Where should I take circumference measurements?

Measurements are very important to take to see overall progress on your body. You can see as the months go on where your body starts to take it from in the beginning until the end. The most common measurements are chest, waist, hips, thighs, calves and arms. As for chest you want to measure across the nipple line. Waist you want to measure across the belly button. Hips are the largest part of the butt. Thighs are half way from your knee and hipbone. Calves are half way from your heel and knee. Finally your arm which is half way from your elbow and shoulder.
Circumference measurements are a great method to help track fat loss. An individual should use a standardized measuring tape in order to accurately obtain circumference measurements. Use the following locations on the body to measure circumference as they are good indicators of body composition change.
  • Neck
  • Chest (at the mid- or nipple-line)
  • Waist (at the narrowest part, usually above the navel)
  • Hips (with feet together, measure at the widest part of the buttocks)
  • Thighs (6 inches above the knee cap)
  • Calves
  • Biceps (upper arm)
It is very important to remember to be consistent with the measurement methods. The tape should be pulled snug and level around the area which is being measured.

An important factor to consider when taking measurements is to make sure the tape is tight and level around the spot you’re measuring. The most common sites to measure (where fat accumulates) are:

  • Waist: Measure at the belly button.
  • Hips: With feet together, measure the circumference at the widest portion of the buttocks.
  • Thighs: Measure ten inches above the top of the knee for consistency.

For more information go to

Continue Learning about Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

What should my heart rate be during cardio exercise?
Todd Townes - Sharecare Fitness ExpertTodd Townes - Sharecare Fitness Expert
Start by determining your maximum heart rate. I suggest the following formula: 220 - your age = esti...
More Answers
What does the curl up test measure?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
The “curl up” is also known as a crunch. This test measures abdominal strength and endurance. This t...
More Answers
What should I do if I have a pear body type?
Taking Control Of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)Taking Control Of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)
If you have a pear-shaped body, you may not like your hips. However, you can be thankful because it ...
More Answers
How can I assess my activity level?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
If you don’t raise your heart rate  or breathing for a combined 30 minutes, five to seven days per w...
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.