When the numbers on the scale don't seem to budge, it can be tempting to ditch your workout and drown your sorrows in a pint of rocky road. But just because you're not losing weight through exercise doesn't mean you're not reaching other goals, like burning fat, shedding inches and building muscle. By taking your measurements at regular intervals, you can see the differences in your body composition, even when it comes to your chest. Measure your chest properly for accurate numbers and to give you a little boost when you need to be reminded of your progress.
Sports bra or tank top
Undress and take off your regular bra. For the most accurate numbers, embrace your inner European and go sans top. If you need a little coverage while measuring, grab a thin tank or sports bra so as to not throw off your numbers with a thicker or more padded bra.
Measure the circumference of your upper chest first -- that's the area right above your breasts. Wrap the measuring tape around your back, shimmying the tape up and under your armpits so it's across your breast bone and creates a straight, even line from armpit to armpit. Take the measurement and use the same technique each time you measure for consistent readings.
Lower the measuring tape to take your lower chest measurement. This is the measurement from right across your nipples -- the one that your bra fitter uses. Exercise and weight loss can affect the size and shape of your breasts, so it's an important measurement to take. Take the measurement over the nipple and write it down as the lower chest size.
Keep track of your chest measurements as you exercise regularly. Checking back regularly and recording your results can help you clearly see your progress as you lose inches or gain muscle in the chest area.
Things You'll Need
- "Fitness and Wellness"; Werner W. K. Hoeger, Sharon A. Hoeger
- ExRx.net: Circumferences
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.