15 Pump Up Songs Swimmers Love

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Commentary By Kelsey Mitchell, Swimming World College Intern.

When people hear the phrase “pump up song,” a few legendary songs immediately come to mind. Songs such as Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Europe’s The Final Countdown have all become motivational classics in both pop culture and the sporting world. Pump up songs play a large role in many sports, especially in individual ones like swimming. They allow you to focus, step inside yourself and hone in on your race.

Whether you use your music to chase away the pre-race jitters or psych yourself up before an intense final, there’s no doubt that music can have an impact on your performance. Swimming World asked some aquatic athletes what their favorite pump up songs and artists were, and here are 15 of their responses.

1. Ruby (9): “Believer” by Imagine Dragons

2. Sarah (19): “Run the World” [Clean Version] by Beyoncé

“This song gets me pumped for the 50!” Queen Bee certainly exudes girl power in this hit song. While you can’t help but move to this beat, you may want to check the lyrics and version before allowing a young swimmer to break it down.

3. Sam (18): “Shake It” by Metro Station

“I think I’d have to pick Shake It by Metro Station because it’s such a hype song. You can’t listen to it without getting excited!”

4. Heath (21): Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Louis Armstrong

These classic voices from the past were the big band greats of the mid-20th century. You can’t help but be in a good mood while listening to their upbeat style of music.

5. Virgil (23): “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

“I love to listen to I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston because I tend to overthink races. A lot of people have a goal to get their heart rate up before they swim, but I need to calm down. When I listen to that song, I shake out the nerves and just remember to have fun and smile.”

6. Will (11): Post Malone

“I like the style of music and how it sounds!”

This artist has just as many critics as fans, and his music has described as a “melting pot of the country, grunge, hip-hop and R&B.” Most of his music does not fall under the “clean” rating, so be sure to check his lyrics before playing his songs.

7. Madison (18): “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

“I don’t really have a favorite pump up song. I just listen to music that I can sing along with the team. We listen to Bohemian Rhapsody and we just jam out and dance because it’s a fun way to not feel so stressed before racing.”

Queen’s music can typically be heard across pool decks with energetic, classic rock vibes keeping the buzz light-hearted. You will probably hear teams singing along and dancing, as their songs have spanned generations.

8. Susan (19): “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys, Fifth Harmony and Amy Winehouse

9. Alec (19): “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

“I listen to the theme song from Ghostbusters to put a smile on my face and help me remember it’s just a race and to have fun. Plus, who else am I going to call?”

10. Ian (18): “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance and “Spectrum” by Zedd

“Without getting into too weird of music a couple good examples are Spectrum by Zedd and Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.”

My Chemical Romance is an American Punk Rock band formed in 2001. They split in 2013, but many of their rock anthems such as Welcome to the Black Parade still remain popular today.

Zedd is a Russian-German artist known for his DJ skills and songwriting. The majority of his electro house music is relatively high energy and upbeat, perfect for a pre-swim recharge.

11. Collin (6): “God’s Plan” by Drake

12. Ani (20): “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles and “Sweet Victory” by David Glen Eisley

Video Killed the Radio Star and Sweet Victory from Spongebob, because they’re both harmless and kind of goofy!”

13. Nolan (11): “Natural” by Imagine Dragons

“I don’t know why I like it. It’s just good. They’re my favorite band.”

Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band with influences from folk, hip-hop and electronic dance music. They tend to become family favorite bands for their general lack of explicit content.

14. Evan (19): “Love on Top” by Beyoncé

15. Liam (8): “Juicy Wiggle” by Redfoo

Redfoo is an American rapper, dancer, record producer, DJ, singer and songwriter. This song features several beat drops along with piano accompaniment. It’s intentionally a goofy song without much substance, but it’s guaranteed to get your body moving and warmed up for your next race.

What are your favorite pump up songs before races?

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Sherri Bogue
5 years ago

Some great songs

Jason Matthew Renshaw
5 years ago

Swim League music update Adam Beisler…..

Sarah Kessinger
5 years ago


Jodi Edge Brocki
5 years ago


Raquel Casswell
5 years ago

Maddy Casswelll

Sandra Mclean-Leonard
5 years ago

Hannah May Mclean-Leonard

Claudia Tarr
5 years ago

Aaron Tarr

Sarah McNew
5 years ago

Christopher Mcnew Colin Mcnew

Jonathan Ballard
5 years ago

This list is so bogus! Not 1 AC/DC, LED Zeppelin. Or Van Halen song!

Swimming World
5 years ago

What would be your top 15 pump up songs?

Jeff Gershe
5 years ago

Swimming World got to add The Who, Eminence Front, Genesis – Abacab – but that’s when I swam…

Donna Pearce Price
5 years ago

Samantha Jo Price, true?

Amy Nimlos Hippen
5 years ago

Caroline Hippen

Brenda Dayton
5 years ago

Isabella Cesareo

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