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Weight of Human Arm, Leg, Lower Leg as percentage of total body weight
Implications for relative weights of wrist-weights, ankle-weights, thigh-weights, and weight-vest weight in training
Amazing how even reputable esteemed sources disagree with each other re these percentages, how flippant they are with accuracy re these percentages.
I estimate that the leg weighs 18% of body weight. I estimate from the bottom of the buttock to the knee including half the knee, is 58% of the leg weight, or 10% of the total body weight. I estimate that from the knee to the foot, including half the knee and the foot, is 8% of total body weight. I estimate an arm to be 5% of total body weight. I estimate a head to be 5% of a body weight of 170 lbs.
 I estimate (approximations) that the body excluding the head is 95% of total body-weight, an upper leg is 10% of total body weight, and a lower leg is 8% of total body weight, and an arm is 5% of total body weight.
This leaves out the buttocks, which are used in running ( Based on the fact that the distance from my knee to the bottom of my buttock is (approx) 13", whereas the distance from the bottom of the buttock to the top of the buttock is 6", I estimate one buttock to be (approx) 6% of total  body weight. This gives totals of: body minus head, 95%; one arm, 5%; one upper leg, 16%; one lower leg, 8%.
(A complication is that the upper leg bears part of the burden of the weight on the ankle; the ankle-weight is not handled exclusively by the lower leg. By way of contrast, the lower-leg has little to do with the burden of the thigh-weight. But such is a detail that a skilled minority with the time to put into it can attend to).
Therefore, when it comes to things like wrist-weights, weight-vest, thigh weights, ankle-weights, I estimate that the proportions of the weights should be: wrist-weights, 5% of weight-vest weight; ankle-weights, 8% of weight-vest weight,  thigh-weights, 16% of weight-vest weight.  
This translates into easily remembered and worked with proportions of: wrist: 1; ankle: 2; thigh: 4; weight-vest: 20.
Thus for example, if the weight on each ankle is 1/4 lb, the weight on each wrist should be 1/8 lb, the weight on each thigh should be, 1/2 lb, and the weight on the weight vest should be, 5 lbs.
Table: Percentage of total body-weight ascribed to parts of the body by internet sources
Boldface=especially reputable or important source



Lower Leg

Upper leg



4 times an
arm (22%);
avg after discarding
high and low
5.4% (knee+calf)
1.8% (ankle+foot)
The length of my knee plus my calf excluding the ankle/ foot I estimate as 13"; the vert length of my knee as 4"; this I estimate based on the above data, that one knee specifically, is 1.7% of total body weight, the calf is 3.7% of total body weight. The source of the above data gave the leg from the bottom of the buttock down in total as 15%. If half of the knee is assigned to the upper leg, and half of the knee is assigned to the lower leg, this gives a figure of 0.85+3.7+1.7=6.25% for the lower leg, and 8.75% for the upper leg.

(see note in
col to left)

8 lbs (many
report this)
(5% of
175 lb


key sources: