Wednesday, December 21, 2011


How well do you function with your off hand? Since I sprained the thumb on my right, I’ve had cause to think about it. I’ve been forced to do most things left handed. Some people claim to be ambidextrous, but I think that’s just the ability to use both hands equally badly.

Do you practice doing things with your off hand? How about basic function: brushing your teeth, washing up, cooking food, even using a computer mouse? If you shoot, can you do a respectable job with your off hand? Better to practice a bit ahead of time. You might make some interesting discoveries. I discovered firing my handgun lefty style caused it to eject hot shells into my shirt pocket.

Certain activities require the skilled use of your off hand, guitar playing, juggling, some sports. Anything that requires fine control is good practice. Then when you do have to rely on your “bad” hand, it won’t really be all that bad.

My left handed buddy was practicing handgun shooting with his right. A guy came to the range and challenged him to a shooting contest, with a few bucks on the line. My buddy agreed, still shooting with his off hand, the right. My buddy lost, but he made a fair showing of it. Then my friend suggested they shoot again, double or nothing, but using the left hand this time. Of course, my friend mopped the floor with his challenger shooting with his dominate left hand.



  1. I use my right hand so much in daily life that long ago I switched to using my left for the mouse. It has improved dexterity in my left hand

  2. My Dad was a left handed person. He kept us entertained at restaurants by drawing cartoons on napkins (disposable of course, lol) using both hands simultaneously, mirror images of the other side. It was pretty cool.

    I strained a shoulder ligament some years ago and had to keep my arm in a sling for two weeks, my dominant hand. I'm a CAD draftsman by vocation, and it was hard getting the mouse to work with my left hand, I was probably working 20% of my capacity. Very frustrating. It was a good thing I drive an automatic tranny, a standard would not have worked.

    There are times working with tools (especially on a ladder) when it is convenient to work with the other hand.

  3. Sometimes I'll get a massage client who is so predominantly one-handed that their muscles on that side are incredibly developed and even bulky compared to the other side. Usually these people end up with shoulder or hand injuries on the weaker side. It's fun to practice using the non-dominant hand, but also great for strengthening to avoid injury.

  4. Ya know, that's something I have never thought about! Thanks for masking me wonder what I need to practice on!

    Good post and advice!

  5. I'm envious! You can shoot left-handed and save that brass with little effort and only a mildly scalded nipple! - Bill F. (KY)

  6. My left hand is not very coordinated at some things, like writing or intricate work, but working with my hands as I do it's not completely useless.

    Even more to the point is losing the use of one or both legs. When I sprained my ankle last February, getting around became a big pain in the arse. I would have gladly traded a sprained right wrist to have the ankle back. And then think if both an arm AND a leg were injured...

  7. Since my left eye is dominant, even when I hold a handgun with my right hand, I use the left eye.

  8. I'm terrible with my left hand, but I used to shoot left-eyed!

    I use my left hand for rough strength things, but the right is necessary for any precision at all.

  9. I've an artist friend who had a stroke and lost the use of his right side, his dominate. It took a few years of hard work, but he had another art show, with new works. It was different from his old, but very good. He called the show, "The Bonus Pieces." Since he almost died and had to develop a new technique, that art was bonus.