that swells the crowd and makes them sing. We can’t think of a better track to get you excited about your time on an elliptical.

Boombayah by BlackPink

The biggest girl group not only in K-pop but worldwide, BlackPink is known for delivering one bop after another. Their debut track Boombayah is four high-energy minutes with no break in between. EDM sound meets hard-hitting boss-woman lyrics in this number, with BlackPink asking the listener to dance along with them. Percussive breaks and vocal reverb add to the mood of the song. The chorus is almost like a chant and will have you singing along. Nothing better to get you started on leg days.

Hard Carry by GOT7

The beat of this GOT7 track hits hard. Hard Carry involves the group singing about their abilities and growth in the industry, from rookies to some of K-pop’s biggest stars. There is a clear electronic dance and trap influence in the song and the chorus, like Boombayah, is addictive chanting. The booming beat of the drums in the background adds to the high energy track and the bridge alone will get you through several crunches.

Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang

This song from K-pop royalty Big Bang is the life of every party and as such couldn’t be left out in this roundup. Bang Bang Bang marked the return of the Big Bang in 2015 and immediately set social media on fire. The song is loud to say the least, with a heart-pounding fusion of trap, electronic and hip-hop. The lyrics are equally bold and frantic. In fact, in the pre-chorus, Big Bang sings, “I’m gonna set this place on fire.” And that’s the case. There’s no better song to energize your spirit as you power through those dreaded leg presses.

Hip by Mamamoo

Although primarily known for their vocal quality and powerful lyrics, Mamamoo’s expertise goes beyond jazz hits and ballads. Their hip hop, electronic and dance track has the girls talking about living a life on your own terms, not allowing people to get to you. Punchy beats, punchy raps and a funky beat, combined with unconventional vocals, make this track ideal for most occasions. However, it’s also perfect for letting you hold that board a little longer.

Than That by PSY ft. Suga

This year’s dance anthem, PSY’s latest track, produced and co-written by BTS’ Suga celebrates the end of the pandemic, reflecting on how people can come together and celebrate now. Suga’s rap, meanwhile, is about how he survived in the industry during this time. Gritty merges with fun, not just in the lyrics, but the melody and beats in this electronic, dance, hip hop number and the thundering beats and thumping horns add to the liveliness of the track. And if that doesn’t make you want to hit the gym, the addictive hooks sure will!

I can’t stop twice

One of the biggest girl groups in the K-pop industry, Twice has delved into the topics of dealing with internal conflict due to romantic entanglement. The underlying rhythm of the track is energetic and exciting and the chorus is catchy, with a catchy and addictive melody. Twice experimented with synthpop, electronic, R&B and dance sounds for this song and the bridge has an addictive singing quality. If you like having your own spin class playlist or use the stationary cycle often as part of your workout, this K-pop track will keep you going.

Loco by ITZY

New neighborhood kids ITZY have been creating waves in the K-pop industry since their debut in 2019. This song is a romantic track, where the girls sing about being obsessively in love. The electronic dance floor has busy instrumentals and a suave touch of electric guitar that emphasizes the hook. The thunderous rhythms that accompany these elements will get your adrenaline pumping. This track is also perfect for quick warm-up and cool-down sessions.

Bling Bling by iKON

This intense iKON track begins with a bang, with the band singing about their success and busy lifestyles. The piece is intense, the instrumentals being accompanied by brassy nuances. The beat is slower than the other songs in this track, but it hits hard enough to get your heart pumping. The bridge, like few other tracks on this list, is loud and addictive, with almost a singing quality. This hip-hop, pop and electronic K-pop track is perfect for kicking off a workout or cooling off after a long workout.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Boombayah by Blackpink/Youtube; Hero Image: Courtesy of That That by PSY ft. Suga/YouTube

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Grace D. Erickson