The halo is unique in that it is not just an exercise for the body, but also the mind.
It specifically aims to build the connection between your brain and muscles while simultaneously boosting your concentration and strength. It is truly one of those exercises that you should take slowly and work to get the most out of every rep.
The Halo for Beginners
The halo is most frequently done with a kettlebell. However, if you or your gym does not have a kettlebell, it can also be done using a band. It is recommended to do between 2 and 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps, either once or twice a week. Most people recommend doing it prior to their upper body gym sessions to warm up and stimulate the upper body and back muscles.
Before you start the exercise, there are a few options for how you can hold the kettlebell. You can either hold it by the ball or carry it by the horns, depending on what is more comfortable for you. To do the halo, stand with your feet spread shoulder-length apart and in an athletic stance. Hold the kettlebell in the front of your chest while keeping your back straight. Then, move the kettlebell up from the chest to over the one shoulder. Then, move the kettlebell around the head and pass it over the opposite shoulder, while still gripping it with both hands. Each rep constitutes a full circle around the head. Alternate the direction that you are moving in to stretch each side evenly.
Here are some things to be aware of while doing the kettlebell halo:
- Maintain a forward gaze. Both your chin and your eyes should be facing forward.
- Your core should always be engaged. Tighten your core, drawing your belly button to your spine.
- You should enable your shoulders to move in a full circle, not confining them to limited motion.
- Keep the kettlebell close to your head. Moving it too far away can strain your arms.
- Keep the hips as stable as possible. They should not be moving in this exercise.
Strengthening the Mind-Body Connection
The halo both warms up and exercises the shoulders, rhomboids, trapezius, and forearms. It also improves the mobility of shoulders and can be a great workout when using lower amounts of weight. The pace of the exercise, which should be relatively slow, is excellent for building firm and lean muscles.
Because of the subtle and particular motions that this exercise requires it strengthens the connection between your mind and muscles. It can also improve your concentration and fine muscle skills in that it encourages you to very carefully move what could be a large weight around your head.
If looking to vary the exercise, you can also exchange the kettlebell for a plate. This may be easier for those just starting out implementing the exercise into their fitness routine because you can choose a relatively small plate while still adding a bit of weight on. It is way less bulky as well and could be safer for beginners.
As previously mentioned, the halo is also an exercise that takes an amount of mental focus. It is unique has not many other exercises follow this careful motion, where you are encircling a weight around your head. Due to the nature, it can not and should not be done quickly but instead carefully and in a controlled manner.