Also known as the "pinch test", this involves another person (usually a personal trainer) using a set of calipers to measure the thickness of your skin at certain points on your body. The numbers are then tallied and plugged into a formula that estimates your body fat percentage based on your age and gender.
Generally considered more accurate than the body fat percentage scales, results can vary widely depending on who is administering the test and his or her skill level. Plus, calipers can only measure subcutaneous fat. (Here's what you need to know about the different types of fat and why they matter.)
-Body composition analyzer
The process involves standing on a metal platform and holding onto two handles for about one minute. In addition to your body fat percentage measurements, the InBody can tell you where your fat is stored and where you have water collecting in your body (edema), which can be a sign of injury or inflammation. It will also measure your RMR, BMR, and relative strength of each of your limbs.
The Body composition analyzer is fairly new technology so it can be hard to find, but most Lifetime Fitness gymshave the service available to members and non-members alike. When it comes to ease of use and accuracy for measuring body fat, it may be worth the effort to find one near you!