The Kettlebell Halo: A Simple How To Guide

Kettlebell Halo Exercise

The Kettlebell Halo Exercise: Perhaps, some of you have seen a fellow gym-goer or two rotating a single kettlebell around their head, but weren’t quite sure what to make of it. As a matter of fact, this isn’t surprising as most of us have never heard the term “Kettlebell Halo” before, let alone understand it’s amazing health benefits, the muscles worked and the need to be doing it.

And while I’m not sure that performing the Kettlebell Halo will bring you any closer to gates of heaven, it will most definitely improve your shoulder health, including shoulder strength and mobility. And that I can guarantee!

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Key Takeaways

  • The Kettlebell Halo Exercise is one of the best holistic exercises for improving shoulder health and mobility.
  • Use this simple guide to understand the muscles groups this exercise incorporates and benefits, plus alternative equipment to using a kettlebell for this move.
  • Keep reading to learn how to perform the KB Halo with proper form and technique plus 4 common mistakes to avoid serious injury.

What is a Kettlebell Halo?

Dateline: The Kettlebell Halo is one of the best holistic exercises for improving shoulder health and mobility. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most overlooked, dismissed and underrated exercises as well. The move itself is quite simple and easy to master with some dedication and practice. It’s most commonly performed with a kettlebell and involves firmly securing a kettlebell by its horns with the bottom side up and rotating it around your head.

Kettlebell Halo: Benefits & Muscles Worked
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Key Benefits and Muscles Worked

Kettlebell Halos’s act as a highly effective warm-up for the shoulders and work a wide array of muscles groups outside the obvious—the shoulders. In fact, they simultaneously help to build strength and mobility too.

Kettlebell Halos Are The Mobility & Strength Exercise You Need To Be Doing.

I personally include two sets of these as a warm-up before shoulder routines and full body kettlebell workouts or full body dumbbell workouts.

Let’s take a look at some of key benefits and muscles worked.

  • Improves Mobility
    • Upper Back
    • Shoulders and Shoulder Girdle
    • Rhomboids
    • Trapezius
    • Thoracic Spine
  • Increases Strength
    • Shoulders (deltoids)
    • Upper Back
    • Trapezius
    • Rhomboids
    • Biceps and Forearms
  • Improves Core Stability
    • Rectus Abdominus
    • Traverse abdominis
    • Internal and external obliques
    • Multifidus and erector spinae

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Kettlebell Halo: Proper Form & Technique

Time needed: 2 minutes.

How To Perform The Kettlebell Halo … A Step-By-Step Checklist

  1. Initial Set up

    Begin the KB Halo Exercise with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  2. Clutch Kettlebell Firmly

    Grab and firmly clutch a kettlebell by the horns with the bottom side up. In doing so, you will create clearance for the KB to effectively rotate around your head.

  3. Brace Your Core

    Next, brace your core by exhaling sharply and drawing your abdominals in to your spine. Begin a normal breathing pattern.

  4. Shoulder Position

    Prime the first rotational movement by keeping your shoulders back and down, as well as retracting your shoulder blades.

  5. Halo Movement

    Finally, begin the Kettlebell Halo movement by rotating the KB around the head. Repeat the movement by rotating the KB in the opposite direction. That’s one rep.

Here’s How It Looks

Here’s a great visual of exactly how the Kettlebell Halo looks when performed.

Kettlebell Halo Equipment Alternatives: Kettlebell, Barbell Plate, Dumbbell, Sandbell…

The kettlebell itself has become a common piece of gym hardware over the last decade. While most gyms are well equipped with kettlebells, from time to time other gym members will be using all of them. For this reason, it’s good to have alternative equipment in mind to complete the KB Halo exercise as it appears in your workout program.

Below is a list of other alternatives:

  • Medicine ball
  • Barbell plate
  • Sandbell
  • Dumbbell
  • Sandbag

Need Help with Kettlebell Halos?

If you’re unsure how to perform the Kettlebell Halo with any of the alternative options listed above please leave a comment below or reach out via the contact form.

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4 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Do NOT Over Circle The Kettlebell

Avoid over-circling the kettlebell. Keep the KB close to the head as it rotates, but take special care not to touch, hit or slam the KB into the skull. Note: The Kettlebell should never touch the head at all.

Poor Kettlebell Grip

Maintaining a firm grip is crucial to this move. Although, the kettlebell is in fact rotating in your hands, it’s important to continuously grip it firmly.

Do NOT Flex Your Neck

Maintain strict neutral position of the neck while performing the KB Halo. Do not move your head to accommodate the movement of the kettlebell. Instead, slow the movement down and maintain strict and proper form while rotating the KB. Note: The KB moves, the head does not.

Do NOT Flex or Hyperextend the Spine

Maintain strict posture and stable hip position throughout the entire exercise. Avoid leaning back, forward or side to side to accommodate the rotation of the kettlebell.


By and large, the Kettlebell Halo is certainly an exercise you need to be doing and for good reason. Let me be clear—uniquely and simultaneously this exercise strengthens and mobilizes your shoulders, as well as ancillary muscle groups. Given these points, you should be performing them often.

In closing, I hope you, my dedicated readers and also newbies to Body360 Fit exercise guides, will let this article serve as friendly reminder to prioritize Kettlebell Halos within your routines. I can assure you, you will ultimately enjoy some amazing health benefits while your shoulders will be looking and feeling great too!

Until next time,


Fitness Guy @Body360Fit

PS. Did you enjoy learning Proper Kettlebell Halo Form? If so, please share it with your friends on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

PPS. If you have have any questions, please leave them in the comments below or send me a message via the contact form.

Additional Learning

Complete Guide To Proper Pushup Form [16 Videos + Infographic]

CLICK HERE To Read My Beginner Pushups Story and Gain Access to the Full Guide.

How To Do A Superman Plank [Benefits & Muscles Work]

CLICK HERE To Start Building a Stronger Core.

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