There are many valuable outputs on the Result Sheet. However, the Segmental Lean Analysis, if used properly is arguably the most powerful section of the Result Sheet.
Lean Body Mass vs. Muscle Mass
In order to fully understand this section, you must fully understand what it is not. The information in the Segmental Lean Analysis shows how much Lean Body Mass is contained in each segment; not how much “muscle” is in each segment.
This is an important distinction, which you can learn more about in our blog post “Lean Body Mass vs. Skeletal Muscle Mass: What’s The Difference?”
While it is true that Skeletal Muscle gains in a body segment will be reflected as gains in the Segmental Lean Analysis chart, not every gain in Lean Body Mass can be explained by muscle. That’s because Lean Body Mass also accounts for body water. This makes this chart useful not just for tracking muscle, but also for injury and disease states.
TOP AND BOTTOM BARS
The InBody divides the body into 5 body segments: the two arms, two legs, and the trunk, which can be thought of as covering the area between the neck and legs. The information for each body segment is reported as two bars.
THE TOP BAR
The top bar shows how much Lean Body Mass in pounds is in a given segment. Just like with the Muscle-Fat Graph, the top bar of the Segmental Lean Analysis compares the pounds of Lean Body Mass against the average expected amount of Lean Body Mass for that person’s height.
Your clients should always work to be at 100% or higher.
THE BOTTOM BAR
The bottom bar is different. The number shown by the bottom bar is the percentage and makes it easier to quickly understand see how close to (or past) 100% each bar extends.
What is this bar showing? It’s comparing your client’s Lean Body Mass against their measured body weight. This shows whether or not your client has enough Lean Body Mass to support their own body weight, where 100% = sufficient.
Breaking it Down
In the above example, the 3 upper body segments are over 100%, but the lower body segments are not.
If you’re working with a client like this, they may benefit from exercises that target Lean Body Mass development in their legs. This will help them achieve a more balance body composition and may have other positive effects, such as body fat reduction, as well.
Which clients may be unbalanced
Identifying an underdeveloped body segment can be difficult without Segmental Lean Analysis. While any person can theoretically have an underdeveloped body segment, some groups of clients may be at more risk than others.
Here are a few groups who may have an elevated risk of having underdeveloped body segments:
1. Sedentary adults
Sedentary adults who do not exercise, commonly have below-average Segmental Lean Mass, usually in the legs, which may be due to having jobs that require them to sit throughout most of the day.
2. “Skinny Fat” individuals (sarcopenic obese)
People who are “skinny fat” have too much body fat and not enough muscle mass recommended for optimal health. This imbalance between fat and muscle mass can result in a body weight that is in the healthy range and may lead the client to believe that they do not need to make any changes. This client may have one or more segments below 100%.
3. The elderly
It Is common for the elderly to have low Lean Body Mass due to their tendency to lose muscle as a result of decreased activity. This impacts their ability to stay mobile as they age and puts them at greater risk of falling and breaking bones.
UPPER/LOWER MUSCLE IMBALANCE
Upper/lower body imbalances are fairly common in today’s increasingly sedentary workforce, and you’ll likely encounter cases where the upper body is developed, but the lower body isn’t, like in the example below.
Breaking It Down
If your client looks like this, they need to increase the LBM in their lower legs. Even though the upper body is sufficiently developed, the lower body is still at risk of injury due to the low amount of Lean Body Mass. This client, despite a well-developed upper body, needs to increase the muscle mass in their lower body for more balance .
RIGHT/LEFT MUSCLE IMBALANCE
Another imbalance the Segmental Lean Analysis can reveal is the imbalance between the right and left arms and/or legs.
Although this client has a balanced upper body, there’s a significant imbalance between the right and left legs. There are many reasons why this could have occurred: For example, an injury can cause swelling and cause the LBM values to go up.
BREAKING IT DOWN
If you are working with a client whose body composition looks like this, it is helpful to establish their baseline to determine the cause of the imbalance.