Mechanical forces impact cardiac cells and tissues over their entire lifespan, from development to growth and eventually to pathophysiology. However, the mechanobiological pathways that drive cell and tissue responses to mechanical forces are only now beginning to be understood, due in part to the challenges in replicating the evolving dynamic microenvironments of cardiac cells and tissues in a laboratory setting. Although many in vitro cardiac models have been established to provide specific stiffness, topography, or viscoelasticity to cardiac cells and tissues via biomaterial scaffolds or external stimuli, technologies for presenting time-evolving mechanical microenvironments have only recently been developed. In this review, we summarize the range of in vitro platforms that have been used for cardiac mechanobiological studies. We provide a comprehensive review on phenotypic and molecular changes of cardiomyocytes in response to these environments, with a focus on how dynamic mechanical cues are transduced and deciphered. We conclude with our vision of how these findings will help to define the baseline of heart pathology and of how these in vitro systems will potentially serve to improve the development of therapies for heart diseases.