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Performance Playlist: Music For Swimming

February 17, 2015 0 Comments

It’s almost 2017 and that means it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions!
Last year I promised to swim everyday, but as I got going I found it really hard to find motivation, especially in the early mornings. I didn’t know how to make swimming work for me! I would swim a few laps and then just get out of the pool and crawl back into bed. Eventually, I stopped altogether and would just hit snooze and roll over.
But this year, I’m recommitting to swimming! I’ve found that music is the perfect thing to keep me motivated. So, here is the swimming playlist I have made for my workout for pumping up, warming up, the core workout, and cooling down.

Let’s Get Started


Before entering the pool, it’s best to listen to songs that will help you feel motivated and ready to start your workout. So, while I’m walking to the pool and stretching, I’m blasting whatever I have that’s fast and loud. Everyone is different when it comes to pre-workout music, though. Some prefer a more gentle, instrumental sound to get in the zone. The beats per minute (BPM) don’t matter as much here; it’s more of a personal preference.
Some of my favorites are:

  • “Rock and Roll” by: Led Zeppelin  (beats per min= 181)
  • “Hey Ya” by: Outkast (beats per min= 160)
  • “Shake it Off “by: Taylor Swift (beats per min= 160)

Notice here how all of the BPM of these songs are above 150. Save these for your pre-workout.This is great for pumping up, but may be a little fast for your workout if you’re trying to pace yourself. 

Warm Up

Once I’m in the pool, these are a few songs I like to start with. These are set at lower BPM’s to make sure you don’t start out too fast and wear yourself out. You’ll want to be moving and warming up your muscles without tearing them.

  • “What It Takes” by: Aerosmith  (beats per min= 68)
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” by: Queen  (beats per min= 72)
  • “Hopeless Wanderer” by: Mumford And Sons (beats per min= 78)

Let’s Speed It Up

Once the warm-up is done and I’m feeling ready, it’s time to build up the tempo. I don’t go from warm-up to sprint, though. Instead, I do a slow climb, then hold a hard pace at my core workout speed.


These are only a few songs listed here as suggestions, but add more to lengthen your workout.

  • “Money” by: Pink Floyd (beats per min= 125)
  • “Titanium” by: David Guetta (beats per min= 130)
  • “Tighten Up” by: The Black Keys (beats per min= 135)
  • “Rock and Roll All Night” by: KISS (beats per min= 142)

Cooling Down

Especially in the mornings, it seems like a quick workout is best. Even if this is the case, make sure not to skip the cool down afterwards! This will help prevent lactic acid build up and prevent soreness. Check out this article for more about cooling down after a swim.
You will want to get your heart beat down to about 100 beats per minute before you leave the pool. These songs all have sub 100 BPM to help you achieve that goal.


  • “Hey, Soul Sister” by: Train (beats per min= 95)
  • “Take It To The Limit” by: The Eagles (beats per min= 91)
  • “Selene” by: Imagine Dragons (beats per minute= 95)

One Last Thought

Music can be a strong motivator if used correctly! Whatever your music of choice may be, remember to keep in mind the right beats per minute for different aspects of your workout. This will help maximize your workout so you can get the most out of it.
Tell us what you think! What are some of your favorite workout songs for swimming?

Ally Henley
Ally Henley

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