This study investigated the relationship between isokinetic muscle strength and bone density (SPA and DPA) in men and women aged 45-77 yr. Regression models were adjusted for age, weight, smoking status, and calcium supplementation. Elbow extensors (but not flexors) peak torque was correlated with radial density in men (partial r = 0.26, P < 0.05) and women (partial r = 0.24, P < 0.05). Knee flexor (but not extensor) peak torque in women was significantly correlated with spine density (partial r = 0.28, P < 0.05), and muscle mass was significantly correlated with Ward's triangle density (partial r = 0.35, P < 0.05). No associations between knee flexor or extensor muscle strength and spine or femur bone density were observed in men. Fat-free mass (FFM, hydrodensitometry) was associated with all bone density sites in males and females (partial r = 0.30-0.55; P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that 1) significant associations observed between elbow extensor strength and radial bone density in men and women may reflect loading along the longitudinal axis of the radius associated with elbow extensor activity; and 2) significant associations exist between knee flexor muscle strength and lumbar density in women only. Additionally, the associations between FFM and bone density do not necessarily reflect associations between isokinetic muscle strength and bone density.