Exercise helps you shed pounds, but no move will shave flab straight from your hamstrings -- you simply can't choose where your body burns fat. However, by losing weight all over, your hamstrings will grow proportionately smaller. Because weight loss boils down to calorie management, you also need to change your diet to see fast results. MayoClinic.com recommends that women under 250 pounds eat 1,200 calories per day to lose weight.
See your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
Get 300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, each week. These fat-torching moves burn calories more efficiently than any other activity. Get your moderate cardio on by walking quickly, riding a bike on flat terrain or taking a ballroom dance class. Get into the vigorous cardio groove by jogging, biking uphill or taking an aerobic dance class. Schedule cardio in reasonable chunks. For example, go walking an hour a day, five days per week. Each session should last at least 10 minutes.
Perform squats. These and other strength-training moves rev up your metabolism while building muscle tissue for a toned appearance. Along with the hamstrings, squats also shape your quadriceps and glutes for shapely thighs and buttocks. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend at the hips and knees until your thighs parallel the floor. Pause for a second or two, then push with your heels to return to starting position. Perform 12 repetitions, rest and repeat for one or two additional sets.
Do the crab walk -- you'll have bunches of fun while hammering your hamstrings for serious toning. You'll need some space, so use a large room or head to the backyard. Start seated on the floor, facing the opposite direction you intend to move in. With your back toward the ground, lift up so your feet are under your knees and your hands are under your shoulders. Now walk backward on your hands and feet, keeping your hips lifted as high as comfortable. One set equals about 15 yards of crab walking. Perform up to three sets.
Perform forward lunges. These focus on your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes, and also engage obliques on your sides. Stand with your hand on your hips and step forward with your right foot. Follow through with the step by lowering your body until your knees are at 45-degree angles. Pause for one or two seconds, then use your right leg to push back to starting position. Perform 12 repetitions, switch legs and perform another 12 reps. Aim for three sets for each leg.
- See your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.