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Solution for Protruding Abs???

Hey T-Men!
Even if I get my bodyfat to about 6-8%, my abs when relaxed, look distended. I can work them from every which way and angle and the muscles look good flexed, but relaxed, they look like crap!
Could my distended abs be the result of 1) overthickening of the ab muscles AND/OR 2) distension from earlier days of overgorging myself for bulking???
Does anyone else have this problem and does anyone have any solutions???

I think Poliquin addressed this a long time ago- something about improper training causing some sort of imbalanace and creating that protruding look. Maybe someone will remember the details. You may want to check his old column at T-mag or run a search.

I feel your pain!! Last summer, I had my BF down to 4.5%, no joke. I was shredded. Worked abs like 5 days a week. YET, my lower abs around my belly button seemed bloated or curved when relaxed. I never attained that flat midsection. I was told it was the way I was made, yet I think I may have over worked my lower abs over my upper region. This year Im trying the opposite to see what happens.

This may be slightly off topic, but here goes, not intended as a flame. I don’t believe there is an accurate way to measure bodyfat withing 3-5% either way. I measured myself this weekend, with tantia scale, bi e- impedence and two people measureing with calipers. No two were even close to each other, not even the caliper people who couldn’t even repeat their own results. I ahve read that african americans aren’t even measured correctly with underwater weighing. So what gives?

First of Jay, you are correct in your observations of the body fat calculations. All methods (calipers, hydrostatic, bod pod, dexa) use formulas, which are based on the average male to compute body fat percentages. There are many other factors that can skew any of these tests, but let me just say that I think they can be used as a good approximation of body fat level (I do not consider the electronic resistance devices to be accurate enough for anything.) What I prefer the most is an experienced person measuring with a good pair of calipers, and use the total as a comparison. Now as far as TEK and ryano are concerned, I think Ian King described this condition quite well in Get Buffed. He said that is most likely due to a shortening of the hip-flexors. Don’t have time to go into gory detail, but stretch those hip-flexors and check out some of Ian King’s article “The Thinking Man’s Guide to Ab training” Best of luck.

I’m pretty sure the it’s the shape of your abs and no matter how little bodyfat you get your gut will still be distended…

hey !! are you Ronnie Coleman ??? or some other pro bodybuilder ???.. just kidding… i have no idea…

check out pavel t’s power breathing. he claims it will help you tighten and shrink your waistline though i don’t know any one who has tried it. its in t mag and do a search on google. i too have gotten a big muscular gut. probably from heavy lifting though. most, but not all, heavy lifters get thick abs. i’d be curious if power breathing helps you.

See the Iron Dog column in issue 200, “Prescription for Abs.” Maybe you have anterior rotation of the pelvis, which makes your lower abs appear to protrude. Don Alessi gives some specific stretching exercises. Check it out.

hey, I had this problem too until I stopped using a belt to squat and deadlift – I had never learned how to “suck in” my abs (basically use my transversus abdominus) to create inter-abdominal pressure; instead pushing my abs out against the belt. This goes along with the article in T-Mag about training the transversus abdominus (by Don Alessi I think) and Ian King’s “thin tummy” exercises. Hope this helps, expect it won’t

I agree with Pete. Pavel’s power breathing helps shrink my waist line a lot. I am still working on getting shredded but I can tell the difference when I power breathe. The classic Arnold or Zane vacuum is supposed to work also. The hard part about power breathing is remembering to do all five sets daily. Good luck!

I’ve got this problem too. I look like I’ve got a small case of GH gut, despite the fact I’m lean and have never used GH. Interesting points about the tight hip flexors. I’ve got chronically tight hip flexors and my pelvis has got a serious tilt to it, caused by a number of reasons. I’d recommend training your transverse abdominals and backing off on rectus abdominus work (check out the vacuum program by Don Alessi(?)) and doing some serious stretching of your lower back, hip flexors, hamstrings etc…

Stretch the hip flexors and lumbar region, Then work the transverse abdominus(by sucking in the abs when doing anything, It is an important anterior postural muscle) Look at your pelvic tilt to see if it is the hip flexors & abs. Strong lumbar extensors + strong hip flexors + proportionately weaker abs (rectus, transverse etc) = bad posture & protruding gut. Tell us how u go.

i got the same problem even at body fat levels around 7% My stretching ability sucks so i guess i seriously have to work on that. laters pk

It could be a few things here. For one, the idea behind Pavel’s Power Breathing is tightening the transverse abdominus. Its underneath your rectus abdominus, so dont bother looking for it. It runs from left to right. Tighten this and your waist will shrink. Also your hip flexors might be tight which will pull your hips forward. Try Pavels Relax into Stretch and find out how to fix the prob.

I think Ian King or one of those guys has a good complete ab program with transverse tightening exercises…here, just got ti from search engine: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Ab training
Everything you always wanted to know
about abs but were afraid to ask
by Ian King