This article investigates the relationship between the cortical bone of the radius and the muscle area of the forearm. The aim of this study was to develop a method for muscle area estimation from cortical bone area at 65% of radius length where the muscle area at the forearm is largest. Muscle area and cortical area were measured directly in vivo by peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT). We found significant correlations between muscle area and cortical area (r = 0.881) in the forearm that are in line with previous studies. We have set up a regression model by testing relevant parameters such as age, sex, forearm length, and stature that were all highly correlated to muscle area. The influence of age and sex on the proportion of muscle area to cortical area is strong and potentially related to the effects of testosterone and estrogen on the muscle-bone-unit. Muscle area estimation from cortical bone is possible with a Percent Standard Error of Estimate (%SEE) ranging from 12.03% to 14.83%, depending on the parameters available and the age and sex of the individual. Muscle area estimation from cortical bone can provide new information for the study of skeletal and/or fossil human remains. Anat Rec, 296:1695–1707, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.