The Body Fat Percentage Calculator estimates your body fat percentage. It uses height, waist, and neck measurements to determine your circumference value. Hip measurements are also included in calculations for women. Learn how to calculate body fat percentage with various methods.
Find infographics for healthy body fat ranges for men and women further down!
There are several ways to calculate body fat percentage. Some methods rely on using tools to measure parts of the body. Other methods calculate body fat percentage through their method. Keep reading to find out how to measure correctly to input values into the above body fat percentage calculator.
Get a soft tape measure, such as one used for sewing. Men should measure the widest or largest part of the neck and waist. Women should follow the same measurements but also measure the hips. This is because womens’ bodies store body fat in different places than men’s.
The tape measure should lay against the skin. It should not feel tight as this will give an inaccurate measurement. Take the measurements a few times and average the results before calculating in the body fat percentage calculator.
Body fat calipers are a unique tool that can be purchased cheaply. They are more accurate than the tape measure method. Men should measure their chest, abs, and thigh. Women should measure triceps, suprailiac crest (right above the bony part of the top of the hip bone), and thigh. Perform measurements on only one side of the body to increase accuracy. It can be helpful to have a friend or fitness professional help take the measurements.
Follow the instructions that came with the calipers to calculate body fat percentage.
This method involves going to a specialized center with high-tech equipment (a chair that dunks underwater). This method is basically as accurate as body fat calipers but much more impractical.
Body fat scales calculate body fat percentage by sending an electrical current through the body and measuring impedance. These scales are accurate for most people’s purposes. However, hydration levels can make it difficult to obtain consistent results.
This method is not as precise as humble body fat calipers; however, it does use lazers and costs a lot more money. Calculate body fat percentage with this method if accuracy and money are not necessary, but the latest fad is.
Long-touted as the most accurate way to measure body fat, this method is also not as accurate as body fat calipers. However, it does use x-rays and requires exceptional equipment and licensing to operate. It costs significantly more than body fat calipers as well. There are better ways to spend money to get better fitness results: like signing up for Premium Membership in adidas Running or Training.
Body fat is one way the human body stores energy from food. Body fat provides critical insulation for regulating body temperature and protecting vital organs and bones from harm. Many people think that achieving a very low body fat is ideal. The body needs some body fat to survive. Minimal body fat can severely impact vital biological functions. Even professional bodybuilders only go below 5% body fat for competition because it is so hard.
Women have an average of 5% more body fat than men. The body needs fat to keep the hormone level balanced. Body fat (within the healthy range) is crucial for supporting reproductive organs and allowing women to have a regular and healthy menstrual cycle — a fertility indicator.
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BMI, or Body Mass Index, describes categories of weight and may not be very relevant for athletes. Check out this page to learn more about BMI, its pros and cons, and calculate BMI. Body fat percentage and BMI do not correlate very well with one another.
Body fat percentage is based on one’s unique physiology instead of a population average like BMI. Calculating body fat percentage and composition is likely more actionable for individuals. For example, someone who is very muscular may have a high BMI and be healthy. Whereas someone with too high or too low body fat percentage knows they either need to gain body fat or reduce it.
It can be hazardous to aim for unrealistic body fat percentages. Here are some of the risks associated with a too low body fat percentage:
Decreasing body fat is best accomplished by cleaning up a poor diet and routinely exercising. Check out these other blog articles to learn how to shed body fat safely:
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