Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have multiple roles in skeletal development, homeostasis and regeneration. BMPs signal via type I and type II serine/threonine kinase receptors (BMPRI and BMPRII). In recent decades, genetic studies in humans and mice have demonstrated that perturbations in BMP signaling via BMPRI resulted in various diseases in bone, cartilage, and muscles. In this review, we focus on all three types of BMPRI, which consist of activin-like kinase 2 (ALK2, also called type IA activin receptor), activin-like kinase 3 (ALK3, also called BMPRIA), and activin-like kinase 6 (ALK6, also called BMPRIB). The research areas covered include the current progress regarding the roles of these receptors during myogenesis, chondrogenesis, and osteogenesis. Understanding the physiological and pathological functions of these receptors at the cellular and molecular levels will advance drug development and tissue regeneration for treating musculoskeletal diseases and bone defects in the future.