Skinfold Procedures

Thigh Skinfold

  • Measurements should be made on the right side of the body
  • Caliper should be placed 1-2 cm away from the thumb and finger
    • perpendicular to the skin fold
    • halfway between the crest and the base of the fold
  • Release the caliper lever so its spring tension is exerted on the skinfold
  • Maintained pinch while reading caliper
  • Read dial on caliper
    • Between 1 to 2 seconds after lever has been released
    • Nearest 0.5 mm
      • ACSM: nearest mm
  • Take duplicate measures at each site
    • ExRx.net (traditional method)
      • If second measurement is not the same (mode) take third.
      • If no 2 measurements are the same, take middle one (median)
    • ACSM
      • If within 1 or 2 mm take average
      • If not within 1 or 2 mm take 3rd measurement.
      • If still no match, then take average of 2 closest measurements.
    • NSCA
      • 2 or 3 measurements
      • 4th measurement if more that 3 millimeter difference betwee readings
      • Average each site
  • Rotate through measurement sites
    • allows time for skin and underlying fat to regain normal thickness

ACSM (2013) ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.

NSCA (2012) NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessment.

7 Site Skinfold Measurements

  • Male & Female
    • Triceps
    • Chest/Pectoral
    • Midaxillary
    • Subscapular
    • Suprailiac
    • Abdominal
    • Thigh

3 Site Skinfold Measurements

  • Male
    • Chest
    • Abdomen
    • Thigh
  • Women
    • Triceps
    • Suprailium
    • Thigh

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