Exercises to Improve Your Non-Dominant Hand

Woman writing in notepad at wooden table
Someone is holding a pen above a pad of paper. (Image: lolostock/iStock/Getty Images)

Exercises targeting the non-dominant hand do more than retrain the hand – they also retrain the brain. Forcing the non-dominant hand to perform an unfamiliar task requires the brain to map new neural pathways. These new pathways rejuvenate the non-dominant hemisphere controlling the hand and rejuvenate the brain. By daily setting aside 30 minutes to improve the non-dominant hand, you can stimulate the brain’s cognitive and creative functions.

Step 1

Hold the pen or pencil with the non-dominant hand.

Step 2

Write the following sentence: “I am writing this sentence with my left hand.” It may be necessary to stabilize the blank page or journal with the dominant hand.

Step 3

Using a new blank page, draw a square.

Step 4

Using a new blank page, draw a circle.

Step 5

Using a new blank page, draw a triangle.

Step 6

Using a new blank page, make a contour drawing of something in your environment. A contour drawing requires keeping the tip of the pen or pencil in constant contact with the page. Do not lift the tip of the pen or pencil until the drawing is completed.

Step 7

Using a new blank page, trace the fingers of the dominant hand.

Step 8

Using a new blank page, write the numbers one through 10. Follow this with the entire alphabet.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil or pen

  • Journal or stack of blank paper

Tip

If you experience hand cramps or pain in the non-dominant hand, stretch the fingers lightly by bending them against fingers of the dominant hand or a flat surface.

Everyday routines can be modified to work as non-dominant hand exercises. Rather than pour a pitcher with the dominant hand, try the non-dominant hand. Brush your teeth, butter your bread, use your computer mouse, and open jars with your non-dominant hand.

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