Assessing Body Fat Percentage by Skin-fold Measurements

Skin-folds of (SKF) measure the thickness of subcutaneous adipose tissue. The thought process behind this is that the amount of fat present in the subcutaneous regions of the body is proportional to overall body fatness, and most of the time this the case.

      • Only allow and individual skilled in SKF assessment to perform a skin-fold test on you
      • Your skilled SKF tester should take a minimum of two measurements at each site, and each site must be within 1 to 2 mm to take average at each site.
      • They should open jaw of caliper before removing from site
      • They want to be as exact as possible when locating the proper sites to perform the test
      • Never perform a skin fold test immediately after exercise
      • On extremely obese clients this is not the best test for you

The National Academy of Sports Medicine Uses the Durnin formula which is also the the one that I use:

Areas of measurement

  1. Biceps: halfway between the shoulder and elbow(a vertical fold)
  2. Triceps: A vertical fold of the back of the upper arm, with the arm relaxed and held freely at the side. Taken halfway between the shoulders and the elbow.
  3. Subscapular: A 45 degree angle fold of 1 to 2 cm, below the inferior angle of the scapula.
  4. iliac crest: A 45-degree angle fold, taken just above the iliac crest or lower right side of your abs

They should take all measurements on right side of body and after all four sites have been measured, add the totals of the four sites, and use the Durnin Womersley body fat percentage calculation table to find your body fat percentage.


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