Training female runner

Published on June 18th, 2013 | by Joe Starks


Weird Workouts: Karaoke Workouts

We know that a good beat can get us working out faster and longer. Studies have shown that people who experience difficulty to move smoothly can improve their walking speed and balance by listening to an upbeat song. There is something about rhythm around us that makes us want to be rhythmical and active. This is a fact that many trainers use to get their athletes motivated, as well as a tool of many successful cardio workouts.

The body has the tendency to slow down the longer we exercise, while a song won’t change its rhythm every time you hear it. Through synchronization, you can use the stable rhythm of a song to keep your pace up, because your mind might not realize on its own that you are not performing as good anymore. This brings us to a totally weird yet exciting new way to exercise with music: karaoke workouts.

What is a karaoke workout?

We all know karaoke, but if you’ve been living under a rock or something; karaoke is the act of singing along to a song, while usually standing in front of a screen that displays the lyrics for the song along with various other hints and pointers. Karaoke can be done by many people at once and be performed alongside the original singer’s voice or totally solo. It is something you can do alone to relax, or with friends to socialize. Most people agree that it is a fun and bonding experience to sing with others in karaoke. Even esteemed business men do it together in some parts of the world, to keep work relations on good terms.

So how do you fit in fitness into karaoke? Singing alone might burn a few calories, especially if you move a bit along the song, but it certainly does not qualify as a workout on its own. The answer is simple of course. You combine an established exercise regime with karaoke. Since you have to be able to sing freely along with your workout, this exercise needs to be full aerobic. You can’t possibly do a karaoke workout during a sprint, can you? Things like treadmill running, yoga, cycling and dancing are very compatible with a good karaoke workout. It is best if your exercise does not need a lot of space to be done, like a run in the park. Exercises that are stationary or almost stationary are usually the best, so that you can watch a screen with lyrics displayed on it. You also need to be in a space where the sounds you make do not bother anyone, so I do not recommend you doing karaoke workouts at home if you have jumpy neighbors. The best place is usually a gym or a special room designed for singing without bothering anyone.

What are the benefits of a karaoke workout?

You might wonder why to go through the whole fuss of starting to sing while exercising. Well there are plenty of serious benefits when you do it. Some of them are:

  • When you sing your lungs work harder and so does your heart. This means that singing while exercising will turn any aerobic exercise into cardio. If it already was cardio it will turn your exercising into even harder cardio instead.
  • Singing takes your mind off fatigue. A lot of the fatigue we feel when exercising exists in your mind alone and not your muscles. Your brain realizes how straining the things you do are and tries to convince you to stop sooner rather than later. If you distract your mind from that emotion you can work out longer without feeling like stopping. Music does that to you, especially if it is interactive music like karaoke.
  • Singing lowers stress. When you sing your whole body feels the effects of the usually harmonious music. Your mind relaxes through the effort and enjoyment, making singing one of the great stress relievers. If working out alone is not enough to calm you, singing might do the trick.
  • It is entertaining. We know that doing aerobic cardio might be a long boring business sometimes. Adding karaoke to the mix adds excitement and purpose to the otherwise long hours of contemplation or sheer boredom.


If you feel bored by the long hours of cardio you have to put in every week you should consider adding the twist of karaoke to it. Singing while working out improves your rhythm, relieves stress and turns any exercise into some damn good cardio. Many legendary celebrities including MJ did it (even before it became “hot”), and so can you!

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