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How to Properly Measure Your Body

by
author image Kimberly Caines
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.
How to Properly Measure Your Body
How to Properly Measure Your Body Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Although standing on a scale can let you know whether you're losing weight, it's not always reliable, especially if you've made strength training part of your exercise routine. Muscle tissue weighs more than fat, and when standing on a scale, you might think you've gained weight. What you might not know is that you've lost inches. One way to determine this is by measuring your body and recording the results for future reference.

Step 1

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Strip down to your underwear or wear snug-fitting clothes that aren't bulky and won't add extra inches. Always wear the same clothing when taking your measurements and measure your body at the same time of the day; avoid measuring directly after eating a meal because your stomach might appear bigger -- measure between meals.

Step 2

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Measure your body from the top down and consider only measuring those areas where you desire to lose weight. This can include your neck, arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs or calves. If possible, have a friend take your measurements so you can stand in a relaxed stance.

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Step 3

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Stand upright and look in a full-length mirror. Locate the smallest circumference of your neck and wrap a measuring tape around it. Ensure the tape is parallel to the floor and not crooked or digging into your skin. If you have a friend taking your measurements, keep your arms relaxed along your sides. Record the inches in a tracking log.

Step 4

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Extend a measuring tape from the bony part at that top of your right shoulder down to your right elbow. Find the middle of your upper arm and mark this area with a pen. Then measure around your arm at this point and record the inches in your log. Repeat the same process on your left upper arm.

Step 5

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Measure your chest circumference by wrapping a tape around it, going from the front of your chest horizontally over your nipples and around your back. Write down the inches in your tracking log.

Step 6

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Find the midpoint between your belly button and breast bone. Wrap a measuring tape around your middle at this point to measure your waist circumference. Breathe as normal and take your measurement in the middle of exhaling. Record the inches.

Step 7

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Locate the widest point between your hips and buttocks if you're a woman. Wrap the measuring tape around your body at this point and record the inches. Avoid tensing your buttocks as you take the measurement. If you're a man, take your hip measurement by wrapping the tape around your body at the top of the hip bone.

Step 8

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Measure your thigh by locating the biggest part of your upper leg. Alternatively, measure about 8 inches up from the top of your kneecap and measure the circumference of your thigh at this point. Measure both legs this way and record your inches.

Step 9

How to Properly Measure Your Body
Photo Credit Dale Davidson/Demand Media

Place most of your weight on your right foot and locate the widest point of your right calf. Measure around your calf at this point and write down the measurement. Then measure your other calf.

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GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media