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Yuhasz Skinfold Test

Measuring body fat percentage is an easy method of discovering correct body weight and composition. Beneath the skin is a layer of subcutaneous fat, and the percentage of total body fat can be measured by taking the 'skinfold' at selected points on the body with a pair of callipers. The Yuhasz Technique uses six sites instead of the three of four sites used in many other tests.


This test aims to monitor the athlete's level of body fat.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Skinfold callipers
  • Assistant
Calipers Body Fat

Measurement Sites

The assistant records measurements taken from the following sites:

Triceps Triceps

The assistant takes a vertical fold midway between the shoulder and the elbow on the back of the arm.

Subscapular Subscapular

The assistant takes a diagonal fold across the back, just below the shoulder blade.

Suprailiac Suprailiac

The assistant takes a diagonal fold just above the hip bone.

Abdomen Abdomen

The assistant takes a vertical fold midway between the athlete's side and the navel.

Front Thigh Front Thigh

The athlete places their right foot on a six-inch step. The assistant takes a vertical fold midway between the athlete's right hip and knee on the front of the leg.

Chest (male only) Chest (male only)

The assistant takes a fold at a 45-degree angle to the horizontal above and slightly to the right of the athlete's right nipple.

Rear Thigh (female only) Rear thigh (female only)

The athlete places their right foot on a six-inch step. The assistant takes a vertical fold midway between the athlete's hip and knee on the back of the leg.

How to conduct the test

  • The assistant takes the measurements, in millimetres, on the right side of the athlete's body
  • The assistant picks up the skinfold between the thumb and the index finger to include two thicknesses of the athlete's skin and subcutaneous fat
  • The assistant locates the callipers about one centimetre from the fingers and at a depth equal to the thickness of the fold
  • The assistant repeats each measurement three times and records the average value
  • The assistant records the sum of the four measurements and uses this value to assess the athlete's percentage of body fat


To obtain an estimate of the percentage body fat, weight of body fat and fat-free body mass, please enter the skin fold measurement, age, weight and gender and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Skinfold mm   Age
Weight   Gender
  Body fat %
Body fat weight lbs or kg
Fat-free body mass lbs or kg

Fat-free Body Mass & Lean Body Mass

The fat-free body mass (FFBM) represents the body mass devoid of all fat, whereas lean body mass (LBM) contains a small percentage of essential fat. LBM is a theoretical value developed by Behnke (1974)[2]. For men Behnke considered it to be FFBM+3% essential fat and for females FFBM+12% fat (3% essential fat + 9% sex-specific essential fat). Many pieces of research use the terms FFBM and LBM interchangeably.

Typical Scores

The average man has 15 to 17% body fat, while the average woman is between 18 and 22%. Typical values for elite athletes are 6% to 12% for men and 12% to 20% for women. The following table details the percentage of body fat for male and female athletes for various sports. Wilmore (1994)[1]

Sport Male Female
Baseball 12-16% 12-19%
Basketball 6-12% 20-28%
Canoeing 6-12% 10-16%
Cycling 5-14% 15-20%
Field Hockey 8-14% 12-18%
Gymnastics 5-13% 10-16%
Rowing 6-14% 12-19%
Swimming 9-13% 14-24%
Tennis 12-15% 16-24%
Track - Jumpers 7-11% 10-18%
Track - Runners 8-10% 12-19%
Track - Throwers 14-20% 20-27%
Triathlon 5-11% 10-15%
Volleyball 11-14% 16-24%

Free Calculator


Analysis of the test result compares it with the athlete's previous results for this test and recommends body fat levels.

Target Group

This test is suitable for everyone but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.

The test is not a good predictor of the percentage of body fat; however, it can be used to indicate changes in body composition over time.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Specialist equipment required - Skinfold callipers
  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. WILMORE, J.H. and COSTILL, D.L. (1994) Physiology of sport and exercise. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics
  2. BEHNKE, A.R. and WILMORE, J.H. (1974) Evaluation and Regulation of Body Build and Composition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Yuhasz Skinfold Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed