I've never had any pain in my knees when doing squats, deadlifts, snatches, etc. But I've noticed some strange feeling cracks/tension some times which worries me cuz its really important that I keep my knees in good shape. Other than stretching the hams, glutes, calves, flexors,etc. anyone know any good knee 'prehab' exercises that are good for the joint itself and/or increasing ROM??
I know exactly what ur talking about.
Make sure your knees are warmed-up before any leg exercise. Stationary bike, 3 set light leg extensions and 2 sets of light squats and make sure you get all the kinks and cracks out before you go heavy as you could hurt yourself really bad if knees or ankles crack mid squat at 300+pounds. Otherwise don't concern yourself with 'prehab'. At your stage avoid the stairmaster and excessive running on the treamill.
Same as knee rehab (generally), just with more weight as needed. Peterson stepups, banded knee extensions (also called terminal knee extensions for some reason), sled dragging, full/front squats, and deep unilateral work are all great.
Check out "Feel Better for Ten Bucks" in the Archives.
Take a top notch joint supp. & wrap your knees on the heavier lifts to keep your patella from going outwards & it's keeps your snoval fluid warm in your knees. Make sure not to wrap too tightly & wrap out to in around your know joint. Other then that, just don't avoid hard surfaces & always but a new pair of shoes sooner than later!