I'd be a wealthy man today if I had a dollar for every time that someone told me, "My upper abs are starting to look good but I still have this pouch of fat on my lower abs."

Unfortunately, this "upper then lower" abdominal fat loss pattern is the norm for most trainees out there. You're probably wondering why this phenomenon happens, so I'll explain it to you.

This "lower ab bulge" happens for three distinctly different reasons. If you are ever going to achieve flat lower abs, all three reasons must be addressed.

The first reason the lower abs bulge out is simply caused by excess body fat. The majority of individuals can lose some of the belly fat on the upper portion of their abs.

On the other hand, the fat around their belly button would be burned last, only if these trainees got very lean. This lower belly fat is only lost by engaging in a well-designed fat burning protocol which takes into account the hormones that make this belly fat stubborn. This protocol would include a combination of: metabolism raising resistance training, proper nutrition and high intensity cardio.

The second reason that your lower abs stick out is due to the anterior tilting of your pelvis. If your pelvis is rotated too far forward, your back will arch greatly. This severe arch causes the lower portion of your belly to stick out, regardless of your body fat levels.

To fix this problem, you must lengthen your hip flexors and perform corrective abdominal exercises. By incorporating this combination of stretches and exercises into your routine, you can quickly re-set your pelvis and flatten your stomach.

Next, I"ll explain to you how to properly perform a stretch for your hip flexors and I'll show you several different ab exercises based on your level of fitness.

Hip Stretch- Get into the bottom position of a lunge with the back knee only one inch above the floor. Adjust the distance between your feet until the shin on your front leg is in a vertical position. Be sure to maintain an upright posture. Extend arms directly overhead. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Level 1 Ab Exercise- Lie on the floor. Bend your knees until they make ninety degree angles while placing your feet flat on the floor. With your palms down on the floor, place your hands under your lower back.

Now, bring both legs up until your knees are pointing directly toward the sky. Tilt your pelvis backward, thus creating slight pressure on your hands. This is the starting position.

Next lower your legs to the floor while maintaining your back position thus keeping constant pressure on your hands. As you get stronger, simply extend your knees slightly each workout until you are doing this exercise with straight legs.

Intermediate Ab Exercise- Lie on your back. Flex both your knees and hips to 90 degree angles. Bring knees toward chest by flexing your abdominal muscles while maintaining a constant knee angle. Return until hips and knees are again extended to 90 degree angles. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps.

Advanced Ab Exercise- Lie on a decline bench. Bend both your knees and hips to 90 degree angles. Lift knees toward chest by flexing abdominal muscles while maintaining a constant knee angle.

Now lower back down until hips and knees are again extended to 90 degree angles. To progress, increase the angle of the decline bench.

And finally, the third reason for lower belly distension is abdominal bloating, which can be caused by two different problems. The first is constipation. If you are constipated, be sure to increase your water intake and check to see if you are getting enough dietary fiber (25-40 grams daily). If those things are already in check, consult with your physician to achieve optimal bowel functioning.

Another cause of distension is consuming foods to which your body is reactive to. Your immune system reacts to these foods by causing your stomach to bloat. If you begin to experience diarrhea, cramping, or bloating after eating certain foods, consider decreasing the consumptions of these foods or cut them out if necessary.

If achieving flat washboard abs has eluded you in the past, try these simple yet effective techniques to get the awesome abs you've always dreamed of.

Author's Bio: 

John Alvino is a world renowned fat loss and abdominal training expert. Click here to learn more about how to get a six pack rapidly and permanently with John's unique six pack abs method