I’m ambidextrous, although I favour my right hand for handwriting. (Or, to put it another way, I’m right-handed with writing, but tend to use both hands for a lot of other stuff. It’s a continuum. :))
When I’m cooking, I’m often confused which hand to use when stirring things, flipping pancakes, and so on. It results in a lot of switching of spoons and spatulas back and forth, trying to find the most comfortable way to do things.
Do other ambi Dopers find things like this confusing?
I don’t really find it confusing because for the most part I do things equally well with both hands - typically I’ll just switch hands to whichever is more appropriate for what I’m doing - for instance, if I’m drawing I’ll draw the right side of the piece with my right and and the left with my left - it prevents me from smudging the charcoal (or whatever); however, I don’t do it on purpose it just happens.
Same with cooking - I stir with whatever hand is closest to whatever pot.
I am rather ‘handed’ with two things - I find writing easier with my right hand as I don’t smudge what I’ve written, and I find boxing much easier right leading (ie left handed) - I can get a lot more power and precision with my left hand than with my right.
Everything else really depends on which side is the easiest. People marvel when I’m playing pool and just switch hands to easier reach balls on whichever side of the table.
Cross-dominant. That’s what I am. I wish I were ambidextrous, though. For example, I write with my right hand, but I hold the pen in the “dyslexic grip” (it looks like I’m holding it in my fist, but it’s more like a backwards version of the proper way to hold a pen). However, I hold the pen perfectly in my left hand, but my handwriting’s sloppier. I’ve considered trying to practice writing with my left hand to get my penmanship up to snuff, but that’s a dull process that will take a long time to see results.
I’ve always written and drawn right-handed, and shot, swinged a bat, held a hockey stick etc. left-handed. When I’m presented with an unfamiliar thing to do, I have to test which hand, if either, works best. As I’ve aged, I’ve found I use my left hand more and more. I for instance masturbate and brush my teeth with my left hand (not necessarily in that order!)
Im not really sure Id class myself as an ambi doper. I see myself as right handed but having grown up with my mother father and sister all being left handed I tend to do certain things with my left. Probably this was due to me being the youngest and copying everyone else. I can write with both hands but my writing is much neater with my right hand due to the fact I pretty much always use my right hand to write - I like to see what Im writing and I hate smudging! Over the years I think my right hand has become the stronger one but I still find myself using both for things others would usualy use their strongest hand so to speak!
I’m kind of an “ambi-cross”. Lots of technical things; writing, eating, manipulating small parts I’ll do left handed but if I’m tired - right handed works. I think of myself as stronger right handed - bats right, throws right, golfs right. When measured (curls, dumbell presses) my left arm/side is actually stronger. Basketball inside of 10 foot from the rim is either depending on the defender. I do pool either way switching for the shot and in racquetball and ping pong I’ll just switch hands - kind of freaks out the opponent when you don’t have a backhand!
Me too. My cross-dominance is pretty lopsided – almost exclusively right-handed, but left-eyed, which makes things like archery an interesting challenge. I can’t shoot lefty, it’s unbearably clumsy, so I have to settle for “close-enough” aim.
Now that alice mentions it, though, I also box right-lead, but I think that’s mostly because I learned to fence first – leading with the foil in the right hand.
The one thing I can think of where I’m pretty evenly ambi (and related to KneadToKnow’s question), for myself I’m exclusively righty, but for him I can do either.
I’m right handed for pretty much everything, but my “claim to fame” is that I can use a pipette bulb to pipette with either hand. Only chemists seem to find that interesting, though (and chemistry students look at me in shock and tell me they can’t manage to use a standard pipette bulb in the first place!)
Regarding Cross Dominance and its prevalence-I did a little research a month or so ago, and came up with this- Something like 8-13% of the population is left-handed, and of that subset some significant percentage is cross dominant. I couldn’t find a hard number to put to that statement, so I don’t know whether the percentage of lefties who are CD is roughly 50% or roughly 10% or what, so I’ve just written it off as “Don’t be surprised if a lefty isn’t strictly a lefty.” My amateur polling of lefties is running at about 60% (3 of 5) being CD to some extent.
Also I couldn’t find anything even that thin regarding the incidence of CD in righties.
Myself, I’m a CD who writes righty and throws lefty. Basically I’m right-handed and left-armed, with very little or no more skill with my weak hand or arm than someone who is strictly ‘handed’ has in theirs. I think of myself as a lefty, due to the amount of time I spent engaged in sports that required throwing as a child. About the only activities I’m approximately ambidextrous (say the weaker hand is at least 80% as capable as the stronger) at are rifle and pistol shooting, ping pong and tennis. But even in those (excluding shooting), the capabilities are different-better power game lefty, more finesse righty.
Incidentally smithsb, you may be thinking of yourself backward-In two-handed swinging sports (golf, baseball, softball, etc) the advantage (I believe) lies in having your strongest hand (or arm) in the lead. I recall reading as much anyway…perhaps someone will be along to debunk or confirm as necessary.
And another cross dominant here. I write, throw and kick with the right but generally reach for things with my left. I’m left eyed so I use a rifle and bow left handed (but right handed for a handgun).
I’m particularly inconsistent with an axe: my horizontal swing is right handed, my vertical swing left handed.
I am another cross-dominant. I use my right hand for writing. My teachers used to get onto me about the odd way I held my pencil. I can write with either hand, but my penmanship is sloppy with either one. However, I can draw well with either hand, and when I am making jewelry for craft shows and my right hand is getting tired, I’ll hold my tools in my left hand and continue to work.
My older two kids have had problems hold pencils “correctly” in school, according to their teachers. They hold their writing utensils just like I do. My two year old has not picked a favored hand yet, so he might be cross-dominant as well. My oldest is a guitarist—a good one–and I think cross-dominance helps a lot with that.
My mother is also cross-dominant, and as a child she slightly favored her left hand, but since she went to school in the thirties the teachers made her use her right hand. She is an amazing quilter, and can work equally well with either hand.
I can address golf (still a pretty good hacker, 3.9, at age 58). Today, a right hander will swing from the right for maximum power.The old theory was hands and arms were passive throughout the swing. Hogan, a natural lefty who played right handed, had different thinking even in the 50’s. A phrase attributed to him (and here bastardized by me) went, “You can never have too much right hand at impact but it can get there too fast” - bringing the dreaded snap hook. Today’s power golf (for a right hander) has the left side hip getting out of the way, a squat on the right knee, and a drive through the ball with lower body and a strong right hand grip. You can see it in the new high speed segments on the golf telecasts. Hogan always regretted switching to right handed as he felt it reduced his power. (Reasons at that time were better right handed equipment and instruction).
Note to younger (heck - all) golfers: Always exercise the trunk muscles and stretch in both directions to avoid back problems.