Picture: Supply

After a combination of one too many mince pies and cheese platters, shifting the holiday kilos is usually the first fitness goal of the year.

National Product Development Manager at Virgin Active South Africa, Ceri Hannan, says regaining a flat stomach involves a good workout routine combined with getting back into the right dietary habits.

Hannan suggests six specific exercises for January that will set you on the path back to solid abs:

Side Planking

On your forearm, place yourself into a side plank position. Then place your free hand behind your head (as you would when doing traditional sit-ups), while tensing your obliques and hold the position. Do ten reps then switch sides.

Triangle Crunch
Kneel on your left leg, positioning the right straight to your side. Place your left arm on the floor and your right behind your head. Tense your obliques by bringing your right knee towards your right elbow. Do ten reps, alternating sides each time.

Hanging Leg Raise
 
Hang from a chin-up bar and extend both arms using the standard wide grip or medium grip position. Your legs should be straight, with your pelvis rolled slightly backwards - this will be your starting position. Raise your legs to a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you perform the movement and hold the contraction for a second. Do ten reps.
 
Cocoons

Start by lying flat on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended behind your head.

Tuck your knees towards your chest and rotate your pelvis while bringing your arms back over your head to perform an abdominal crunch motion. Pause briefly and repeat from the starting position. Do ten reps.

Decline Crunch

Lie down at the end of the decline bench with your legs straight and hands on either side of your head, keeping your elbows in. Pushing the small of your back down in the bench, isolate your abdominal muscles and start rolling your shoulders off it. Continue pushing down as hard as you can with your lower back while you contract your abdominals and exhale. Hold for five seconds and begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale. Do ten reps.

Reverse Crunch

Lie down on the floor with your legs fully extended and your arms on either side of your torso with your palms flat on the floor. Raise your legs up so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet are together and parallel to the floor – this is the starting position. Then, while inhaling, move your legs towards your torso and roll your pelvis backwards raising your hips off the ground. At the end of this movement, your knees will be touching your chest. Move your legs back to the starting position while exhaling. Do ten reps.