The kettlebell halo is one of the simplest kettlebell workouts you could do. You can grab your kettlebell of reasonable but slightly challenging weight and do it at home.
There are no hops, skips, or jumps for this one. However, you are free to modify your kettlebell halo with squats or lunges in order to test your mobility.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart on the ground.
- Your back should stay straight and chest up.
- Grab your kettlebell by the handle with both of your hands at chest level with your elbows tucked in.
- Keep your shoulders down and chin up as you move the kettlebell behind you.
- The kettlebell should move across your shoulder blades, brush the back of your head and back to your front.
- It’s important to keep your kettlebell as close to your neck as possible throughout the motions instead of above the head.
- You can do up to twenty reps but remember to change direction after each rotation.
MUSCLES WORKED BY THE KETTLEBELL HALO
There are a large number of muscles in the shoulder but we will only focus on the deltoids, rhomboids and trapezius.
Deltoid muscle is a large triangular muscle that is crucial to the abduction of the arm. It spans not only your clavicle but also your acromion and scapula, giving the shoulder a rounded structure.
Consisting of the major and minor rhomboids, this muscle forms a shape like a rhombus.
Stabilization of the shoulder is its main function which in turn enables movement of the upper limb.
The trapezius is a pair of triangular-shaped muscles which together create a diamond or trapezium-shaped structure.
This muscle extends around the upper back (back of the neck and thorax) facilitating the movement of the shoulder.
The triceps is a three-headed muscle of the upper arm more specifically, the back of your upper arm.
Extension and retraction of the forearm are made possible through it as well as stabilization of the shoulder along with other muscles.
Rising from the shoulder blades, this muscle mass is located between the elbow and shoulder. Its main functions are rotation of the forearm and flexion of the elbow.
BENEFITS OF THE KETTLEBELL HALO
Through the kettlebell halo, the shoulder and spine loosen up. This workout also makes your shoulder and back muscles more resilient and flexible to motion.
Activities such as reaching, twisting and pulling are made easier with the consistent attempt of this exercise. Try it and you are sure to feel the difference in your stiff shoulders
STRENGTHENS FOREARMS AND SHOULDERS
Using a kettlebell of reasonable weight serves to train the muscles of your shoulders such as the deltoids as well as the triceps and biceps.
This gradually gives you stronger forearms and shoulders which are less prone to injury.
IMPROVES CORE STABILITY
The kettlebell halo builds rotational strength which is key in explosive movements. Your overall balance will improve due to this workout.
That is, you can more easily stay steady and upright even when encountering resistance.
The kettlebell halo works to loosen tight muscles in the shoulder and upper back which gives you a better posture.
Remember the form needed when doing the kettlebell halo includes shoulders down, chin up and back straight which in itself is good posture.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE KETTLEBELL HALO
BARBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
The overhead press in a barbell work out that targets muscles similar to those targeted by the kettlebell halo. These include the triceps, shoulders and upper back.
- Stand straight with your legs planted at shoulder width.
- Bring your chest in and brace your core.
- Grip your barbell with a tight fist at the front of your shoulders and slowly lift it straight up until your arms are straight.
- Pause for three seconds before slowly bringing your barbell down to your starting position.
Another workout great for the shoulders and biceps, battle ropes are a great substitute to the kettlebell halo.
- Wrap your rope around a pole leaving a bit of slack and ends of equal length.
- Plant your feet at shoulder width then hinge at the hips with your back straight and knees bent.
- Grab both ends of the battle ropes with your elbows bent slightly and your and arms at shoulder width.
- Now you can slowly swing one arm up while the other down and keep moving your arms with moderate speed.
CABLE FRONT RAISE
This is a simple machine equipment work out perfect for your biceps and front shoulder.
- Stand with the cable machine at your back and feet at shoulder width.
- Hold the bar with an overhand grip and slowly lift your hands up, keeping your arms and back straight.
- Once you get the bar to shoulder height, slowly bring the it down and repeat.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE KETTLEBELL HALO
ACHING THE BACK
If you are not looking to have a hunch back, then you better straighten your spine all through this exercise.
Bending or rounding your back may increase your range of mobility for the workout but it will cause more adverse effects. Maintaining a solid posture is crucial all through the kettlebell halo.
CIRCLING THE TOP OF THE HEAD
This completely beats the purpose of your kettlebell halo workout. Circling the kettlebell too high does not work the shoulders as expected.
Instead, move the kettlebell around the neck and have it brush the hair at the back of your head.
HOLDING YOUR BREATH
This is quite common in mobility workouts that make use of weights. It may be a sign that you need to reduce the weight of your kettlebell. Do not strain yourself!
Also be conscious of your breaths which should be normal.
Large circles around the head may not seem harmful cause you’re doing a mobility work out but you should in fact make tight controlled circles. This works the upper back muscles better.
The kettlebell halo is a wonderful mobility workout that you should do to get those tight shoulders loose. You can also perform it as a warmup before your other kettlebell workouts.
The reasons you should do this workout are endless so don’t disregard the kettlebell halo in your routine.