This study develops the distinct lattice spring model (DLSM) for geometrically nonlinear large deformation problems. The formulation of a spring bond deformation under a large deformation is derived under the Lagrange framework using polar decomposition. The results reveal that the DLSM's stiffness matrix under small deformations is the tangent stiffness matrix of the DLSM under large deformations. The formulation of the spring bond internal force under a given configuration is also presented and can be used to calculate the unbalanced force. Using these formulations, three nonlinear solving methods (the Euler method, modified Euler method, and Newton method) are developed for the DLSM with which to tackle large deformation problems. To investigate the performance of the developed model, three numerical examples involving large deformations are presented, the results of which are also in good agreement with the analytical and finite element method solutions. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.