It's the first non-holiday weekend of a brand new year, which means it's time to put that resolution to finally get in shape to the test. And for our money, there's no better workout inspiration than a Big Moment from a great sports movie — or, more specifically, the music that accompanies it.
After all, a cinematic sports feat wouldn't have nearly the same dramatic impact without the perfect tune to underscore the triumph. Look at Rocky, for example. Here's the famous scene where the title character scales the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, set to Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now":
And here's the same sequence sans music:
Even the world's biggest Sylvester Stallone fan probably wouldn't find his various grunts all that inspiring on their own — but add some trumpets, and you've got cardio gold.
So to help you unleash your inner Rocky (or Ricky Vaughn or Daniel-san or Jodi Sawyer), here's a Spotify playlist of workout-appropriate songs from sports movies. We've also listed the song titles and their respective movies below. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it will give you an excuse to revisit some great movie clips — once you're done with your workout, of course. Happy training!
- AC/DC, "Thunderstruck": The Longest Yard (football)
- Aerosmith, "Back in the Saddle": The Fighter (boxing)
- Bachman Turner Overdrive, "Takin' Care of Business": The Replacements (football)
- Bill Conti, "Gonna Fly Now": Rocky (boxing)
- Black Box, "Ride on Time": The Cutting Edge (figure skating)
- Bonnie Tyler, "Holding Out for a Hero": Footloose (dance)
- Foo Fighters, "My Hero": Varsity Blues (football)
- The Hollies, "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)": Remember the Titans (football)
- The Jamaican Reggae Boys, "I Can See Clearly Now": Cool Runnings (bobsled)
- Joe Esposito, "You’re the Best Around": Karate Kid (karate)
- John Fogerty, "Centerfield": Bull Durham (baseball)
- Linkin Park, "Papercut": Never Back Down (martial arts)
- Michael Sembello, "Maniac": Flashdance (dance)
- Queen, "We Will Rock You": D2: The Mighty Ducks (hockey)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Higher Ground": Center Stage (dance)
- Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger": Rocky III (boxing)
- Vangelis, "Chariots of Fire": Chariots of Fire (track)