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This is probably a very silly question. I was sitting in my hammock swing that hangs from a tree over a river behind my house, and swinging a bit, and I thought about playing on the swings at recess when I was a little kid -how every kid quickly figures out that if you extend your legs and lean back on the up swing, and flex your legs and lean forward on the way back down, you can increase your altitude. But I can't really figure out why it should work that way. Also is there any machine that works like a kid on a swing?
So then the legs really don't have much to do with it other than partially balancing yourself so you don't slide off the swing?