Halo Exercise for Increased Shoulder Mobility

Your shoulders are such a necessary part of daily life. You need them to move your arms in all directions, for driving, cleaning, washing, packing, lifting… you name it. But over the years they become tight, injured, and immobile. Frozen shoulder is common among athletes, both hardcore from overtraining and weekend warriors from lack of warm up and cool down. Rehab for torn rotator cuffs and scar tissue buildup is long and painful.

Regardless of exercise or injury, as we age we get tighter; we tend to lose our posture, our upper body strength and our mobility and range of motion in the joints—especially the shoulders. Luckily, there is a simple exercise you can do at home that can keep the shoulders loose and mobile, or return them to that place.

In today’s video article Dennis Angelina will show us a shoulder mobility exercise called “Halos” that is great for anybody.

How to begin

These exercises are so simple to do. In this video I am just using an old curtain rod from my house.

Be sure to hold the rod as far apart as you comfortably can. The wider apart your grip, the more mobility you will get in the shoulders through doing this simple exercise.

You want the bar resting in the web of your hand between the thumb and index finger. Try not to grab the pole as this creates muscle tension in the arms and reduces mobility. Merely let it rest comfortably.

What to do

With arms held out right and the bar parallel to the floor in front of you, you will make circles around your upper body and head. That’s why the exercise is called “halos”.

Both arms are kept as straight as possible as you make halos around yourself, clockwise and counterclockwise. If you are beginning moving toward your left side counterclockwise, as Dennis does in the video, your right arm will lead the motion.

Because the arms are straight and the pole holds them in place, at a certain point the motion will go from horizontal to diagonal upward and then circle around the head. This happens automatically, so there is no need to remember to do it. As the pole comes parallel to the floor above your shoulder the opposite arm (in this case the left arm) will take the lead. And back to the front and it continues.

Reps and sets

These halo motions are a great way to warm up before a workout, to cool down after a workout, or a standalone exercise for shoulder rotation therapy or relief. Try 10 reps on each side, more if you like.

How to adjust

If you find you cannot do the exercise as shown, fear not! You can do several things to adjust to make it manageable and then progress to the full position and rotation.

First you can try shortening the space between your hands. Second, you can bend your elbows slightly as you rotate the arms. Both will allow you to get a fuller range of motion more easily and without straining or injuring yourself.

After some time using the adjusted method, please try to move on to the full method of pole grip as far apart as it can be and arms held straight.

If you have shoulder tightness or limited range of motion, give this Halo exercise a try. With a simple pole you can restore mobility safely and easily to the shoulder and arms.




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  • Posted 9 years ago

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