The Hanging Swing
I. Oh man, life-wise I am kinda hanging off the crumbling edge of a cliff after a seizmic explosion and it's cool, it's cool, I'm scrambling up over the ledge and it looks like nothing is broken…but holy cow, world. Sorry (again) for the lack of posts lately. >,>
II. I'm not sure what I'll call it more permanently, but for lack of a better term, the "hanging swing" is my new favorite exercise, I think!
Using my chinup bar, I hang straight, and then try to point my toes at the ceiling, lower down, and if desired also point them backwards — without building up any rocking motion/momentum. It's a controlled thing, and slow is better than fast generally; and it nicely works a huge amount of muscles, including the core and focusing on the lower abdomen — which is what you use to lift your legs, not your thigh-muscles! If/when those burn, try to relax them and use your stomach more.
This simple exercise, which I kind of do a few sets of here and there just as I walk under the bar (and am now committing to trying to do more of!), is the closest thing I've felt to dolphin kicking (underwater, with fins), my other favorite workout-movement. (I'm excluding silk reeling and taiji-in-general as obvious, bc otherwise this post would be stupid huge. :P) This one works the hands instead of fins working the feet, but other than that they imitate each other's resistance and muscle-groups nicely!
FOR KUNGFU BONUS POINTS: The Hanging Clock: My sifu Henry used to dead-hang from a bar, point his feet straight to the ceiling and then "trace the clock" circle in front of him, sometimes muttering numbers and pointing at them with his toes. I can only point my feet 90 degrees in front of me for now, and draw a tiny pathetic wobblyclock…but who knows, right? :D