BACKGROUND: In the United States, falls lead to approximately 50 billion dollars a year in medical costs. Additionally, over 44,000 deaths were directly attributed to falls in 2021. This study aimed to investigate whether a generic free-weight strength training program could improve balance in a community-dwelling older adult, potentially reducing the likelihood of future falls. METHODS: The participant was a 68-year-old male college professor with multiple comorbidities who reported performing no exercise in the last five years. The participant was assessed using the 10-meter walk test (10MWT), 30-second sit-to-stand test, mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (mini-BESTest), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and five-repetition maximum (5RM) for box squats, deadlift, and bench press. The participant completed a 6-week generic free-weight strength training program, followed by a reassessment of all outcome measures. RESULTS: The participant increased gait velocity on the ten-meter walk test by 0.16 m/s from the pre-test to the post-test. An increase of 0.13 m/s equals a substantial change of minimally clinically important difference, and an increase of 0.10 m/s is a substantial change in responsiveness. The participant’s mini-BESTest score increased from 23 out of 28 to 27 out of 28, achieving the minimum detectable change of 4. The participant’s BBS score increased from 51 out of 56 to 55 out of 56. The score increase to 55 places the participant at the mean score for community-dwelling 60-69-year-olds. The increase of 4 points is above the minimal detectable change of 3.3 points. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, a 6-week generic free-weight strength training program improved balance in a sedentary 68-year-old male with multiple comorbidities. The results potentially demonstrate that this type of strengthening program may be used as a means of fall prevention in the older adult population. Future research should examine the long-term benefits of free-weight strength training on balance and use a larger sample size to increase the generalizability of the findings.

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