Alright, I hate doing a push-up because I don't have any stomach muscles and always end up straining my back. Can somebody please give me another way to build up my stomach muscles? No matter how fit I am, my stomach always sticks out.
Try Pilates or Yoga. Pilates and yoga are the two best core strengtheners I know. In order to do a pushup you've got to have a strong core. If you don't want to do a class I think System 17 by Rael Isacowitz is great. Or you can get into pushup position except you need to have your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms and hands flat on the ground at a 90 degree angle lift up onto your toes, just like a military pushup except you are on your elbows, and hold your body suspended in a straight line as long as you can. Rest and repeat. It's really powerful.
It's Not About Your Stomach. Your stomach is a digestive organ within your body. Your abdominal muscles are the ones we're talking about here. The 'pooch' you're decribing is actually body fat that has accumulated atop the abdominal musculature. In addition to strengthing your 'core muscles' (i.e. hip, abdominals, and back muscles), you should be working on ingesting a moderately calorie daily meal plan in conjunction with daily cardiovascular exercise in your training target zone. There are many great websites that offer exercise guidelines, which can get you started on your road to "six pack ab land". Good luck.
Join the Club. Pooches are a bummer! Other ab exercises include leg lifts, most yoga poses, and just about all of Pilates. With weights you can bend at the waist from side to side for a great workout. The thing is, if you've got a weak back, no matter what you do is not going to feel good. You need to strengthen the back in balance with the front.