Measurements and proportions in bodybuilding: hips, chest, waist

Among beginner bodybuilders, it is widely believed that the main thing in bodybuilding is body weight. The greater the muscle volume, the better. In fact, the correct proportions are an indicator of a successful athlete. Often, athletes with smaller volumes outperform more “massive” opponents, due to the harmonious construction of the figure.

Measurements and proportions in bodybuilding: hips, chest, waist

If you decide to seriously engage in bodybuilding, we recommend that you focus not on large sizes, but on aesthetics and symmetry.

We will tell you about what body parameters you should strive for and how to measure them yourself, in the article.

Proportions in male bodybuilding

The most desirable type of figure is the “inverted triangle” - a wide shoulder girdle and a narrow waist. Therefore, most men tend to precisely such proportions, completely forgetting about the remaining parameters.

For example, athletes with a massive upper body and legs as thin as matches look pretty ridiculous. Another problem is often encountered among beginners - the “bottom” is ahead of the “top” in development, which is also a disproportion.

In both cases, a serious correction of the training program is necessary.

Many systems have been developed for calculating the “ideal” anthropometric indicators of male bodybuilders. Let's analyze the simplest technique. To begin with, you should measure your chest circumference with a centimeter. Suppose that this parameter is 100 cm, and calculate the remaining values.

Taz 90% of the chest volume = 90 cm
Waist 75% of the chest volume = 75 cm
Hip 60% of the pelvic circumference = 54 cm
Shin 60% of the hip circumference = 32.4 cm
Upper arm 30% of the chest volume = 30 cm
Neck 38% of the chest volume = 38 cm

You can also use the table compiled by the legendary Canadian-American trainer, the founder of the contest "Mr. Olympia" and the founder of the International Bodybuilding Federation - Joe Vader. To determine the proportions, you need to calculate an individual coefficient. To do this, divide the weight (kg) by height (cm) and compare the obtained value with the data below.

Weight / Height coefficient
0, 34 0.36 0.39 0.42 0.44 0.


0.50 0.53 0.57 0,60
Neck 35.6 36.


38.1 39.6 40.9 42.4 43.


45.2 46.5 47.8
Biceps 33.3 34.


35.8 37.1 38.4 39.9 41.


42.4 43.9 45.2
Forearm 27.7 28.


30.0 31.0 32.0 33.3 34.


35.3 36.6 37.6
Chest 92.5 96.


99.8 103.4 106.9 110.5 114.


117.9 121.9 125.5
Waist 69.3 72.


74.7 76.2 80.3 82.8 85,6 88,4 91,4 94, 2
Taz 83.


86.6 89.7 93,0 96,3 99,6 102,9 105,9 109, 7 113.0
Hip 50.0 51.


53.8 55.9 57,7,7 59,7 61,7 63, 5 65.8 67.8
Shin 33.


34.5 35.8 37,1 38,4 39.9 41, 1 42.4 43.



By measuring your own proportions and comparing them with any of the above tables, you can identify the "lagging" parts of the body. Based on the obtained values, it is recommended to build a training plan.

Women's proportions

Modern girls tend to look as slim as possible. Therefore, classic bodybuilding among the fair sex is not too popular.

But the body fitness is very widespread - a discipline aimed at the harmonious development of the female body, without a set of extreme muscle mass.

In this sport, there are no clear proportions and weight categories, as in men's bodybuilding. Athletes are evaluated strictly visually. The only gradation of the participants is growth (158 cm / 163 cm / 168 cm / over 168 cm).

But even such, facilitated assessment conditions require long-term quality training from applicants.

For girls who have never practiced bodybuilding, we recommend that you pay attention to " fitness bikini ".

The main indicators in this discipline are attractive appearance, slender physique, and the absence of a pronounced muscular relief. Therefore, novice athletes can achieve a competitive form in a short period of time.

Note, a fitness bikini implies a “base”. That is, the figure of a girl by nature must meet certain standards: long legs, low content of subcutaneous fat, the correct ratio of the volume of the chest, waist, hips.

Training and diet should only slightly adjust the existing form. Therefore, unfortunately, this discipline is not suitable for everyone. But those girls who decide to professionally engage in a fitness bikini should consider the following principles:

  • Maximum femininity . Strongly developed latissimus dorsi, prominent deltas, angular quadriceps - all these are indicators of a bodybuilder. The main task of bikini girls is to create a slim fit silhouette without clearly defined muscles.

    Therefore, competently approach the selection of a mentor. It is best to contact female trainers who have performed directly in the fitness bikini category.

  • The absence of "cubes" on the stomach . In bikini athletes, abs should not stand out. Of course, this muscle requires study, but without creating a clear relief.

    Otherwise, the girl may “go beyond the scope of the category and not fall into the competition. Therefore, we recommend focusing on the static slats and vacuum, and it is best to refuse power twisting with weights.

  • Long legs . Since general proportions are evaluated in a fitness bikini, the first thing judges look at is lower limbs. They should be longer than the upper body.

    Only with such data can a girl achieve positive results. Athletes with short legs, even on large platforms, will always lose. Girls need to take this point into account if they are going to professionally engage in a fitness bikini.

  • Feminine breasts . In this sport, this is an important part of the body, as it complements the overall image.

    Unfortunately, exercises to increase the volume of the breast will not work. Therefore, if you do not have attractive forms by nature, but want to build a sports career in a “bikini,” perhaps you should think about an operation to increase it (we only voice the alleged obstacles and do not call anyone to go under the surgeon’s knife).

  • Well-developed buttocks . This part of the body is one of the main ones when judged by judges. You can have long legs, a beautiful chest, a flat stomach, but if the gluteal muscles look undeveloped, you can forget about the prizes.

    Therefore, each "bikinist" who wants to achieve high results must perform squats, lunges and leg presses. As a cardio, it is best to use jogging or walking in the stepper.

If you don’t want to speak on the podium, but just try to get closer to the “90-60-90” standard, general strengthening fitness, aerobics, dancing, jogging, moving game disciplines, riding are the best options for you on a bicycle, etc.

However, do not forget about a balanced diet. The combination of aerobic training and a low-carb diet will help you quickly get rid of subcutaneous fat and tighten your body muscles.

The main thing is to exercise regularly.

Taking measurements

The procedure will require a centimeter tape.If it was not at hand, you can use a cord and a school ruler. We will analyze the main parameters and places of their measurements:

  1. Chest circumference . Stand up straight, straighten your back.

    Throw a centimeter on your back. The measuring tape should pass along the bottom of the scapular bones, along the latissimus muscles and pectoral nipples. The tension is light, without squeezing the skin. Measurement is carried out on an exhalation.

  2. Hips .

    Stand upright, lift one leg up on your toe. To measure the circumference of the hips, it is necessary to press a centimeter in their widest part (upper third, just below the buttocks). Tighten the quadriceps, pull the tape slightly, fix the value. Then measure the thigh muscles on the other leg.

  3. Girth of the lower leg .

    Straighten, lift one foot on the toe. Press the measuring centimeter to the widest part of the calf muscle, bring the end to the tape and fix the parameter. Repeat with the other leg.

  4. Girth of the shoulders . This issue needs to be clarified.

    People far from sports mistakenly call the shoulder the main joint of the arm and the muscles that cover it. In fact, the shoulder is the entire upper part of the limb from the edge of the clavicle to the elbow. Therefore, in order to correctly measure the shoulders, it is necessary to lower your arms freely, and then cover the biceps in the middle with a centimeter.

  5. Girth of the forearm . To begin, bend the elbow at a right angle and squeeze your fingers into a fist.

    To measure the forearm, it is necessary to attach the tape in its widest place (3-4 cm below the elbow joint).

  6. Girth of the biceps . Stand, raise your shoulder to parallel with the floor, bend your arm and tighten your biceps. Throw a centimeter on the upper point of the biceps, measure and repeat with the other hand.
  7. Waist circumference .

    Straighten, straighten your back. To measure the waist, attach a centimeter to the narrowest part of the body. As a rule, this place is located just above the navel. Exhale but do not draw in your stomach. Lock the value.

  8. Neck circumference . Measure this parameter under the thyroid cartilage of the larynx.
  9. Girth of the pelvis . To determine this indicator, press the tape to the middle of the gluteal muscles and to the upper protruding parts of the femurs.

In addition to the size of the biceps and forearms, some athletes determine the thickness of the wrists.

But this indicator rather serves not to track the results, but to identify a predisposition to a set of muscle mass.

Previously, many trainers based on the measurement of the wrist bones predicted the success of a particular athlete in bodybuilding. However, scientific evidence for such a correlation does not exist.

Body fat percentage

This parameter is optional, but no less important than visual volumes. All bodybuilders dream of gaining lean muscle and burning subcutaneous fat.

As a rule, this is impossible due to the characteristics of the human body.Therefore, the main training strategy for most athletes is first an enhanced mass gain (fat, water, muscles), and then strict “drying”, burning out all the excess.

It is worth noting that fat deposits are extremely important for the normal functioning of the body:

  • Firstly, they are an energy reserve for a rainy day.
  • Secondly, they protect internal organs from hypothermia.
  • Thirdly, they accumulate some useful substances.

Extreme reduction in body fat can adversely affect health. Therefore, professional athletes carry out tough "drying" only in periods of preparation for the competition.

As a rule, the results in losing weight are evaluated visually. But you can fix the amount of subcutaneous fat with the help of a special device - a caliper.

The principle of the tool is based on determining the thickness of the skin fold.

The only minus of the caliper is limited use - the indicators will be reliable only for people with a normal body mass index (18.5-25 kg / m²).

Norms of body fat:

Age Men Women
Under 30 years old 10-15% 12-20 %
30-40 years old 15-23% 16-25%
40-50 years old 18-25% 22-30%


The tips below will help you measure as accurately as possible:

  • Professional athletes need to measure progress using measurements once a week. This is best done on Friday.
  • The centimeter must be applied in the same place.

    Otherwise, the results will vary.

  • Each parameter should be measured at least three times. This will avoid incorrect indicators.
  • The measurement procedure is best done in the morning on an empty stomach. At this time, the muscles are relaxed and have a natural shape.

To record progress, keep a diary. In it, write down the results of each check, and also attach your own photos. All this will help track muscle growth and will further motivate you to exercise.

Parameters of famous athletes

Values ​​are given in centimeters and kilograms:

Athlete Growth / Weight Neck Biceps Chest Waist Hip Shin
A . Schwarzenegger 188/115 - 56 145 81 71.


Lou Ferrigno 197/118 - 55 145 - 74 48
I. Poddubny 184/120 50 45 134 104 70 47
G. Gackenschmidt 176/93 50 47 125 85 68 -
D.Yates 181/114 - 57.


145 - - 55
C. Oliva 179/102 - 54 140 75 73 47


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