A friend is starting to work out with me. Normally we would deadlift, squat, and do upper-body pushes and pulls. However, my friend seems to lack the requisite flexibility for a full range of motion deadlift.
We're using standard-diameter bumper plates on a 45-pound Olympic bar. Gripping the bar causes either a rounded lumbar spine or a deadlift-grip squat, where the bar makes an S-curve around the knee. Neither of these are ideal.
What exercise can we substitute that will progress to a regular deadlift? We're looking for an increase in flexibility and heavy loading (akin to a deadlift) in the meantime.