JAMMIN AT THE GYM

Raheel Ramzanali: Ranking the workout songs from the Black Panther soundtrack

The Black Panther soundtrack has great workout songs. Youtube.com

This week Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Panther will finally come out after years of anticipation and early last week the soundtrack for the movie was released. While most soundtracks feature mostly instrumentals, Black Panther’s soundtrack was produced by Grammy winning artist Kendrick Lamar so it sounds and plays like a traditional hip hop album. While I love a good Hans Zimmer track in my workout playlist (shout out to Time on the Inception album!),  you normally can’t finish off the last five minutes of cardio to most movie soundtracks. The Black Panther soundtrack is different. This soundtrack is tailor made for your workout playlist so I want to rank the most “workoutable” songs on this album from 1-13.

  1. Pray For Me by The Weeknd - Unlike most writers, I’m starting with the best stuff and giving you the most workoutable song. This song was destined to be your go to song for that PR set or the jam to get you started on cardio day. I’m not the biggest fan of the Weeknd, but he does the damn thing on this song. Get ready to squat until you can’t when the chorus hits. Getting tired? You just need Kendrick’s, “You need a hero, look in the mirror, there go your hero.” I’ve listened to this song at least 38 times since the soundtrack released. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. Redemption by Zacari - This is a huge upset because All The Stars is a GREAT workout song and I’ve had it on my playlist for a month now, but after listening to the soundtrack multiple times, this song here goes so hard. I had it on while playing basketball and pretty much the game stopped so we could all get in a booty pop. The beat is great and will provide you with that much needed boost during your sessions.

  3. All The Stars  by Kendrick Lamar - When I first heard this song last month I couldn’t believe I liked it since I’m not the biggest Lamar fan, but even he couldn’t make me hate this song. This is such a built for Top 40 radio station song with the themes of love, use of Sza, and leftover Rihanna beat, but it works so damn well. This is also the first song by Sza that didn’t make me question everything I know about relationships and love. My one pet peeve with this song? The way Sza pronounces “closer” - y'all sure she isn’t saying kosher?! Best time to play this song? Right when you start your workout.

  4. King’s Dead by Kendrick Lamar - MISS ME WITH THAT BULLSH*T! If you were looking for a “traditional” sounding K.Dot song then this is the one. The beat brings it and the features by Jay Rock and Future really bring that extra eyyyyyyy we’re looking for in a workout song.  Just when you think this song is done - oh snap, James Blake on it! Everything changes from here and Kendrick Lamar takes us home.

  5. X by ScHoolboy Q - I’ll admit it, I don’t even know who or what a ScHoolboy Q is, but I’m into it now. We’re now entering the part of this list where you could shuffle 5-8 and they’ll be about the same in the workoutable measurement. At this point it’s just really good background music that will keep you going during your workout. I’m putting this song at 5 out of respect to 2 Chainz and his feature.

  6. Big Shot by Kendrick Lamar - Please, please, please don’t kill me for putting this at six since Houston’s own Travis Scott is on this track. I really like this song, but to me it falls into the category where the songs really don’t pop, but still are good workout songs. Bonus to Scott for always mentioning Houston on major projects.

  7. Opps by Vince Staples - I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I can already tell you this song’s instrumental will be used in the most dope fight scene we’ve ever seen in the Marvel Universe. This song will bring it so hard in the movie, but as for a workout song? It’s just another song. I have a feeling most will not agree on this ranking.

  8. Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar - If you LOVE Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical mastery then this song is for you, but it really doesn’t have that IT factor for a workout song so it comes in at eight.

  9. Paramedic!  by SOB x RBE - Good beat, catchy chorus, and features from a bunch of guys, but man this song just doesn’t work for me. You might like it, but this one won’t be making my workout playlist.  

  10. Bloody Waters by Ab-Soul - See above. (Sidenote, this song is a setup for King’s Dead so it does flow nicely if you put em back to back like they are on the soundtrack.)

  11. The Ways by Khalid - We’ve now hit the portion of the list where the tracks are really good for a cool down or warm-up. Need to bring that heart rate down some? Put on this love ballad and just let Khalid and Swae Lee bring a smile to your face as you check out your gym crush that can bench more than you.

  12. I Am by Jorja Smith - I can’t get Jorja’s voice out of my head. It’s haunting. It’s beautiful. Damn, this is such a good song to have on while you’re setting the mood with that special someone, but I just can’t see myself using this in the gym. Maybe for couples yoga or sitting in the sauna just so I can make it awkward for others in there with me.

  13. Seasons by Mozzy - This song doesn’t have workout beat you need, but damn Reason brings it in this song.

 

So there you go, enjoy this soundtrack and movie! Let me know what you think by tweeting me @The_Raheel.

It's that time of the year, where you will either a) be traveling, or b) too comfy and warm to get out of bed! And don't worry even while you are traveling to your favorite mother-in-law's house, I got you covered. We've all had those moments, even the biggest fit junkies, where you wake up and think…. maybe I could work out from my bed? Well below are some of the top exercises you can do, all without having to leave your bed!

1)The Pilates clam

In the video, first you will notice a pillow in between my arm and head. Place a pillow or towel here in order to keep the spine in line from head to end of tail bone. Remember this is a beginner exercise, but you can always advance it and lift the feet in the air, in the same position. Repeat 3 sets of 15 each.

2) Straight- leg lifts

Laying on your left side, place your right hand on your hip, while your arm is bent and helping to support your head. Lift the right leg up to about a 45-degree angle. Repeat 15 times with 3 sets and you will feel your glutes start to burn. Flip over to your right side and repeat on left leg.

3) Prone Cuban Press

This isn't as much of an exercise, but it is very beneficial to your arm flexibility and strength. This is similar to a prone Cuban press, except without weight. Lie on your belly extend your arms straight out. Try to pass through your arms right underneath your shoulders, while bending your arms and reaching through towards the toes. Using the same motion come back up through, back to the top. This is harder than it looks and will really test your flexibility. Repeat these 15 times.

4) V-ups (jackknife sit-ups)

Technically, you can do any form of sit-ups here. However, I like to choose V-ups, especially if you have a bony spine, the bed helps tremendously with the comfort of your spine. While lying on your back, extend your arms over your head and legs straight out. All in one movement raise your upper half of your body reaching towards the ceiling. At the same time your legs will come up to try meet your fingertips. Remember your hands are reaching towards the ceiling and toes are trying to reach those hands. Try not to let your feet meet your hands, before your hands get to the top point of the exercise. Repeat 12 times for 3 sets.

5) Marching hip raises

Start in the same half bridge position, except this time you are going to lift 1 leg up in a 45-degree angle, and hold for :1 second. Alternate each leg, 10 times. Reminder you are alternating legs while you are still holding this bridge position.

6) Bird dogs

Start in a table top, hands, knees, and shins resting on the bed. In one motion reach out your right arm along while straightening out your left leg, hold for 1 second. Then alternate your arms and legs. The unevenness of the bed will really give you a test of your balance. Repeat 10 times each and 3 sets.

7) Half-bridge

While lying on your back on the bed, with your knees bent, tuck-in your chin tucked into your chest. As your booty lifts off the bed, dig your heels into the bed, squeezing your glutes. For an added benefit, fold a pillow and place within your knees and squeeze for :5 at a time. This will help you tone the inner part of your thighs. Repeat these 15 times, for 3 sets.

8) Single leg half-bridge

While lying on your back, bend one leg, while the other is in the air at a 45-degree angle. Arms are to each side, palms down. With 1 leg lifted, you will lift your gluteus maximus in the air, pushing through your hips to the ceiling, hold for 1 second and release. Repeat on same leg 10 times, then alternate to other leg.

9) Booty sculpting hip rotations

These are small movements, but you will definitely feel it in your booty. Lie on your belly, bend your arms, and use your hands for support of your head. Straighten one leg, while bending the other leg (foot resting behind opposite knee). This movement can be slow and at your pace. With only lifting your bent knee up from the bed be sure to keep the rest of the movement pressed against the bed. Again, this is a small movement, only lifting a few inches. This movement targets a complex group of muscles that include gluteus medius/maximus, piriformis, and quadratus femoris.

10) Toe Taps

Lie on your back towards the edge of the bed, make sure you have a neutral spine the whole time. Bring your legs into a table top position (bending at a 45-degree angle). On the exhale lower on leg towards the ground. Only go as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. This will also make sure your abs are pulled in and working. Alternate legs throughout the exercise and do 10 reps on each leg.

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