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The 5 Best Most Effective Abdominal Exercises

It’s hard to miss the fact that six-pack abs are huge all over the US (and even globally). For the common man and woman, we salivate over tight abs in the media on stars like Beyonce and Hugh Jackman. As a whole, society has placed a certain sex appeal and mystique on the truly toned abs that can’t be shaken. People want to have and want to see washboard abs.

There are great uses for a strong midsection beyond just showing off the body though. While it’s a great way to attract a member of the opposite sex it serves a certain purpose for professional and other serious athletes.

A powerful set of abs is responsible for maintaining stability in your center, protecting your organs and your spine while providing the strength to move large amounts of weight. If you want to be able to muscle around massive amounts of weight with getting crushed, then you need to have a strong central core and training your body with the top 5 abs exercises is the right way to go.

 1) Hanging Leg-Raises: A strenuous exercise, the hanging leg raise is a product of true gymnasts. All you need is a chin-up bar or equivalent setup. Grab the bar with an overhand grip about shoulder width apart, and while bending your knees raise your hips and curl your back as you bring your thighs to your chest. Lower slowly, and repeat.

2) Fat-Bar Holds:
Again with a chin-up bar or equivalent, hold onto the bar with an overhand grip and hang with your arms and body completely straight. Hang for as long as possible until you can't hold on any longer, then rest for a minute and repeat. Remember you want to improve your strength, so aim to hang for a longer amount of time during each rep.

3) Overhead Reverse Lunge:
All you need for this exercise is a light barbell or long wooden pole or equivalent. Hold the bar high above your head with arms straight, and step backward with one leg and slowly lower your body until your knee is bent at a right angle. Do multiple sets of 15-20 reps with rests in between.

4) Leg Raises:
While lying on your back extend your legs and raise them off the floor to the highest degree while keeps your knees only slightly bent. Slowly bring your legs back down towards the ground, at about 6 inches from the ground, curl your legs towards your chest. Repeat 15-20 times.

5) Planks:
While in push-up position, bring your arms in close to your chest, elbows tucked in and fists up near your face. Raise your body up off the ground and maintain a straight "plank-like" posture for 60 seconds. Only your toes and forearms should be touching the ground. After each rep, switch positions. Flip over and have your back towards the ground and chest pointing skyward, again only your feet and forearms should be touching. Keep your back straight and hold position for 60 seconds.

These 5 simple exercises can be done in your house or outside which makes them convenient. Also, remember that these abdominal exercises must be executed with proper form. Don't push yourself to do more reps or an extra set of an exercise if you feel like your are unable to do it properly; you'll just end up hurting your body more than helping it.