How To Do Kettlebell Halos and Why You Should (Hint: Huge Benefits!) [2023]

Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Patrick

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The kettlebell halo is a great exercise for your back and shoulders. In this article, we will go over how to perform the kettlebell halo exercise and the benefits of doing them.

There Are Many Benefits to Doing the Kettlebell Halo Exercise:

Strengthen your shoulder muscles, upper back muscles and triceps

Strengthen your core muscles

Improve shoulder stability

Help improve balance

They’re easy to perform

They don’t require much equipment

They help you avoid injury during other exercises

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is the Kettlebell Halo Exercise?

The kettlebell halo is a great kettlebell workout that works the shoulder girdle, triceps and upper back.

Like many kettlebell workouts, this one can be performed as a warm up prior to other exercises, as an active recovery exercise between other exercises, or even as a means to strengthen your shoulders by itself!

It is very simple to do and can be done almost anywhere as long as you have access to a kettlebell, which isn’t too expensive if you don’t already own one.

Are Kettlebell Exercises Good For Shoulder Mobility?


This movement in particular is great for strengthening your shoulders and making them ready for other strength training movements!

How Do You Do A Kettlebell Halo?

Start by holding your kettlebell with two hands in front of your chest. You can hold the kettlebell either by the ball or by the handle, upside down so that the ball is closer to the ceiling.

Slowly lift the kettlebell to one side of your head and around to the back of your neck, turning the kettlebell upside down when it is behind your head.

Bring the kettlebell the rest of the way around your head and back to the starting position.

Big shoutout to Wodstar at Youtube for the awesome video!


You should be keeping the kettlebell close to the base of your neck the entire time you are performing the exercise.

Keep your elbows tucked in, close to your body throughout the movement.

Make sure to stand straight and stall with your knees slightly bent and your feet hip distance apart.

Keep your chin up and your hips stable. You shouldn’t be moving your lower body.

Relax your shoulders and try to do the halo movement in a smooth, controlled movement.

Make sure you keep your core engaged the entire time!

You can either do a certain number of rotations in one direction and then switch directions, or you can continuously perform the movement in one direction for a certain period of time before changing directions and repeating on the other side.

Why You Should do the Kettlebell Halo

As stated before, the kettlebell halo is great for warming up or to use as a recovery workout between exercises.

This exercise is really great for improving shoulder mobility and range of motion. It can do wonders for your flexibility and even help to cultivate good posture!

What Muscles do Kettlebell Halos Work?

The kettlebell halo helps strengthen your shoulders, triceps and upper back. When done as a warm up, they can really help prep your body for more intense upper body exercises.

The kettlebell halo workout is a great low impact way to help improve shoulder strength and stability. They can be particularly helpful for people who struggle with shoulder pain when doing more intense exercises like heavy bench press.

Similar to many other kettlebell exercises, the kettlebell halo exercise can help you improve your grip strength, especially if you hold the kettlebell by the horns.

This kettlebell workout also helps improve balance and coordination as you move the kettlebell around your head. Engaging your core helps to built overall stability and there are even some cardiovascular benefits from the constant dynamic motion of the exercise!

Tips For Getting the Most Out of Your Workout With the Kettlebell Halo

Start with a light weight kettlebell when first getting starting with the kettlebell halo as you have to coordinate the swinging of the weight around your head and this may take some getting used to.

A lighter bell will give you more room for error and allow you to concentrate on making sure you’re performing the move with proper form and that the kettlebell doesn’t hit different parts of your body or fall down.

You can practice the kettlebell halo first without any weight at all. Get the movement down and make sure you are keeping your core muscles engaged to maintain balance and proper form.

Remember, the kettlebell or weight should be as close to your head and neck as possible during the entire halo.

Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you move it around. You don’t want it too far out in front of you or behind you as this will make it more difficult to control and can cause strain on your arms and shoulder blades.

Go slowly at first until you get the kettlebell halo movement down.

Focus on your breathing to help you maintain balance and engage different muscle groups. Breath in as you are bringing the kettlebell in front of you and breath out as you bring back around behind you!

Make sure you stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Avoid poor posture in your standing position and keep your core tight.

How Often Do You Do Kettlebell Halos?

The kettlebell halo workout is a fairly low impact exercise and can be performed regularly with little worry of injury.

If you’ve never done the kettlebell halo before, it may be best to limit this kettlebell exercise to around every other day. Like any other exercise, don’t overdo it at first and let your body get used to the new movement.

You may find that you enjoy this exercise so much that you want to do it more often! Just make sure not to overdo it to the point where you’re injured.

Once your body is used to the motion, you can incorporate it into a regular warm up or in between other weight training or kettlebell workouts.

Do Kettlebell Halos Build Muscle?

The Kettlebell halo can help to build muscle in your shoulders muscles, back, triceps and even in your core.

Because of the low impact nature of the exercise, the kettlebell halo is primarily used to strengthen your shoulders and improve range of motion for other exercises, which is why it’s generally used as a warmup or recovery exercise.

The real benefit of the kettlebell halo is the strength and core stability you gain, which can really help when performing other, more intense exercises or even other kettlebell workouts!

Kettlebell Halo Variations

The halo movement can be performed using other kinds of weights as well!

In particular, I would recommend both the weight plate halo and the dumbbell halo.

What Are Plate Halos Good For?

The plate halo is awesome because you probably already have access to any number of different weight plates at your gym meaning this is a great way to increase the variety of your workouts!

Another bonus is that the unique shape of the weight plate makes this a great option for increasing your grip strength during your workouts!

Weight plates can be used for the halo if you want to try something new in your halo workouts or if you have more access to weight plates.

Just grip the edges of the plate, keep your knees slightly bent and perform the halo, keeping the plate as close to your head as possible.

What Is the Dumbbell Halo Good For?

This is a great option if you already have a set of dumbbells on hand.

Just hold the dumbbell in a vertical position, either by the bar or the upper weight portion of the dumbbell. Make sure to keep a firm grip.

Perform the halo as usual, stay focused on keeping the weight close to your head all the way through.

The large range of different weights available and the different shape of the weight means that this variation is easy to try out, no matter your level of fitness.

Kettlebell Halos Muscles Worked

Kettlebell halos are an exercise that primarily works the muscles in your shoulders and upper back, including the deltoids, the rotator cuff muscles, and the trapezius.

This exercise can also help to engage your abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis and the obliques, which help to support your spine and keep your body stable during the movement.

In addition to working these muscles, kettlebell halos can also help to improve your shoulder mobility and stability, and can be a great way to build overall strength in your upper body.

Final Words

Kettlebells have been used in various forms of fitness in Europe and Russia since at least the 19th century, though they’ve only just gained the name “kettlebell” in English in the early 20th century.

These days, kettlebells are a great way to increase your overall fitness in just minutes per day. You can use them for weight training, cardio workouts, and more.

After reading this article you should have learned the benefits of kettle bell training, how to perform a kettlebell halo, and why it’s such an awesome workout for beginners.

There’s no need to spend hours at the gym performing complex movements when you could get all of these benefits and grow your core strength with more simple movements!

What is your favorite kettlebell exercise? Let me know in the comments below!

Further Reading

More Kettlebells

Check out more kettlebell exercises for beginners!


The Kettlebell Deadlift: A Beginner’s Guide

The Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Clean and Press

Kettlebell Swings Superguide!

Kettlebell Squats: How to and Why

Kettlebell Hollow Body Flutter Kicks

Try out some Kettlebell Hip Thrusts to get those booty gains!

Kettlebell Figure 8s

Did you know there are different styles of kettlebell workouts? Check out our breakdown of kettlebell hardstyle vs softstyle!

Interested In Something a Little Different?

Check out our list of the best roman chairs!

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