Martin et al developed an equation for estimating muscle mass in men based on anthropometric measurements. The data was based on dissection of 12 male cadavers aged 50-94 years. The authors are from the University of Manitoba in Canada.



(1) stature (height in cm)

(2) thigh circumference in cm (midway between the inguinal crease and the midpoint of the patella)

(3) front thigh skinfold thickness in cm

(4) forearm circumference in cm (at point of maximal girth)

(5) calf circumference in cm (at point of maximal girth)

(6) medial calf skinfold thickness in cm


corrected thigh circumference in cm =

= (thigh circumference) – (front thigh skinfold thickness)


corrected calf circumference in cm =

= (calf circumference) – (medial calf skinfold thickness)


estimated muscle mass in grams =

= ((stature in cm) * ((0.0553 * ((corrected thigh circumference)^2)) + (0.0987 * ((forearm circumference)^2)) + (0.0331 * ((corrected calf circumference)^2))) – 2445


SEE = 1.53 kilograms; r-square = 0.97



• The study was based on a limited number of subjects.

• It gives data consistent with known dissection data.

• Anthropometric methods may not be sensitive to small changes in muscle mass.

• Measurements taken at different points can introduce variability.

• No correction was made for bone.


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