Reducing excess fat on the back of your upper thighs, also known as your hamstrings, requires a full-body approach. When your overall body fat reduces, so will the fat in your problem areas. In addition to doing 150 to 300 minutes of cardio per week, perform strength training on two days. Include multi-joint, functional exercises. These exercises mimic real-life movements and work your hamstrings and the surrounding muscles for optimal caloric burn and muscular balance.
Lunge Away the Fat
Stationary lunges or split squats really activate your hamstrings, especially when you do them using a platform that's about 8 inches high. During this exercise you step forward with one foot, placing it on the platform while your other foot remains on the floor. You then slowly bend your knees and lower your hips straight down until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Then really use your hamstrings to push yourself back to the starting position. Eight to 12 repetitions and two or three sets really gets those hamstrings burning.
Deceptively Easy-Looking Step-Ups
Step-ups mimic the motion you make when you climb stairs. According to the American Council on Exercise, this is one of the best exercises to activate the muscles in the back of your upper legs. During this exercise you step onto a 15-inch platform with one foot followed by your other foot. Then you step back down with the leading foot first, followed by the trailing foot. After eight to 12 repetitions, switch feet, this time starting the motion with your other foot. Try to finish two or three sets.
Roll That Ball
Stability ball hamstring curls effectively work the back of your upper legs. This exercise is done while lying face up on a mat with your arms extended sideways and your lower legs on top of a stability ball. You then raise your hips off the floor and roll the ball toward your buttocks. This really requires you to push your heels into the ball and to activate your hamstrings. When your knees point up at the ceiling, return to the starting point with a slow and controlled motion. Complete eight to 12 reps and two or three sets.
Dead Lifts with Perfect Form
Dead lifts are ideal if you have tight hamstrings, and as long as they're done with perfect form, they can correct muscle imbalances in your legs. During dead lifts you lower a barbell or dumbbells toward the floor by bending forward at your hips. It's essential to keep the weight close to your legs, your core engaged and your knees slightly bent. As you return to the upright starting stance, contract your buttocks and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Monitor your form in a mirror and complete eight to 12 repetitions and two or three sets.