What is Your Frame Size: S, M, L, XL …?

Your ideal weight is not as much a precise mark as it is a range that can vary with height, age, genetic make-up and metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories). Body frame size and composition (percentage of fat versus muscle) also play a significant role, indicating whether you are on the higher or the lower end of your weight range.

Your Healthy Weight Range
Is Also Determined by Your Body Frame Size


For adults, there are two methods of determining your frame size: Measuring the circumference of your wrist and measuring the breadth of your elbow.

Measuring your wrist is by far the most straight forward. A quick and easy method is to wrap your thumb and middle finger around your wrist, just above the wrist bone. If your fingers overlap, you have a small frame. If they just meet, you have a medium frame. If they don’t meet, you have a large frame – if you are unsure, assume you have a medium frame size.

For more accurate measuring, use a simple measure tape and wrap it snugly around your wrist, just above the wrist bone.

Measure Your Wrist to Determine Your Frame Size

Your body frame size is determined by your wrist circumference in relation to your height. Your gender makes also a difference. For example, an adult male who has a body height over 5’5″ and  a wrist size of 7″, has a medium frame size. An adult female who has a body height of 5’4″ and a wrist size of  6.5″, has a large frame.

Female Wrist Measurements:

Height less than 5’2″ (157 cms)
· Small = wrist size less than 5.5″  (14 cms)
· Medium = wrist size 5.5″ to 5.75″ (14 to 14.6 cms)
· Large = wrist size over 5.75″   (14.6 cms)

Height 5’2″ to 5’5″ (157 to 165 cms)
· Small = wrist size less than 6″  (15.2 cms)
· Medium = wrist size 6″ to 6.25″ (15.2 to 15.9 cms)
· Large = wrist size over 6.25″   (15.9 cms)

Height more than 5’5″ (165 cms)
· Small = wrist size less than 6.25″  (15.9 cms)
· Medium = wrist size 6.25″ to 6.5″ (15.9 to 16.5 cms)
· Large = wrist size over 6.5″   (16.5 cms)

Male Wrist Measurements:

Height more than 5’5″ (165 cms)
· Small = wrist size 5.5″ to 6.5″  (14 to 16.5 cms)
· Medium = wrist size 6.5″ to 7.5″ (16.5 cms to 19 cms)
· Large = wrist size more than 7.5″  (19 cms)

Source: MedlinePlus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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7 thoughts on “What is Your Frame Size: S, M, L, XL …?

    • Hi Amy,

      Use the wrist measurement below to determine a small, medium or large frame size:
      · Small = wrist size 5.5″ to 6.5″ (14 to 16.5 cms)
      · Medium = wrist size 6.5″ to 7.5″ (16.5 cms to 19 cms)
      · Large = wrist size more than 7.5″ (19 cms)

  1. Timi- You gave the same measures for above or below 5’5″, which makes no sense. Obviously your article stated males over 5’5″ for a reason! Not a good response to the a good question!

    • Hi Mark,

      The information provided on this page is from MedlinePlus – A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Unfortunately, no data are available for males less than 5’5″

  2. The wrist test can be very inaccurate. By the wrist test I would have a small frame when I actually have a large frame. I just happened to have wrists and ankles/shanks that are unusually small compared to the rest of my body. I think you can more accurately tell body frame by looking at the elbows (if you aren’t overweight).

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