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When learning a new exercise, it's a good idea to learn "proper form" to reduce the chances of injury, increase efficiency, etc. It's usually recommended to "run with proper form", "perform a bench press with proper form", or "climb with proper form". However, there is a lot of conflicting information regarding what proper form actually is for any given exercise. It seems like everyone has a different idea of what proper form actually is.

So, given that there are multiple ways to do any exercise, how can I verify that I'm doing things the best way possible, and not in person X's favorite but unverified way? Is there an independent body that produces scientific information on this topic?

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There are a few ways to obtain the information you want. Some colleges/universities offer a major in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. You may want to see if there is one in your area. They may provide learning programs available to the general public.

A more widely accepted and cost effective source of information is to locate a certified fitness trainer. And, by “certified”, I mean a trainer who has studied and passed a test by a reputable organization, and, who must pursue continuing education credit to maintain that certification. Certified trainers are required to become proficient in the following areas:

  • Exercise Science
  • Screening and Evaluation
  • Principles and Methods of Training
  • Individualized Program Design

As such, they learn the correct way to train and help their clients train to reach individual fitness goals.

You may gain some more insight by reviewing my response to a similar question.

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1

We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.

-Proust

Adhering to proper form means picking a form to hew to. Picking a form requires you to choose:

  • picking an authority to dictate proper form
  • a having an opinion (hopefully, an informed opinion) on what proper form is

If you choose to have an opinion, there is no shortcut to the task of evaluating evidence and deciding for yourself.

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