Advertisement

How does skin fold analysis work?

One method of measuring body composition involves using skin fold calipers to measure the subcutaneous (below the skin) fat.  The fitness professional will pinch and measure folds of skin on different areas of the body in order to calculate an estimate of total body fat percentage.  The trainer must be proficient at separating muscle from fat in order to obtain accurate readings.

Skin fold analysis involves taking measurements of subcutaneous fat at different areas of the body using skinfold calipers.  The bicep, tricep, subscapular, and iliac crest are common areas that are measured.  The sum of these measurements are then placed into a formula that takes into account age and gender of the individual being measured and gives us their body fat percentage. 

It is important to have a qualified and experienced fitness professional conduct this test for greatest accuracy.

Continue Learning about Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

When should I do plyometric exercises?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
To get the most out of your plyometric exercises, you should perform them toward the beginning of a ...
More Answers
What does the push up test measure?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
The push up test measures upper body endurance, as opposed to a one rep maximum bench press test...
More Answers
Is BMI a good way to track muscle mass?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Unfortunately, BMI (body mass index) is not a very good indication of fat mass or muscle mass. B...
More Answers
How does talking help determine the intensity of exercise?
Joan PaganoJoan Pagano
The "talk test" is a timeless and easy way to guage the intensity of cardio exercise, based on your ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.