Body Fat Caliper
HOW TO USE A BODY FAT CALIPER TO MEASURE BODY FAT
These are general instructions for using body fat calipers. Please see your caliper’s
instruction manual for specific instructions. If you are larger than normal and have difficulty
grabbing a skinfold, it is recommended to use the U.S. Navy tape measure method.
1. Note that all skinfold measurements are taken on the right side of the body, and
standing upright and relaxed.
2. Place the caliper in your right hand.
3. With your fingers about 2-3 inches apart, gently grasp the first skinfold with the
thumb and index finger of your left hand. Then pull the skinfold away from your body.
4. With your right hand, place caliper tips over the skinfold 1 cm (about 1/2 inch) away
from thumb and finger, perpendicular to the skinfold. The caliper heads should be halfway
between crest and base of fold.
5. Gently begin to apply caliper pressure. Keep the fold elevated, and maintain the
pinch with your thumb and index finger as you allow the caliper reading to stabilize.
6. Read the measurement within 1-3 seconds.
7. Record the measurement to nearest 0.5 mm, if possible.
8. Repeat the procedure for the remaining skinfold sites.
9. Once you have taken one reading for each required skinfold site, repeat the
procedure for each site. If the second reading is more than 1-2 mm apart from your first
reading, take a third measurement. Record the average score of the closest 2 values. You
want to have consistent readings for the Tonus Body Mass Calculator to give you the most
LOCATIONS FOR CALIPER MEASUREMENTS - MALES
Chest: Take the measurement on a DIAGONAL skinfold taken halfway between the nipple
and the front of the underarm. The measurement site is across an imaginary line drawn
from your nipple to your armpit
Abdomen: Take the measurement on a VERTICAL skinfold taken 2 cm (about 3/4 of an
inch) to the right of the navel (belly button).
Thigh: Take the measurement on a VERTICAL skinfold taken in the middle of the thigh,
halfway between the top of the thigh and your knee cap.
|Note that body fat formulas are only estimators of true body fat %, so it is possible
that your measurement with a caliper and a tape measure may yield different results
due to the nature of the formulas and possible user and mechanical inconsistency
while using body fat calipers.
Suprailiac: Take the measurement on a DIAGONAL skinfold just above the front,
forward part of your hip bone.
Thigh: Take the measurement on a VERTICAL skinfold taken in the middle of the
thigh, halfway between the crease of your groin and the top of your knee cap.
Triceps: Take the measurement on a VERTICAL skinfold taken on the back of the
upper arm, (on the triceps muscle), halfway between the shoulder and elbow.
|3 SITE BODY FAT TEST LOCATIONS