To diminish heart failure development after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), several preclinical studies have focused on influencing the inflammatory processes in the healing response post-AMI. The initial purpose of this healing response is to clear cell debris of the injured cardiac tissue and to eventually resolve inflammation and support scar tissue formation. This is a well-balanced reaction. However, excess inflammation can lead to infarct expansion, adverse ventricular remodeling and thereby propagate heart failure development. Different macrophage subtypes are centrally involved in both the promotion and resolution phase of inflammation. Modulation of macrophage subset polarization has been described to greatly affect the quality and outcome of healing after AMI. Therefore, it is of great interest to reveal the process of macrophage polarization to support the development of therapeutic targets. The current review summarizes (pre)clinical studies that demonstrate essential molecules involved in macrophage polarization that can be modulated and influence cardiac healing after AMI.