Your glutes are the muscles located in your butt and hips, and your main glute muscle -- the gluteus maximus -- is the strongest muscle in the body. This is the muscle that allows you to straighten your leg at the hip when you walk, run or climb, and also when you get up from a sitting position. Your hip flexors assist your glutes in allowing you to bend your body in half at the hip and trunk, and so by performing glute exercises, you can stretch your hip flexors, removing any tightness you may be feeling after a long day at the office.
Feeling a Little Up and Down
The lunge and the squat are easy to perform exercises that you can do using your own body weight and balance. The lunge requires you to step forward and bend down with one leg while keeping your back straight. The squat also requires you to bend down, but this time, you bend your knees and lower your body straight down instead of forward and down.
Lowering Yourself to Success
The single leg squat and the split squat are a couple of squat variations that offer a slightly more challenging way to stretch out your hip flexors. For the single leg squat, you hold one foot straight out in front of you while squatting down, toes pointed. The split squat is essentially a lunge performed with your legs spread apart, one in front of you and one behind.
A Big Step Up
You can use a bench to assist you with your glute exercises. A single leg split squat can be performed with one leg resting on a bench behind you while you bend your opposite leg at the knee and lower your body. A step or small platform can be used to perform a step-up, while the bench can be used once again to perform a more challenging lateral step-up; stepping up onto the bench and then stepping down from the bench, in a side-to-side movement.
Resistance is Not Futile
A set of dumbbell weights or a barbell can be used to make your lunges and squats more difficult. There are also specific weight-bearing exercises such as the barbell deadlift to consider. Gym equipment such as a lever and a sled can also be used to perform many glute exercises that will work your hip flexors through hip extension movements. Cable machines are another good way to introduce resistance to your basic lunge and squat exercises.