VIDEO: How To Calculate Body Fat Percentage With A Body Fat Caliper

fitness model teaching how to use a body fat caliper to measure body fat percentage

Learn how to use a body fat caliper to measure your body fat percentage and track your weight goals.

Using a body fat caliper is the most accurate way to calculate body fat percentage. You might be body fat caliper for measuring body fat percentagewondering what a body caliper is, what it looks like, and how to use it. Fortunately, body fat calipers are simple and offer a gentle learning curve. There are two small prongs and a gauge that measures the skinfold’s thickness (in inches or millimeters). To properly use, pinch a skin fold, place the tool in a perpendicular position to the fold, and release the jaws to record your measurement.

Buy a body fat caliper:

If you don’t already own a body fat caliper, you can purchase one from Sisel.

How to measure skinfolds at every site:

For our BFP (body fat percentage), we will be using the Jackson and Pollock 7 site formula. This means we will be testing seven skin fold sites: the triceps, thigh, abdomen, suprailia, midaxillary, subscapular, and chest.

  • Triceps – Bend the elbow at a 90-degree angle and mark the point midway between the top of the shoulder and elbow. Then, measure a vertical fold at the midway point.
  • Thigh – Take a vertical fold on the standing leg, midway between the kneecap and the crease where the thigh meets the hip.
  • Abdomen – Pinch a vertical fold on the side of the body. Take three fingers and measure the top of your hip. Where your pointer finger lands, take the skin fold measurement.
  • Suprailia – This measurement should be taken utilizing a diagonal fold at the crest of the hipbone directly below the front of the armpit.
  • Midaxillary – Pinch a vertical fold directly below the middle of the armpit on the same level as the breastbone. To easily measure this location, raise your arm over your head while a partner measures the area below the armpit.
  • Subscapular – This  measurement should be taken with a diagonal fold. It is in the scapula region on the backside of your body. For the most accurate reading, the fold should be measured just below the shoulder blade to the side of the spine.
  • Chest – Pinch a diagonal fold halfway between the armpit and nipple. (For women, you’ll want to pinch one third of the way between the armpit and nipple. This will ensure the fold is far enough away from the breast tissue for a more accurate reading.)

Helpful Tips:

For accurate measurements, measure two or three times and then use the average of each site measurement. Don’t forget to write down your results, since you’ll need to plug them into the formula below. And, remember to measure on one side of the body. If you start with your right triceps, make sure you do the right side for the remaining six areas.

How to calculate body fat percentage after measuring:

Every gender is different. That is why the formulas for men and women are different. Naturally, women are going to have a higher BFP than men. This is totally normal! Women will want to be around 10-24% body fat. Men want to be around 2-17%.

Now, it’s time do some math! (Sorry). And, make sure you input the measurements from the skin folds using millimeters.

Use the following calculations for Men:

  • First, measure your Body Density. Body density is derived from the following calculation:
    • Body Density = 1.112 – (0.00043499 x sum of skinfolds in millimeters) + (0.00000055 + square of the sum of skinfold sites) – (0.00028826 x age)
  • You will then use your Body Density to calculate your Body Fat Percentage:
    • Body Fat Percentage = ((4.95 / Body Density) – 4.5)) x 100

Use the following calculations for Women:

  • Body Density:
    • Body Density = 1.097 – (0.00046971 x sum of skinfolds in mm) + (0.00000056 x square of the sum of skinfold sites) – (0.00012828 x age)
  • Body Fat Percentage:
    • Body Fat Percentage = ((4.95 / Body Density) – 4.5)) x 100

Learn More

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If you’re using a body fat caliper to help measure your weight loss goals, you may want to consider using some of our favorite products to help you on your journey.

Weight Loss Supplements:

  • SiseLEAN, a meal replacement shake & protein powder
  • SiselSPORT, a pre-workout supplement that gives you natural energy and workout fuel
  • SiselTHIN, a keto-supporting weight management supplement
  • Breakthrough Pack, a weight loss pack that contains these supplements, a caliper, and more
  • And, if you’re interested in trying keto to lose weight fast, check out our keto beginner’s guide video

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