Friday, March 28, 2008

Skin Fold Test


Measuring body fat is an easy method of finding your correct body composition. The normal percentage of women are higher than men due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. Women norms range from 18 - 22% while men range 15 - 17% body fat. Elite athletes on the other hand can range from 12 - 20% for women and 6 - 12% for men. Certain points of the body can be measured by taking the skin fold at selected points.

Procedure:
Measurement of body fat can be from 3 to 9 different standard anatomical sites around the body. The right side is usually measured (for consistency). The calipers are placed to pinch the skin at the appropriate site to raise a double layer of skin and the underlying adipose tissue, without the muscle. The calipers are then applied 1 cm below and at right angles to the pinch, and a reading in millimeters (mm) taken two seconds later. The mean of two measurements should be taken. If the two measurements differ greatly, a third should then be done, then the median value taken.

Measurement Sites:
Tricep: The skin fold is located midway on the back of the upper arm. The arm hangs freely and the skinfold is lifted parallel to its long axis.

Subscapula: The skinfold is lifted vertically and measured below the tip of the scapula.

Suprailiac: The skinfold is located immediately above the crest of the ilium. The fold is lifted at a slight angle to the vertical along the normal fold line.

Abdomen: The skinfold is located to the left of, adjacent to, and in line with the navel. The fold is lifted parallel to the long axis of the body.

Front Thigh: The skinfold is located midway on the front of the upper leg over the quadriceps. The foot is placed on a six-inch step with the knee slightly flexed and muscles relaxed. The fold is lifted parallel to the long axis of the leg.

Chest (Males only): The site is located above and slightly to the right of the right nipple. The skinfold is taken at a 45-degree angle of the horizontal.

Rear Thigh (Females only): The skinfold is located midway on the back of the upper leg. The leg is held in the same position as the front thigh measurements. The skinfold is lifted parallel to the axis of the leg.

For a body fat calculator (to get results): Body Fat Calculator

References:
Yuhasz Skinfold Test

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