Redondo Beach-based authors and certified personal trainers Debbie and Norm Compton have a new book: "Stacking, Your Skeletal Blueprint for Posture." The book offers easy-to-implement exercises that start from the bones out.
Norm Compton is a former stuntman who used these techniques, so the book comes with more than excellent advice: it comes with proven street credibility.
Compton notes “We wanted to use our years of experience as seniors in the health and fitness world and share what’s driven us to create our process of stacking. We wanted to answer questions like: ‘Where am I supposed to start when I haven’t worked out in years?’ or ‘What was I supposed to do when my therapy prescription ended? Now the doctor says my other joint needs surgery.’ We hear questions like this and more all the time.”
"Stacking your bones correctly" and learning how to stand up straight is the best defense for an aging body says Compton. The book explains what it takes to build a strong skeletal stack from the bottom up, and how to keep it strong.
Using a construction theme, the book describes the body's 206 bones and builds posture starting from the feet, naming each of the muscles, ligaments and tendons, and defining their jobs. This educational approach helps readers to prioritize integrated fitness and to envision their entire skeleton.
“The importance of thinking from the bones out is essential for the aging body,” said Debbie Compton. She says readers will learn “that only through a focused effort will your bones find their home where they fit perfectly and the muscles, ligaments and tendons are at their correct lengths, relieving pain.”
She adds that feet are the foundation, and by keeping them level, strong and flexible gives knees, and every joint above them the most stable platform.
The pair came to these productive techniques through trial and error, they said.
“Every injury Norm had as a stuntman brought new awareness on what was needed to be able to come back completely after, and what we considered to be an incomplete therapy," said Debbie.
"We’ve had to put Norm back together so many times I referred to him as my science project. Then learning that I had scoliosis at the age of 40 brought a whole new set of challenges each year and forced us to create a system that would work to complete the job therapy started.”
Stacking to survive stunts
Norm said stacking has helped him survive the toll stunt work takes on a body. His tall, athletic build landed him his first stunting job on the TV show Magnum PI.
Sports injuries were one thing, he said, but stunt injuries "were more like extreme, real life accidents."
"Getting knocked down a flight of stairs or getting hit by a car or falling off a camel,” he laughs. “Stacking sped up my rehab process so much that I was able to get back to work faster than expected, which was great for production and great for me, being that is how I made my living.”
At 47, he became Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s stunt double in the 2002 movie “The Scorpion King.”
The couple hopes the book guides readers to a new awareness of their bodies.
“Stacking is about creating a relationship with your body that brings you back, and puts you in control of slowing the aging process down," said Debbie. " Stacking will be the best defense you’ll have for fighting gravity, the aging enemy. If your stack is in bad shape and you don’t make an effort to fix it, you will end up exactly where you’re headed.”
The Comptons’ love living at the beach, and say where they live contributes to being active, healthy and strong.
The book is available on Amazon. For more information, visit stackinggurus.com.