-The Kettlebell Orbit (aka Halo)-
I wanted to share one of my personal favorite shoulder mobility drills. It’s called a Kettlebell Halo, but I now call it a Kettlebell Orbit.
Please excuse the poor video quality. I shot this a while back using my little ol’ laptop.
The movement is pretty straightforward. Grab the kettlebell by the horns and get it in “bottoms up” position. I’ve seen Halos done several different ways, but I prefer the variation i’m doing here. “Orbit” your head with the kettlebell in a smooth motion. When one elbow is up, the other is down. The kettlebell should travel around your head, just as the Moon orbits the Earth. It is for this reason that I really prefer the term “Orbit” to Halo. 🙂
I have also used a dumbbell to perform the movement. I have found that because most dumbbells, when gripped by the ends, allow the hands to be placed in a slightly wider position, which can be more comfortable and offer more ROM for those possessing less-than-optimal shoulder mobility. John Izzo covers a drill he calls the “Mobility S Stretch” in his “Stronger Shoulders DVD,” which is a similar drill using a dowel rod or light BodyBar that I like as well. You place your hands at the ends of the dowel rod and perform a larger “orbit” motion. The dowel rod allows a sufficiently wider hand placement, and therefore may be more comfortable for some people.
For those with severely protracted shoulders, I do not recommend this movement right off the bat.