Featured Exercise: Wiltie Spins

In 1988, NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain had high tibial osteotomy surgery to realign his knee.  The very day that his surgeon, Frank Jobe, M.D., told him he could get his leg wet, Lynda took him into the Westwood Recreation Center pool.  They started doing deep-water interval training with straight legs followed by slowly bending and straightening his reconstructed knee.  His first goal was to walk without a limp, so he walked gently in chest-deep water.  He did lower body exercises, first with no resistance and then with progressive resistant pieces strapped to the ankle.

After a month, Lynda had him start lightly jogging in chest-deep water while wearing two flotation devices to reduce impact.  As his healing progressed, he became more and more eager to regain his athletic abilities.  He began doing Lynda’s jumping and running movements she was using with the UCLA men’s and women’s track teams.  One day he arrived at the Westwood Rec Center pool with a big grin.  “I’ve got a new exercise,” he said.  “But if you use it, you have to name it after me.”  That was the beginning of Wiltie Spins.  He knew that in order to get fine-tuned athletic control of his foot, ankle, calf, and knee, he needed rotational strength and coordination plus repeated impact.  This new exercise gave him confidence in his agility and musculoskeletal resilience, first in the pool, then on the paddle tennis court – his current sport at the time.

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