Not a exercise maneuver, but rather the common description for how an internal combustion engine works.
The basic way all internal combustion engines work is to take a mixture of fuel and air, compress it, ignite it either with a spark plug or by self-ignition (in the case of a diesel engine), allow the explosion of combusting gasses to force the piston back down and then expel the exhaust gas. The vertical movement of the piston is converted into rotary motion in the crank via connecting rods. The crank then goes out to the gearbox via a flywheel and clutch, and the gearbox sends the rotary motion to the wheels, driving the vehicle forwards.
The diagram below is for reference for the technical jargon that will pop out on the rest of this page. It shows an inline-4 engine with dual overhead cams.