How to Measure a Female Chest for Fitness
Whether you're just starting a fitness routine or you're an advanced athlete, monitoring your body measurements can help you track your progress and set goals for improving even more. For most parts of the body, both women and men measure the circumference of the particular body part; meaning you'll wrap a measuring tape all the way around the arm, leg, neck or other body part. While the goal for men is often to progress to larger measurements, women tend to want to get smaller in every area but the chest -- where the prevailing sentiment is that bigger is better. Whatever your goals and preferences, there are two measurements you can perform and monitor for your chest. The fitness website recommends doing one measurement just under the armpits and another at the widest portion of the chest.
Undress and remove any bra or other undergarments you're wearing. If this is not possible, wear only the thinnest possible tank top without a bra or undergarment.
Secure the measuring tape under the armpit, thread it forward and close the arm over the measuring tape. Move the tape up so that it's as far up as possible in the armpit.
Wrap the measuring tape around the front of the chest, under the opposite armpit and around to the starting point.
Note the circumference of the upper chest by looking at the number on the measuring tape where the end meets the beginning of the tape. American measurements are done in inches, but you can mark the measurement in centimeters if you wish -- just make your measurements in the same units every time.
Write the number for your upper chest on your measurement sheet, making sure to mark the date of the measurement.
Hold the measuring tape over the right nipple.
Wrap the measuring tape over the other nipple, wrap it around your body and come back to meet the start of the tape.
Note the circumference of the lower chest by looking at the number on the measuring tape where the end meets the beginning of the tape.
Write the number for your lower chest on your measurement sheet.
Do not exercise just prior to taking your measurements. According to BodyBuilding.com, doing so can cause blood to rush to the areas you're measuring and distort your results. Also, do not flex your muscles as you do the measurements.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.