Whether you are taking measurements for a suit or to evaluate your bodybuilding efforts at the gym, learning how to measure biceps accurately will guarantee you dependable results every time. Though biceps may seem straightforward to measure, there are factors that will affect the size of your biceps and alter the measurements. Here are the steps you should follow to learn how to measure biceps by yourself, though having someone there to help you is always preferable.
What you’ll need to measure biceps accurately:
- Tailor’s soft measuring tape (available at fabric and craft stores)
- Comfortable chair and table
- Sleeveless shirt (or no shirt)
- Masking tape (optional)
- Position your biceps for measuring. The most important aspect of learning how to measure biceps is to sit correctly. You must be able to rest your elbow on a table and bend your arm, as if you’re getting ready to arm wrestle. A dining room chair will place you too low at the table, but you can measure your biceps sitting at your computer or office table. Be sure to take your shirt off or lift your sleeve out of the way. Then flex your arm muscles and only then take measurements of your biceps.
- Take the top biceps measurement. While you are still pumping your lower arm toward your upper arm, wrap the soft tape around the widest part of the top of your biceps. If you are measuring your biceps without anyone’s help, use masking tape to stick the end of the tape in place, then use your free hand to wrap the tape around the top of your biceps. Make a note of the measurement.
- Take the bottom biceps measurement. Continue flexing your arm muscles (as if arm wrestling) and measure the widest part of the bottom of your biceps. Make a note of the measurement again.
- Calculate the measurements of your biceps. For bodybuilding purposes, add the top and bottom measurements and divide in two to arrive at the accurate measurement of your biceps. For tailoring purposes, take only the largest measurement into account. This will ensure that the suit or jacket you buy will accommodate the size of your biceps comfortably.
When to measure biceps. Do not measure your biceps directly after exercising. Strenuous bodybuilding will pump your muscles full of blood, oxygen and lactic acid increasing their size. For accurate at-rest numbers, measure your biceps either the day before or the day after a workout.