The conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analyses are a cornerstone source of information required for evidence-based practice in all medical and allied health professions. Meta-analyses are important in the exercise sciences because, for instance, sometimes many small underpowered studies may suggest the optimal treatment deviates from the generic guidelines that suggest 30 minutes to 60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity 3 to 5 times weekly, supplemented by 1 or more sessions of resistance exercise. A systematic review and meta-analysis can help by combining studies to increase power and provide an answer. The signature method of presenting results of meta-analyses is the forest plot, and an ability to interpret these data and the associated funnel plots are essential to the practice of evidence-based exercise programming. This work describes the processes of systematic review and meta-analysis and informs the reader on how these works may be presented, interpreted, and applied. Some examples from the field of kinesiology and exercise physiology are presented to illustrate how the results of a meta-analysis may influence evidence-based practice.

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