How to Measure Frame Size

Three Methods:Wrist CircumferenceElbow BreadthCalculations

Body frame size, which accounts for bone mass and muscle mass, plays an important part in determining theoretical weight ranges. These ranges in turn act as guides for people to determine the weight they should be, depending on their frame size. There are three frame size categories: small, medium, and large. Each range varies, depending on your gender. You can determine which category you are by measuring the circumference on your wrist or the breadth of your elbow. Step 1 below begins to detail each method.

Method 1
Wrist Circumference

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    Wrap a tape measure around your wrist (right or left). Take the end of your tape measure and bring it all the way around your wrist.
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    Note the circumference of your wrist. You can use the tables below determine your frame size, according to your wrist size.

Method 2
Elbow Breadth

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    Bend your arm at a 90 degree angle. Be sure that your forearm is perpendicular to the ground. It doesn't really matter which arm you use, but you may find that the table below works best if you use your dominant side.
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Sample Body Frame Calculations Wrist

Sample Body Frame Calculations Elbow Breath


  • You can use an online frame size calculator to figure out your frame size. You still need to measure your wrist or elbow, but you can input the data into a calculator and have it automatically determine your frame size.
  • Regular exercise and eating healthy can provide perspective on how your body changes as you lose weight. Use those changes as motivation to maintain a health regimen that works for you.
  • In addition to the three frame sizes, there are three general "body types": endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. Endomorphs have bigger bones and higher amounts of body fat, and lose weight slowly.[1] Mesomorphs are medium-sized, strong, athletic, and lose weight and gain muscle relatively easily. [2] Ectomorphs are skinny and long-limbed, with typically little muscle or body fat. [3]
  • Use your frame size to determine how losing weight will affect how you look. If you naturally have a large frame, certain parts of your body, such as your shoulders, will remain relatively large no matter how much weight you lose. If you naturally have a small frame, you will feel the effects of weight gain relatively faster than someone with a medium or large frame. [4]

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Categories: Body Type and Fashion