6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates Performs Kettlebell Rotational Swings for Strength and Power at Private Gym

Dorian Yates kettlebell training

“The Shadow” utilizes kettlebell rotational swing training to stay in shape post-Olympia. 

Kettlebells offer the perfect combination of strength, endurance, flexibility, and improved balance for those seeking an all-inclusive fitness program. These powerful tools have become common across many gyms as more people discover their benefits. People have used them to work their entire body, including movements like kettlebell triceps extensions and kettlebell circuit training. Six-time Mr. Olympia champ Dorian Yates performed kettlebell rotational swings to develop strength and power exclusively for Generation Iron in his private gym.

Many recognize Dorian Yates as a bodybuilding household name; he’s the original mass monster himself. The six-time Mr. Olympia winner showed up on the stage in the ‘90s and began a revolution in bodybuilding. Many bodybuilders changed their approach to bodybuilding after his debut and domination and focused on building muscle mass to help spur the mass monster generation. 

Mr. Olympia legend Dorian Yates demonstrated how kettlebells help him stay in shape. The 61-year-old is still active and in great condition, and he uses kettlebells to keep moving and blast away mental cobwebs.

Full Name: Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates
Weight Height Date of Birth
260 – 290 lbs 5’10” 04/19/1962
Division Era Nationality
Bodybuilding 1980s, 1990s English

Dorian Yates Kettlebell Training: Kettlebell Rotational Swings for Strength and Power 

Below is the full breakdown of Dorian Yates’ kettlebell rotational swing training exercise routine we recorded at his private gym that you can implement for strength:

Benefits of Kettlebell Rotational Swings 

If you want to add variety to your strength training routine, consider incorporating kettlebell rotational swings. This exercise involves swinging a kettlebell from one side of your body to another in a circular motion, engaging your core, hips, and shoulders. Not only does it help build rotational power and strength, but it also improves your balance and coordination.

Plus, with the added weight of the kettlebell, you can challenge yourself to lift heavier and build even more muscle. Try this exercise and see how it can improve your overall fitness and performance.

One of the best benefits of kettlebells is that they’re pretty versatile. You can use kettlebells for effective and safe total body conditioning, and they’ll make perfect home gym equipment as they do not take up too much space.

Dorian Yates yoga

More Kettlebell Training 

Keep reading for more Dorian Yates kettlebell exercises and other additional ones to improve your conditioning. 

Kettlebell Curls 

Curls are an effective way to train your biceps; many people use cables, dumbbells, barbells, and other machines for this exercise. However, a kettlebell bicep workout is one of the most effective ways to build your arms.

One of the many ways to cheat when doing curls is to over-curl at the top, shifting the target from your biceps to your anterior delts. This is nearly impossible with kettlebells as they press against your forearms, making the over-curl feel uncomfortable and unnatural. Kettlebells also make it harder to overswing and use momentum than your muscles.

Keep the handles in the mid-upper part of your palms when doing kettlebell curls. This will lock the kettlebell in, preventing it from slipping. Examples of kettlebell curls include the standing kettlebell bicep curl, the incline kettlebell curl, and the kettlebell hammer curl. 

Kettlebell Sumo Squats

Doing sumo squats with kettlebells is a great way to work on your quads. This variation of the kettlebell squat is a compound leg exercise that helps you strengthen your lower back. You can combine this routine with a calf raise to induce total muscle hypertrophy in your lower body

You first adopt a wider-than-shoulder-width stance to perform sumo squats with a kettlebell. Then you brace your core, keep your back straight and lower yourself at the hips with the kettlebell. Remember to keep your spine neutral and your ankles firmly on the floor.

This kettlebell leg workout can help build your strength for other training and has carryover to other athletic movements, such as sprinting and jumping. It’s important to note that this movement differs from the kettlebell sumo deadlift and the Romanian deadlift version – these movements will target more of your posterior chain. But all three activities target your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and upper back. They also target the adductors on your inner thigh, which you don’t get with other deadlift variations. 

Kettlebell Tricep Workout 

kettlebell circuit training and kettlebell triceps extensions

Are you ready to build your triceps to the fullest? They’re essential if you want to improve your upper body strength. The triceps are the often forgotten halves of the upper arm since many male gym-goers love those curls. But they shouldn’t be since the triceps comprise two-thirds of your arm. In addition, they’re vital for working your elbows and stabilizing your shoulders

Working out your triceps with kettlebells could cure tiny arms. The triceps are split into three heads, and the kettlebell tricep extension targets all three heads. Below are some important exercises to add to your kettlebell tricep workout routine.

  • Kettlebell Overhead Tricep Extension
  • Kettlebell Overhead Press
  • Tall Kneeling Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Push Press
  • Half Kneeling Kettlebell Press

Kettlebell Overhead Tricep Extension 

You can do the tricep extension as a pulldown with your elbow at your side or as an overhead press. A recent study comparing overhead and pulldown tricep extensions found a similar activation of the triceps by both (1). However, with the kettlebell, you’ll have to opt for overhead tricep extensions; this will recruit your shoulders and core.

When doing the kettlebell tricep extension, use a weight that allows you to safely return to your starting position. Keep the tempo of each rep slow so you can focus on your form and ensure that your trunk is stable. If you’re tempted to arch your back, it could mean that the weight is too heavy.


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A post shared by Dorian Yates (@thedorianyates)

Kettlebell Challenges and Dorian Yates Kettlebell Circuit Training

Mr. Olympia legend Dorian Yates is no stranger to using kettlebells. He posted a video of him doing single-arm kettlebell swings a couple of years ago (aforementioned above) – a great kettlebell challenge for circuit training. Nowadays, many fitness professionals have come up with kettlebell challenges to experience the benefits of weightlifting with kettlebells. 

Circuit training targets all your major muscle groups and is a proven effective method for improving your body composition and the strength of your lower and upper limbs (2). In addition, it’ll improve your strength and endurance simultaneously. Below is a simple kettlebell circuit training challenge with six different movements to get started. Repeat this kettlebell challenge three times: 

  • Halos — 8 reps on each side 
  • Goblet Squats — 10 reps
  • Overhead Press — 8 reps on each side 
  • Double Kettlebell Swing — 15 reps on each side
  • Bent Over Rows — 8 reps on each side 
  • Front Rack Reverse Lunge — 6 reps on each side

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  1. Alves, D., Matta, T., & Oliveira, L. (2018). Effect of shoulder position on triceps brachii heads activity in dumbbell elbow extension exercises. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 58(9), 1247–1252. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06849-9 
  2. Ramos-Campo, D. J., Andreu Caravaca, L., Martínez-Rodríguez, A., & Rubio-Arias, J. Á. (2021). Effects of Resistance Circuit-Based Training on Body Composition, Strength and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Biology, 10(5), 377. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050377
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.