How To Measure Your Body Fat Ratio, Index & Percentage At Home


Did you know you can easily measure your body fats with help from a friend? It might sound a bit difficult to achieve, but your goal here is not to get pinpoint accurate results. A good measurer can get consistent results with a deviation of 8%, which is not bad at all. It’s not easy to get accurate results, but that should not be a big issue as your goal here is to get consistent results that tell you more about your body fats.

More focus should be put on the changes and not the number. You just need to have consistency, which is good to gauge your progress. Here is what you need to know before starting anything:

Things Required For Fat Measuring

  • A body space profile page or somewhere else to record and track your results
  • Body fat measuring calipers which can be purchased online or from drugs stores
  • A helper which is a must for women and recommended for men
  • A pen and paper to write down the numbers
  • A measuring tape and felt-tip pen

Once you have everything ready, you can start measuring your fats using the following methods:

The Three Sided Method

The Three Sided method is also called a three-site Jackson and Pollock. This is a great method to reproduce future tests provided you stick with the same helper, same tool, and same technique. This method is considered the best because it is not easy to make mistakes. It is consistent with a wide range of people in the population. Obese or very lean people might, however, consider another option. A visit to a professional is usually recommended for such people as getting consistent results might prove a challenge.

Why Use The Three Sided Method?

This is not the only way to measure the body fat content, but so far this is our best option. It is a great choice for various reasons. First, this method is quite easy to execute and does not require professional help. You can do it from the comfort of your home with help from a friend. It is also quite easy when doing future tests as the likelihood of consistent results is high. However, users must use the same tool and retain their helper. You should also know how to locate the very same site you measured out last time.

It is quite easy to perform but also rare to make a mistake as opposed to other methods. The basic idea of pinch and pull is quite easy to execute.

The basic idea here is to skin fold: simply pinch and pull your skin. What you do here is an attempt to separate the fats from the tissues with a good pinch before pulling away from the body slightly. Once you have a good pinch, you can perform the following:

  • Place the calipers 1cm to the side of your fingers
  • On the calipers, press on the serrated thumb pad until you have two arrows line up
  • Hold the calipers on the pinch and take measures on the little scale noting the increments
  • Release the pinch and repeat several times for three different sites.

Where Are The Tests Performed?

Some of the best body parts to perform this test on include places that are consistent between people like the navel or nipple. This will easily enable you to find the same spot again. When you start this process, find a specific point and mark it with a felt pen. When you practice more on locating these sites, you will not need a felt pen or tape measure anymore. You will soon be able to find them by using your hand.

Sites To Test For Fats On Men


For the men, the chest is a good testing spot, with the nipple giving you a spot to get your ideal site. You can imagine a straight line passing through your nipple all the way down as your point of reference. This point is usually what we call the midaxillary line. Here, we are aiming at the spot that is halfway between your armpit and nipple. Pinch that area diagonally, or have someone help you.


On the thighs, you should aim to find the middle point between your hip and knees, but do this for just one leg. Once you've chosen a good middle point, you can then go ahead and perform a vertical fold as opposed to the horizontal one. Marking the site with a pen is recommended if doing this for the first time, just to help you remember. With time, you will become consistent with the spot.


Your navel is a good spot to start finding the right sites and locating them in the future. The ideal site is towards the right of your navel. Just measure one inch to the right and mark that area. A vertical fold is recommended, but there is nothing wrong with a horizontal fold if you can’t get a good vertical fold.

Sites To Test For Fats On Women


For this method, women will need a helper to find the midpoint on your triceps. The middle point is usually the point between the top knob bone of your shoulders and the acromion process. Once you have it, a vertical fold is recommended here. Just take a pinch of the skin here vertically and pull it before inserting your calipers.


The thigh for women should be the same as in men. Find the middle point between the knee and the hip and mark it. You can also measure it with your fingers.


The suprailiac is located below your armpit, which is at the top ridge of your hip bone. It is also called the iliac crest or the point taken on the side. When searching for this site, gently press the side area of your body beneath your armpit and search for the hip ridge. Once you find it, go above the bone and pinch, measuring using a diagonal fold.

What Next After The Measurement?

You can now enter your measurement into your body fat calculator or any other calculator you might be using and start tracking your progress. As pointed out earlier, if you took the measurement properly, accuracy is not a big issue, and one should be able to see the progress.

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