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I've resumed strength training after years of just doing cardio, and have been working out for about 2 years now. I do free weights and body weight exercises. I am currently 1.83m (6 ft) and 92 kg (203 lbs)

I have a good muscular physique, but despite my efforts, I always have a protruding stomach.

I have a thin layer of fat on my stomach, an inch approx., and it's definitely not the reason for it. It seems as though there's a lot in my stomach and it just sticks out.

I also have very strong core, Id do: 1. Dragonflags - Abs 2. Weighted back hyperextensions - Back 3. Human flag on bench (can't do the regular due to shoulder injury) - Obliques 4. Pendulum - Obliques

Before my shoulder injury I also did Front and Back Lever for more than a year, so I believe my core is well built.

I heard that you should strengthen a muscle called Transversus Abdominis, but the only exercise I found for it was stomach vacuum.

What could be the reason for this? Could I have excess fat under my muscles? It seems very unlikely at such relatively low body fat percentage.

And could you recommend effective exercises for the mentioned Transversus Abdominis (besides vaccum)?

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You most likely have a condition called anterior pelvic tilt, which is a result of hip flexors being stronger than the hip extensors.

You probably trained too much your hip flexors by doing abdominal movements and now your pelvis is tilted like this making your abs look bloated.

enter image description here

To fix this you need to strengthen your hip extensors and get some balance. Planks/Push ups trains both hip flexors and hip extensors.

Glute bridges and reverse hiperextensions are quite a good choice to fix this. High repetitions between 25 and 100 or even more are best to cure postural problems and they also build quite a lot of muscle if progressive overload is present.

Things like normal hyperextensions might even worsen this condition, reverse hyperextensions thend to be way better.

Those are your hip flexors, they do actions like curling the pelvis or the spine and raising the legs up. They get a lot of training from abdominal movements. enter image description here

  • Could this be related to lower back muscles pain when running? – Dean Jun 5 '18 at 8:33
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    Update: After reading your answer I went to the mirror and realized: I was holding my posture this way on purpose all the time because I tried to keep my back straight, when in fact it was arched too much. By just adjusting my pelvis to a less tilted position, I got my stomach to pull in. I think my Rectis Abdominis was idle most of the time when I walked, because it felt loose before and it tightened after I adjusted my pelvis. I will definitely look into corrective exercises. – Dean Jun 5 '18 at 10:37

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