Body composition is of interest in fields of both health and sporting performance.
For health, checking helps indicate excessive fat mass. For performance, changes in body composition such as reduced fat mass and increased fat-free mass are often highlighted as determinants of successful performance.
Beneath the skin is a layer of subcutaneous fat, the percentage of total body fat can be measured by taking the 'skinfold' at selected points on the body with a pair of callipers.
This test only requires four measurements and should be taken from the triceps, subscapular, biceps and suprailiac (see pictures). Once you have these measurements, add them up and use the sum to find your range result on the top line of the body fact % chart. From there, you can check your body fat percentage and if you’re in the lean, ideal, average or above average range.
Measuring tape can be used to measure the circumference of different body parts to help track changes in body composition.