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Q: Learning to be left-handed ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Learning to be left-handed
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: gw-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Mar 2004 08:32 PST
Expires: 14 Apr 2004 09:32 PDT
Question ID: 316924
I am right-handed but would like to learn to use my left hand more. 
Are there any Web resources with simple exercises that could help one
to practice writing/drawing with their left hand, in a logical
progression?  I made the mental leap from typing in QWERTY to Dvorak a
few years ago, so I think I can make the mental leap of becoming
Subject: Re: Learning to be left-handed
Answered By: byrd-ga on 16 Mar 2004 15:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi gw,

I was intrigued by your question, as the subject of ambidexterity has
always fascinated me.  My dad, an artist, was somewhat ambidextrous, a
fact he attributed to having been born (he thought) left-handed and
being forced to switch, as many children were years ago.  I myself am
left-handed, and of necessity in a right-handed world, have had to
develop a certain amount of ambidexterity myself, either because I
couldn?t find left-handed instruction, or tools, or it was just easier
to learn the way everyone else did.  For instance, I play guitar,
shoot, and golf right-handed, while writing and eating left-handed.
And then, there are just activities that are just naturally
ambidextrous for everyone, such as typing or playing piano.

But as to whether or not one could deliberately develop general
ambidexterity via directed exercise was a subject I knew nothing
about.  I was interested and delighted to find that yes indeed, it
does seem possible to train oneself to develop such a skill, and while
I wouldn?t say there?s a plethora of information about it, there are a
few resources online to help.


This fascinating site, dedicated to the unique, unusual, even bizarre,
has probably the best discussion of the subject that I was able to
find online.  This page on ambidexterity includes a personal account
of one person?s efforts to become ambidextrous, and has some very
fascinating links,  such as to examples of ?boustrophedon,? or a Greek
system of writing alternately from left-to-right and right-to-left,
the writing of which is a feat attributed to many ambidextrous people.
  I tried to read some of it.  It was harder than it looked, but also
easier in a way, once its pecularity was accepted.  See what you

This link will take you to a very interesting page with a number of
suggested exercises for developing ambidexterity.  However, just be
aware that the page was put up by a company that is selling a product,
i.e. something called  ?The 100% Brain Course,? which you may or may
not be interested in purchasing.  I found the page a little unsettling
to read, however, as on my computer at least, after several minutes of
reading, the page would (uncommanded) change to an order page for the
course.  But if you?re aware of this little glitch and can put up with
it, i.e. just hit your ?Back? button when it happens, there is some
interesting information there. 

This is a site for left-handers, but it has exercises for
right-handers who want to extend their ambidexterity skills.  Scroll
about halfway down the page to find them, along with other
information.  Much of this information seems to have been copied and
pasted from the info listed in the ?Brain Course? site above (or vice
versa), but I?m listing it just in case you may find it easier to


As I mentioned previously, music is another area in which
ambidexterity becomes an issue, as in piano playing.  Drumming is
another musical activity that requires double-sided coordination, and
in  ?Four Way Coordination Made Easy,?  an article about drumming, the
author contends that a drummer must be essentially ambidextrous, and
says, ? ... whatever your natural predisposition, ambidexterity is not
difficult to learn ? if you know a few simple tricks. The exercises
that follow can be practiced anywhere ...,? then proceeds to give some
advice on developing this skill. 

More on drumming: 

Interesting account of a person who taught himself to play violin
left-handed after first learning it right-handed. 


This link is to a message board that references the above site, but
also includes other suggestions and exercises for people interested in
developing ambidexterity.

This is a short, slightly ?off topic? Q&A about ambidexterity from a
discussion forum otherwise about such esoteric topics as ?free
energy,? ?gravity control? and alternate health.  Be sure to click on
the further message in the thread (there are a total of two pertinent

Another Q&A in answer to whether or not one can learn ambidexterity. 


Apparently, being ambidextrous is considered either possibly or
definitely an advantage in a number of sports or other physical
activities, and there are, accordingly, articles written from the
perspective of one sport or another, yet containing advice for people
wishing to develop their ?off side? and become ambidextrous.  Although
most of these don?t address ?handedness? specifically, supposedly if
one works on balancing body dominance in general, handedness may
follow more easily.  Here are a few examples:


Greg Chappell, an Australian cricket player, must be interested in the
subject of ambidexterity, because he has written this article,
entitled ?The Ambidextrous Cricketer,?  about whether or not it would
be good for a cricket player to have or develop this skill.  The
article is interesting, whether or not you agree with his conclusions,
as it contains a lot of his personal observations and accounts of
people he knows who are ambidextrous:  

And then, here?s a letter written by Dr. Charles Krebs (author of the
book, ?A Revolutionary Way of Thinking?) to Greg Chappell in apparent
response to a question Chappell asked on ambidexterity:  

You might also find Dr. Krebs? book itself of interest, though it?s
only tangentially related to the topic of ambidexterity.  You can find
it here:

This is another activity that often requires double-sided coordination
and indeed is often recommended to those trying to develop
ambidextrous skills.  Here are a couple of sites with instruction
and/or exercises:  OR 

Not really about ambidexterity, but is good simple juggling instruction: 

This fascinating reprint of a brochure from 1866, entitled ?Athletic
Sports for Boys: A Repository of Graceful Recreations for Youth,?
gives step-by-step instructions for using various sizes of clubs to
develop strength and coordination.  It also states, ?If their use is
persevered in, they will render the person who practises with them
ambidextrous-that is to say, he will be able to use his left arm
almost as well as his right in hurling, flinging stones, lifting
weights, and similar operations.?  Very interesting.

This page offers to sell you a program called ?Grapho-Cybernetics,?
which is supposed to be a set of exercises that will, among other
benefits, teach golfers to become ambidextrous.  You?d have to buy the
program to get the exercises, but you may be interested to see what
they say:

This article gives tips and instructions on learning ambidextrous
throwing, such as with shotput, javelin, discus, etc.

This page gives instructions on ?hojo undo,? or supplemental exercises
for the martial artist in developing physical ambidexterity. 


Although targeted to a video game player/developer audience, this
discussion is neverthless interesting, as it talks about three
different types of ambidexterity, i.e. ?true,? ?parallel,? and
?trained,? which latter is, of course, the kind which are are
interseted in learning.  There?s not much by way of advice; I?ve
included the link only for general interest?s sake:

I do hope you?ll find at least some of this information useful.  With
all the exercises, instructions, and tips, one basic point seems to
stand out: practice. That is, if you?re really determined to develop
the skill of ambidexterity, it?s definitely doable.  Just USE your
less dominant hand in as many ways as possible, and practice,
practice, practice until it becomes easier, and eventually second

Of course, if anything isn?t clear, or you should have trouble with
any of the links, please do use the ?Request Clarification? feature to
ask for help before rating and closing the question, so I can be sure
you?re satisfied wtih the information provided.   Best of luck to you
in pursuing the possibility of ambidextrousness.  I may just be
joining you in the quest!


Search terms used:

ambidextrous ?how to become? OR learning OR developing OR exercises
ambidextrous ?learn to be? OR ?how to be? OR ?how to learn?
ambidextrous OR ambidexterity OR ambidextrousness OR ambidextral
gw-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Your answer was quite thorough, thank you.

Subject: Re: Learning to be left-handed
From: probonopublico-ga on 15 Mar 2004 10:30 PST
I am sure that you can do the manual stuff, just by practice.

But my elder daughter (who's left-handed) tells me that left-handed
folk are much more intelligent than us lesser mortals.

I cannot think how you could overcome this disadvantage.
Subject: Re: Learning to be left-handed
From: byrd-ga on 18 Mar 2004 10:52 PST
Hi gw-ga,

I'm so glad you were pleased with the answer. Thank you very much for
the kind words and five-star rating. And again, best of luck with your

Subject: Re: Learning to be left-handed
From: doxavita-ga on 25 Apr 2004 20:25 PDT
Any research on whether left handed people have more trouble reading
because of their predominancy of the right brain hemisphere instead of
the left which is the one responsable for precision during the
comprehension of printed words.
Subject: Re: Learning to be left-handed
From: mdfnyc-ga on 30 Sep 2004 10:21 PDT
Just came upon this site, GW's question, and Byrd's amazingly thorough
answer, and thought I might throw in a comment from my own experience.
I'm right-handed and decided a few years ago that it might be nice to
use my left hand more while working on my laptop. I had some vague
idea that I should get the right side of my brain more engaged. So I
switched the mouse to my left hand and just started using it.  It was
a bit tricky at first, particularly when I would be creating diagrams
on PowerPoint, where you really have to have a steady and precise
hand.  But it was only a matter of 2-3 weeks before I was as
comfortable with my left hand as with my right, and I've never gone
Don't know whether this had any effect on my brain (!), but it's
convenient that I can write with my one hand and use the laptop with
the other. And if my hand gets tired, I can switch, so it's been
useful from that perspective also.

Could I be a latent lefty? I'm ambidextrous doing the NY Times
crossword puzzle also (useful during manicures). I can write backwards
with very little effort. I ate with my left hand as a child until I
got that booster shot that makes your arm useless for a week. So
perhaps it's easier if you already have a predisposition. But GW might
want to start with the computer and see how that works.
--mdf, nyc

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