Your appearance is highly influenced by your amount of body fat. The higher the ratio of lean tissue to fat; the more fit you will be and appear. The only accurate way to measure body fat percentage outside a well equipped sports medicine laboratory is with calipers. It may take a few practice runs, but you will quickly learn how to use the calipers. Method of Measurement – Body fat testing is best carried out standing and naked. For the thigh test, ideally the legs should be elevated on a step about eight inches high. Measure yourself at each of the five test sites described below. To measure, you should pinch a fold of skin with your forefinger and thumb, lifting it away from the muscle. Place the calipers on the fold just below your fingers (the tips will be inside your fingers, closer to the body). Let them rest there for a few seconds and take the reading. Add the readings from all five sites together and consult the included chart. This will give you an accurate estimate of your body fat. Measurement Sites –
1. Extend your arm at a 45 degree angle as if you were going to show someone your biceps. Do not tense it. While relaxed, pinch a fold of skin on the bottom, middle of your upper arm. This will be the skin and fat covering the tricep muscle.
2. Pinch a fold of skin about 1 inch over and 1 inch below your front armpit crease where your shoulder meets your chest. This will be the skin and fat covering your pectoralis muscle.
3. Pinch a fold of skin on the front of your stomach, 1 inch to the side of your navel. This will be the skin and fat covering your abdominal muscles.
4. Pinch a fold of skin on the side of your stomach directly above your hip and on a direct line with your navel. This will be the skin and fat covering the oblique muscle.
5. Pinch a fold of skin on the middle center of the front of your thigh. This will be the skin and fat covering the quadricep muscle. Results – An excellent normal body fat percentage for a man is 9% and for a woman is 15%.