Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

Training Your Support Hand

To control recoil it is important to have strong hands, but most people have a stronger grip with our dominant hand. Having a strong support hand will help you manage recoil and manipulate your pistol more efficiently. It’s also important to practice shooting with your support hand in case you must shoot with your non-dominant hand for either a competitive course of fire or in self-defense situation.

Exercises for your non-dominant hand do more than retrain the hand; they also retrain the brain. Forcing your non-dominant hand to perform an unfamiliar task requires the brain to map new neural pathways. These new pathways rejuvenate your non-dominant hemisphere controlling the hand and rejuvenate the brain. By daily setting aside 30 minutes to improve your 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 this sentence: “I am writing this sentence with my support hand.” It may be necessary to stabilize the blank page or journal with your other hand.
  • Step 3: On a new blank page, draw a square.
  • Step 4: Draw a circle.
  • Step 5: Draw a triangle.
  • Step 6: In one continuous stroke, make an outline drawing of something in your environment, such as your dog or vase of flowers. This 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 your fingers on your dominant hand.
  • Step 8: Write the numbers one through 10. Then write the entire alphabet. Can you sign your name using your support hand only?

If you experience hand cramps or pain in your support 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 support hand.

For more specific hand-strengthening exercises, consider getting a silicon grip donut. There are a ton of different hand exercises that can be done to improve the strength and dexterity of your support hand, as well as your support arm. Depending on where you place the donut in your hand, different muscles will be activated.

One Response

  1. We all need to learn to use our support hand, not only for shooting. A few years ago, I had surgery on my right (dominant) hand. The day I got my caddy put on, we had dinner or with one of my sons and his family. He was surprised I could sign my name with my left hand (he’s a lefty).

Leave a Reply