The risk of falls increases as people age because physical performance and cognitive resources reduce. Muscle strength is significant for standing firmly and reduction of muscle strength occurs with aging. Strength training is an efficent method of preventing the risk of falls.
In this bachelor thesis, we focused on strength training with gymnastic exercises because it does not demand expensive fitness equipment, so it is financially accessible to elderly people. This strength training is well-structured to perform basic activities of daily living and furthermore, this type of training improves the ability to maintain a better upright position. In one training unit we did twelve exercises. We changed the way exercise was performed and added one series in the middle of a program to intensify it. The main aim of our work was to find out if strength training with gymnastic exercises improves the results of strength and balance tests. Fifteen active elderly people at an average age 66,3 ± 4,81 years provided a signed informed consent to participate in the study. In control group there were 18 elderly people at an average age 65,5 ± 5,9 years. Before and after the program all participants were tested for maximal isometric strength of selected muscle groups and for their static and dynamic balance. The program lasted for nine weeks with two trainings per week.
Results showed that with training participants improved strength of trunk extensors and flexors, but changes of trunk flexors were not statistically different from those of control group. Significant changes were found with stance on soft and hard surface with eyes opened and closed but there was statistical difference from that of control group only with stance on soft surface with eyes opened. They improved at the leg functional reach in lateral way and in functional reach with hands, changes were not statistically different from those of control group. There were not any statistically significant differences found testing the leg functional reach in lateral and posterior way, the four squares and maximal isometric strength of selected leg muscles.