Fitness pro shares how to incorporate the Kettlebell Halo Exercise and why it’s so simple yet challenging.
If you aren’t involved in CrossFit or do snatches, cleans, and squats regularly, your kettlebells might be reserved primarily for leg and booty-building exercises like deadlifts and squats.
Exhibit A: Kettlebell halo. This is a strength-and mobility-boosting exercise that targets your core and upper body. The tool can be used for more than just lower-body moves.
A trainer explains all the benefits of the kettlebell halo exercise and why it is important to include it in your training program. She also gives tips for modifying and performing the exercise depending on your fitness level.
How To Do Kettlebell Halo Exercise
The kettlebell halo exercise is simply holding a kettlebell in front of you and then moving it around your head like you were drawing a halo. Analysis Rios C.S.C.S. is a certified personal trainer in Connecticut.
She says the kettlebell halo exercise is the most commonly used weight for this exercise. However, you can also use dumbbells or weight plates.
- A. To start kettlebell halo exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart. To start, bend your elbows in front of the ribcage. The Bell of the weight should be in front of your mouth.
- B. Keep your biceps close to your head and guide the kettlebell around the back of your head, past the right ear, before returning it to its original position.
- C. Pause and then continue the movement on the other side.
Advantages of Kettlebell Halo Exercise
The kettlebell halo is a simple move that offers many benefits for your core and upper body.
#1. Increases grip strength
Rios says that the kettlebell halo exercise helps improve grip strength. Rios says this benefit is especially important if you want to set a new personal best in the gym.
Rios stated that you must be able to lift the weight you desire. You will only be capable of performing as many deadlifts or pull-ups as your grip allows because that’s what you usually do first.
You may not be able to lift 10 heavy deadlifts if your grip muscles don’t have enough strength to hold onto the bar.
You also rely on your grip strength for everyday tasks like lifting heavy containers onto your pantry shelves or carrying grocery bags into your kitchen. It should not be ignored.
#2. Long-term Tension Stress Encourages Muscle Growth
Rios explains that the kettlebell halo exercise is an isometric exercise for your triceps and biceps.
It doesn’t cause muscle lengthening or shrinking because you keep the weight in the same place throughout the movement.
Rios says that the kettlebell halo exercise increases your time under tension. This means you can increase your strength without using too many reps or too much weight.
According to the American Council on Exercise, “Time under tension” refers to how long your muscles contract against an external resistance (in this instance, weight).
According to A.C.E., increasing time under tension can cause more muscle damage and metabolic fatigue. However, proper recovery can result in more muscle growth.
#3. Lowers the risk of injury
Rios says that the kettlebell halo exercises help build strength, mobility, and stability in your shoulders.
Rios says that rotating a kettlebell or any other weight around your head can improve your shoulder mobility because you’re moving your joints through their full range.
This exercise can also increase shoulder strength and stability or the ability of your joint to control its movement.
The surrounding muscles must support the weight and work hard for proper alignment. According to A.C.E., compensating your movement with limited mobility or stability can lead to injury and muscle imbalances.
A lack of shoulder strength to lift a heavy object (e.g., Rios says that damage can also result from a suitcase being put in an overhead compartment on a plane or a child being lifted in the air.
#4. Kettlebell Halo Exercise Muscles
Rios says that the kettlebell halo exercise tests your upper body, including your traps, triceps, and shoulders.
She adds that strengthening these muscles can make it easier to perform everyday tasks. She says, “You carry groceries, lift things, and if your child is young, you are constantly picking up, holding, carrying, and carrying them.”
It would be best if you had upper-body strength to do all that.
Rios says the halo exercise has a “sneaky advantage” because it also targets the core.
She explains that while moving the kettlebell toward one ear and going around with it, your body must stabilize and ensure there is no lateral flexion.
Your core must be stable when you are moving behind your head. Also, make sure that you don’t lean back. It’s like walking on a plank.
Variations on the Kettlebell Halo Exercise
You can modify the kettlebell halo to suit your needs, whether you are a beginner looking to improve your form or an experienced practitioner who wants to advance the exercise.
#1. Modify by changing to a sitting or kneeling position
You should modify the kettlebell-halo exercise if you notice that your lower back is arching or your core is not stable.
Rios says he prefers people to do the exercise sitting down because it relieves some of the pressure that comes with maintaining a neutral spine. Rios suggests you can increase the challenge by doing the training while sitting once you are comfortable with the movements.
Rios suggests that you try it in a tall, kneeling position. Your knees will be on the ground, and your forearms lifted. She means that you can move to a standing kettlebell halo if you are confident and comfortable with your form.
#2. Add a Balance Challenge to Advance
Rios suggests performing the kettlebell-halo exercise in different positions that challenge your balance.
She means you do the kettlebell halo in a half-kneeling posture, with one knee on the ground and the other in front of you.
Rios says that if you move the kettlebell towards your knee on the basis, your stability will be less. Your core will need to work harder to keep you upright and stable.
You can then move on to a kettlebell halo in a split position. This is where your back knee is elevated above the floor, and you are in a lunge position.
Rios says, “That one is difficult because your balance is off. You’re hovering. And since you’re in an Isometric Lunge Hold, you also get lower-body work.”
She suggests you can also do a standing kettlebell halo by having one knee bent at 90 degrees and the other pulled up to your hips.
She explains that you perform the halo while standing on one leg. It helps to achieve bilateral balance, and the knee drive increases the tension in your abs.
Common Kettlebell Halo Mistakes
Rios says it is important to maintain your core engaged while performing the kettlebell-halo exercise. Also, avoid twisting your trunk.
Rios suggests that you flex towards your left side and bring the kettlebell toward your left ear, which could cause injury. Rios says that you will tuck it between your legs if you imagine having a tail. That’s when you know your spine is neutral.
Rios says that you should also keep the weight close to your body. You can perform a slight halo around your head.
She explains that if the weight is too far from your body, there’s a chance of injury as you put your shoulder in an awkward position.
Rios says that to get the best results for your triceps, keep your elbows in place and your biceps close by your ears to maximize your benefit.
How To add Kettlebell Halo exercise to your routine
Are you ready to incorporate the kettlebell halo into your upper-body training routine? You can also use a dumbbell or weight plate if you don’t own a kettlebell.
Rios says that a kettlebell is the best choice. A dumbbell’s ends may be difficult to grip depending on how they are made, while a weight plate can make your elbows flare out.
She adds that while using other tools to do the same thing, the kettlebell is the best and most cost-effective tool.
Rios says that no matter what type of equipment you use, starting with lightweight (roughly 10 lbs or less) is important.
Rios explains that you want to practice full movement and not overcompensate with equipment. Then, as you gain strength and mobility in your shoulders, you can gradually add weight.
You could hurt yourself if you are too heavy or don’t have enough mobility in your shoulders. Rios suggests that you perform the halo exercise three times a week.
She recommends that you learn the movement and then uses a heavier weight to do the halo exercise.
Each set should consist of eight to twelve reps. Then, reduce the number of reps to six to eight sets.
Some people may be more deliberate with their kettlebell halo and use it as a warm-up.
Rios says that people involved in overhead sports (e.g., baseball or volleyball) may be more able to benefit from this exercise.
Rios adds that this would be a great way to warm up for mobility because of the pressure on their shoulders.
Rios says that you should consult your doctor before the halo exercise if a shoulder injury or lower back injury occurs.
The kettlebell halo is a great addition to any training program, except for those with limited mobility. It’s one move that can do a lot.
Rios says that the halo is a great way to improve core strength and stability as well as mobility and stability.